Katy dreams of a different sort of life, away from the quiet, Wiltshire backwater she has grown up in. Her dreams make her reluctant to accept Jem\’s proposal of marriage, as marrying him would mean giving up her dreams of travel. Katy has her head and heart briefly turned by the charms of her employer\’s son. Her liaisons with him are enough to cause a minor scandal which threatens to tarnish Katy\’s reputation. So, when Jem proposes again, she accepts. Surprising herself, she finds happiness and contentment in married life until tragedy strikes to break her heart and the ensuing grief creates a strain which threatens to tear the couple apart. Unable to comfort or console his grieving wife, Jem decides to sign up for the war. When he goes missing in action, presumed dead, Katy joins the war effort, too. Originally, she goes in the hope of finding Jem alive but is soon caught up in the blood, guts and mayhem of war, working at a field hospital in France.
Combining romance, historical fiction and a feminist touch, Daffodils is impressively well-researched and vividly imagined, making a worthy and respectable contribution to WW1 historical fiction. It vividly portrays the brutality and futility of war while paying homage to the bravery and camaraderie of those who were involved in all aspects of the war effort. While many novels have been written about the war, this one, for me, brought a fresh and feminist perspective to the subject. In many ways, the terrible loss and grief aside, the war was a liberating experience for many women as they were given roles which would never have been open to them otherwise. I do not hesitate to recommend.