With Love from Miss Lily: A Christmas Story by Jackie French

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.

With Love from Miss Lily: A Christmas Story by Jackie French

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

A year earlier she had been so full of energy, founding her hospitals, organising supplies. The war would end, and there’d be peace and a return to life and joy…
But even President Woodrow Wilson had not been able to negotiate peace, only a ceasefire.

Sophie Higgs had anticipated a different kind of Christmas than this one in 1918 war-torn Europe. Supplies are running low in the hospital she directs, and Spanish flu is killing off patients quickly. But a dying woman in Ward Three, determined to finish a knitting project, may know something Sophie doesn’t in With Love from Miss Lily: A Christmas Story by author Jackie French.

I stepped into a series mid-river when I picked up this booklet, which is sandwiched between two historical fiction novels I haven’t read. The story gives you an intriguing idea of who Miss Lily is but doesn’t spell it out.

Yet, even without all the background information, the heart of this tale paints a complete enough picture to send a poignant, compelling message. Sure, it’s got a soft, inviting, Christmassy cover, and the story’s style is lovely, but the dark, harsh backdrop of wartime desperation is clear. This is an account of resistance, of espionage, and of the sharp ingenuity that comes to the fore when ordinary people find themselves in the most critical of circumstances.

A quick, impactful, hopeful Christmas story indeed. I’m sure it’s meant to whet one’s appetite to read more of the series, and for me, it’s done just that.

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11/01/18: since these books are from HarperCollins Australia (and two are upcoming releases!), availability in the US is limited—or at least delayed, I figure. You know, like international television shows and whatnot. 🙂 But I procured an ebook copy of Book One, and we’ll see what happens from there!

Here’s my review of Miss Lily’s Lovely Ladies.