Definitely a page turner and equally a romance and historical novel.
Daffodils captures the class sensitivities, naivety and parochialism of English villagers before the First World War and the gruesome experiences of that war and the partial emancipation of the working and servant classes that came through WW1. It does this through the utterly authentic voices of the characters. At times touching, erotic, heartwarming, gruesome gritty and heartrending, it is an intimate story that really does portray the changing attitudes and the turmoil that ordinary British people went through. This is not the first novel, film, tv series to explore these themes around the emancipation of the British working classes through WW1, but it\’s the most captivating I have read.
The opening chapters portray the orderly and oppressive world of pre-war British country life from the point of view of characters who wouldn\’t think to question this order. It\’s quite a charming and engaging read at this point, but be prepared for thoroughly convincing drama as war propels these characters into the modern era.
Alex Martin has another novel, The Twisted Vine, on Kindle. I think Daffodils is a stronger work on all fronts, but if you agree with me about Daffodils, you\’re likely to enjoy Twisted Vine as well.