I was captivated by this story from the beginning, so much so I had to read it in one sitting. Poppy is a relatable and wonderful character. Escaping her job Poppy Abbott takes leave, leaves her beautiful apartment overlooking the incredible views of Sydney and headed for the country to her grandmother’s home. Nan had passed away six months previously, and Poppy missed her terribly. She hadn’t been back since the funeral, and felt now was a good time to clean out the house, and sort through her beloved Nan’s belongings. She comes across an old diary in a box of Nan’s with the name “Maggie Abbott” on the front before she left Sydney and Poppy was intrigued. She didn’t recognise the name, but knew Maggie had to be in her family’s history just not sure where. As she read through Maggie’s words and also letters from her boyfriend Alex which were tucked amongst the pages, Poppy became entwined in the lives of these two people, one of whom had been a soldier in WW1. This is a beautiful historical story, that goes back and forth between present day and WW1.
Her interest in Maggie and Alex’s lives helps her in her day to day quest to clean up her Nan’s house. Her grief still so raw, she couldn’t even face visiting the local cemetery, and she found herself unhappy and questioning her own future. When next door neighbour, Jim Nash and his teenage daughter Lacey made themselves known to Poppy, her initial reaction was to push them away. Yet despite herself she finds herself wanting their company when they weren’t there – especially Jim’s....
I really enjoyed Poppy’s Dilemma – As it blends fact with fiction, the history of the WW1 events in the novel were researched thoroughly by the author, and the information which she has added in the Author’s Note at the end of the book is fascinating. I have no hesitation in highly recommending this novel. A solid 4.5 stars.
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