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Monday, 1 November 2010
The Silver Locket
by Margaret James
'The Silver Locket' is set around the time of the Great War. Rose Courtenay is a well brought up young lady, who’s been raised to keep her mother and suitable acquaintances company until she marries the man her parents have chosen for her, whether she is in love with him or not.
She meets Alex Durham, a man of questionable parentage, who lives nearby with his uncle in a dilapidated house, and when Alex drunkenly asks Rose to dance, she rebuffs him despite feeling a disturbing spark for him and continues to talk with her proposed fiancé. Her parents encourage her to accept Michael’s marriage proposal, but although he’s handsome and charming, she suspects it’s not her that Michael is really in love with. Then, when Rose discovers that Alex is to be married, she reacts in a way her upbringing and family cannot understand and find hard to accept.
Rose volunteers as a nurse in London and although she’s not very good, she perseveres and joins the VADs with a friend. Alex, is in the infantry and spending the war fighting in the mud-strewn trenches. He’s injured and ends up being sent to the hospital where Rose is nursing. Despite her initial misgivings, she ends up caring for him, as his scars begin to heal and he slowly gets better. The two become close, and although she knows he’s a married man, Rose can’t help wanting to make the most of what little snatched time she is able to enjoy with Alex.
However, these are troubled times, and when her friend’s sister asks for her help, Rose makes a choice that will embroil her in an incident that will change her relationship with her family, and ultimately the course of her life. With so much stacked against them, how can they ever have a hope of a future together? Especially when an old adversary is so intent on stopping Alex from being with the woman he loves.
I loved this book and although I’ve researched this era fairly well, I still learnt so much and couldn’t help being drawn into Alex and Rose’s struggle to be together for however short a time. She is a gutsy heroine, who despite everything she’s been brought up to believe, finds she has more strength than she could ever have imagined, and Alex, handsome, deep and battling his own demons, has to face many obstacles in his path.
I can’t recommend this book enough. Whether you usually read historical novels, or not, this is a romance that will keep you reading page after page.
Reviewed by Debs Carr