This particular village in rural England is idyllic. Rusfield does not seem to have any any apparent villains. All are hardworking, mainly agricultural though youngsters are now moving to towns to better their prospects. Very few of these rural teenagers have thought of an education other than whatever the local school has to offer and the stalwarts of the village - the vicar and his wife, the school teachers, the principal, the local magnate are all upright worthy gentlemen who seek to protect the people who work for them.
However the year is 1914 and things are going to change forever. The men who join the war effort are never going to be the same again. What they see and here in the battles of France and Flanders even Mesopotamia are going to change the way they look at the way of life in Rusfield. The havoc of war, the loss to families across the land and how these same families coped and survived are beautifully and very sensitively told.
We have youngsters growing up to be responsible men who will return, many do not and there are many elements of such sadness in this very rich story.
I liked the rich detail of rural agricultural life at the time and the very slow pace at which life was lived. There was a season and a time and place for everything and it all seemed to go according to plan. Work was hard and leisure time was scarce but enjoyment of simple pleasures was very appreciated.
The book was sent to me by Netgalley for a fair review courtesy of Troubador Publishing Ltd.