Review of After the War is Over by Jennifer Robson

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If you've read any of my Good Reads reviews, you'll know that I am a big fan of historical fiction. The World Wars (1900-1950 or so) is one of my favorite time periods to read from. So I was interested in After the War is Over when I read the description:
The International bestselling author of Somewhere in France returns with her sweeping second novel—a tale of class, love, and freedom—in which a young woman must find her place in a world forever changed.
After four years as a military nurse, Charlotte Brown is ready to leave behind the devastation of the Great War. The daughter of a vicar, she has always been determined to dedicate her life to helping others. Moving to busy Liverpool, she throws herself into her work with those most in need, only tearing herself away for the lively dinners she enjoys with the women at her boarding house.
Just as Charlotte begins to settle into her new circumstances, two messages arrive that will change her life. One, from a radical young newspaper editor, offers her a chance to speak out for those who cannot. The other pulls her back to her past, and to a man she has tried, and failed, to forget.
Edward Neville-Ashford, her former employer and the brother of Charlotte’s dearest friend, is now the new Earl of Cumberland—and a shadow of the man he once was. Yet under his battle wounds and haunted eyes Charlotte sees glimpses of the charming boy who long ago claimed her foolish heart. She wants to help him, but dare she risk her future for a man who can never be hers?
As Britain seethes with unrest and post-war euphoria flattens into bitter disappointment, Charlotte must confront long-held insecurities to find her true voice . . . and the courage to decide if the life she has created is the one she truly wants.


 I didn't read the first book in the series but didn't have difficulty following this one. There are a few "flashbacks" of sorts to give the reader and idea of previous events. And there were things referenced that I knew must have a back story. But I was able to read and enjoy After the War is Over without the knowledge of the previous book.

There is much history here and a good description of how people in England were living after the war. It's a time period that sometimes gets overlooked, sandwiched as it is between the two Great Wars. But the lives of the people then were very interesting- the gap between the aristocracy and the poor common person very great.

I felt as if the characters were well-developed. Although written in third person, the book is largely told from Charlotte's point of view, so we don't know the thinking of the other characters as much. Charlotte is a strong woman, a hero in many ways, and I enjoyed her character.

There is a romance theme throughout the novel, but the romance doesn't dominate. The time period, the plight of the people, the bravery and ideals of Charlotte- all of those things are really more to the forefront of the novel.

This one truly was interesting and compelling. I'll be looking for the first book in the series. I give this one 4.5 stars and a PG-13 rating for content. (There is mention of intimacy but nothing descriptive at all.)

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own, and I was not compensated in any other way.