• Title: Poppy Flowers at the Front
  • Author: Jon Wilkins
  • Publisher: Brigand London on February 21, 2020
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Pages: 228
  • Formats Available: Paperback
  • Rating: 4/5

Trigger Warnings: Murder, Violence, War

Many thanks to Emma at Damppebbles Blog Tours, Jon Wilkins, and Brigand London for providing me with a digital copy of Poppy Flowers at the Front in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Order Now: Amazon UK | Brigand

Poppy Flowers at the Front Blurb

1917: with her father in the British secret service and her brother Alfie in the trenches, under-age Poppy Loveday volunteers against her parents’ wishes to drive ambulances in France. We follow her adventures, racing to save wounded men driven to the Casualty Clearing Station, and back to the Base Hospital.

“Jon Wilkins gets to the very heart of the mud and the blood of the battlefields and then with the same ease the gaiety of the ballroom in a thriller that will keep you entertained for hours.” Stuart Hill, author of The Icemark Trilogy.

During one battle she finds Élodie Proux, a French nurse, at a roadside clutching a dead soldier. Poppy rescues her. Élodie becomes her dearest girl as they fall in love.

Poppy and Élodie encounter frightening adversaries at the Western Front as well as away from it during the closing weeks of World War One.

Provided by Damppebbles Blog Tours

My Review

Poppy Flowers at the Front is like no other book about war I have ever seen. Jon Wilkins’ ability to make war scenes seem eloquent and beautiful is outstanding. The prose is elegant yet properly depicts the beauty of falling in love during the horrors of war.

Poppy is a most unusual young lady and one that I have come to love. She is smart, feisty, lovely, and, above all else, strong. Her love story with Élodie is sweet. They bring out the best in each other.

The story moved a bit slow, which was a problem at times. Yet, at the same time, it feels like it needed to move at this pace to draw readers into the journey. It would have been nice to have more adrenaline during the more harrowing scenes.

I would have loved more scenes with Alfie. His letters to Poppy were a hoot. Poppy’s mother is well-intentioned but sometimes a pain to read. But, I love the use of the letters and diary entries to move the story along.

I was a bit disappointed in the ending. Not that there is anything wrong with the ending. It’s a personal preference. I am afraid that Poppy will inevitably live a life that she didn’t choose, which saddens me.

I am happy to award Poppy Flowers at the Front 4 out of 5 stars. The beautiful words and the moving letters were enough to overcome the pace of the story. If you enjoy historical fiction, I recommend this book to you. I hope you like it as much as I did.

About the Author – Jon Wilkins

Jonathan loves to write. He is a retired teacher, lapsed Waterstones’ bookseller and former Basketball Coach. He taught PE and English for 20 years and coached women’s basketball for over 30 years. 

He regularly teaches creative writing workshops in and around Leicester.

Twitter | Website

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