Feature book: Poppy’s Dilemma
Poppy Abbott has a job she loves, a beautiful apartment in Sydney and a great social life. But a stupid decision after too many drinks has put strain, not only on her job, but also on her private life, leaving her full of regrets. Her beloved grandmother’s passing is also preying on her mind, the niggling guilt at the lack of time she spent with her now making her question her life choices. Deciding it’s time to go through some of her grandmother’s possessions, she comes across a diary. The poignant story of a young woman, the man she loves and the struggles of both in the midst of WWI, draws her in deeply. She desperately wants to find out what happened to them. To do that she needs to head back to her grandmother’s old home. When a work colleague refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer, Poppy decides to take holidays and head for Warrial. Very much a loner, Poppy soon finds it impossible to stay aloof in a small town. She is immediately drawn into the activities that keep Warrial going. Added to that is the complication of her very attractive next door neighbour and his troubled teenage daughter. Poppy has avoided family contact since her mother remarried, but that’s easier in a big city.
Jim Nash has struggled to keep the family business going while trying to raise his teenage daughter. Having Nan next door was a godsend. Now she’s gone and he’s left floundering, wondering what happened to the lovely young girl he had raised. When Poppy Abbott turns up, he’s immediately smitten and so is his daughter. Has his luck turned? Poppy’s a city girl, but she has her roots in his small town and maybe it’s time for her to stay. He’s pinning his hope and love on her doing so.
The diary, and the story within, elevated this book to a really touching emotional read. With Poppy’s story, Maggie’s diary entries and the actual story of Maggie and Alex, there is a really rich and well-crafted story of two couples. The tragedy of the First World War (or any war) is felt and portrayed so strongly that I have yet to let go the grieving. Without any sort of lecturing, but by the beautiful portrayal of her characters, Karly Lane has tapped into the horrors and tragic aftermath of war. It’s a beautiful story and I congratulate Karly for the research and the story she has written. We will never forget, especially when someone like Karly takes the time to give us an example of just how horrible it is, not only on the battlefield, but also for those left behind, as well as those who make it home.
A beautifully written story. I highly recommend it to all readers.
Reviewed by Rosalie
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.