Tuesday, September 19, 2017
The Way to London: A Novel of WWII by Alix Rickloff
Lucy Stanhope is a wicked young lady with icy manners and The Way to London is a romantic quest. Lucy is a wounded soul because her mother never paid attention to her and flitted from one romance and marriage to another. The story opens in Singapore, where Lucy's scandalous affair with an exotic man has come to light. She's pressured to return to England by her mother and stepfather, who are concerned that her affair will damage her stepfather's business.
But, Lucy is unhappy in her aunt's huge estate in Cornwall, where soldiers are billeted and Aunt Cynthia expects Lucy to abide by strict rules and standards, yet is also too busy to spend any time with her.
Then, Lucy meets a 12-year-old boy named Bill who has been evacuated from London. Bill is frustrated with the family who took him in and wants to return home to London's East End. Lucy has heard there's a Hollywood filmmaker in London, a man she met in Singapore, and she wants to see if she can become his next starlet and escape England and the war. So, Lucy and Bill decide to travel to London together. The war interferes with their travels and they meet a number of challenges.
Along the way, they meet up with another acquaintance of Lucy's, a former soldier she met in Singapore who was released for medical reasons. He sees through Lucy's caustic personality - even thinks she's kind of funny. Can Lucy accept the fact that she may be falling for a man who is neither wealthy nor exotic? Or, will she stick to her escapist plan and attempt to become a starlet?
Highly recommended, particularly to lovers of romantic adventure - The Way to London is very plot-driven, which I love, but I think what I liked about the book most is the way Bill softens Lucy. The relationship between the two is a little odd and a lot heartwarming. There are other people who add to the sweetness of the story as they help Lucy and Bill through challenges, as well, giving the book that sort of "hodge-podge family" feature that I adore. Because Lucy's wounded soul is reflected by her rebellion and biting personality, she requires a good bit of patience. But, eventually, she does redeem herself, the story is worth sticking out, and I closed it with a warm, fuzzy feeling. I really loved this story.
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