In 1921. The Great War may have ended, but so many desperate families are still trying to find out what happened to their missing husbands, sons and brothers? Edie’s beloved husband Francis is still listed as missing, Francis is presumed to have been killed in action in France and Edie still believes that he could possibly still be alive?
Harry, Francis’s brother, was with him the day Francis went missing during the battle for Ypres, like Edie, he’s hopeful Francis is still alive and living somewhere in France?
Harry returns to France and he's trying to help grieving families find some closure. Harry takes photograph's of soldiers graves and sends the pictures back to their families in England. As he travels through war damaged France gathering news for British wives and mothers, he searches for any evidence that his own brother is still alive.
For Harry going back to France is very hard, he still suffers terribly from his own experiences during the war, he has horrible nightmares and flashbacks! He also suffers from survivors guilt and why was he one of the lucky ones to survive the war? His younger brother Will died and older brother Francis has left behind a wife who's still not sure if she's a widow?
When Edie receives a mysterious photograph, she believes it might have been taken recently by Francis, and she's now certain that he's still alive? Edie embarks on her own journey in the hope of finding some trace of her missing husband. Is he truly gone, buried in a unmarked grave in France or could he be living in France?
But why hasn't he come home, has he lost his memory or has he been badly wounded and thinks she wouldn't love him anymore due to his injuries? Harry and Edie’s paths cross, together they try to solve the mystery of what happened to Francis and could he hiding somewhere in France?
Thousands of men are listed as missing in action and France was a total mess after the WW I finished. Towns are destroyed, buildings are gone, the landscape looks different and fields are full of old army trenches. The countryside is littered with discarded and broken weapons, empty shell casings, rusty barbed wire, bits of uniforms and bones.
While reading: The Poppy Wife, you can almost see the sides of the road littered with soldiers discarded belongings as they march towards the front and feel how nervous they are while waiting in the trenches for the whistle to blow and it's their turn to go over the top! The Poppy Wife, is a intriguing, beautifully written and a very emotional book to read.
Opinions expressed in this review are my own, I gave The Poppy Wife five big stars and it's one of the best historical fiction WW I books I have read.