'The Lily and The Rose', by prolific Australian writer, Jackie French, was another solid book to add to her long and impressive catalogue. This was book 2 in the historical 'Miss Lily’s Lovely Ladies Series'. Set in post WW1, Jackie wrote strongly, yet sensitively. She also created wonderful imagery via thorough research. TLATR followed on with Australian cattle heiress/socialite/heroine, Sophie Higgs and her wartime adventures armed with her 'education' from Miss Lily. Once the plot moved forward, Sophie’s challenge was to navigate her way through war ravaged Europe to save her friend. During the journey, she had three love interests and experienced several life lessons and personal growth. At the same time, she observed the graphic devastation caused by world conflict and as an extention, the changes to society (including the impact on women). While a beautifully drawn character, I began to feel that Sophie was becoming a tad unrealistic - too perfect. The secondary characters in the narrative were well-developed and added richly to the plot. The book was a meaty read and it was well-plotted and paced, so the feel was interesting, rather than long. I enjoyed book 1 more, but TLATR was a very good trope and it continued the series well.
This is a sequel to the above book and records what happens to many of the young ladies being groomed for high society. I was a little disappointed with Miss Lily's disclosure but the courage and determination of the ladies in the new world of temporary peace was amazing.
This was a great read! I realized how little I knew about women's roles in the first World War. Jackie French writes beautifully, and obviously did a great deal of research to be able to write this story. Just wish I had first read the book that came before this, to have known more about Miss Lily's Lovely Ladies.