Dusk by Eve Edwards, published by Penguin on 6th June 2013
When Helen, a young hard-working nurse, meets aristocratic artist Sebastian, she doesn't expect to even like him, let alone fall in love. But against the troubled backdrop of wartime London, an unlikely but intense romance blossoms. And even the bloody trenches of the Somme, where they are both posted, cannot diminish their feelings for each other.
But Helen is concealing a secret and when a terrible crime is committed there are devastating consequences for them both.
When lives are being lost, can true love survive?
I am a huge fan of Eve Edwards and have loved all of her previous books. I was excited to hear about this new series because it seems ages since her last book was published. I love historical fiction and so the idea of a story set during the First World War immediately captured my interest.
The time-frame of the story spans from 1914-1916 but it is not told in a linear way. Instead it jumps around a lot, focusing on current events, as well as those in the past. I sometimes found this style a bit disjointed to read because it moved backwards and forwards rapidly. I had to concentrate quite hard to make sure that this did not throw me. On occasion, when I was particularly enjoying a bit of the story I was also disappointed when it trailed off and picked up in a different year completely.
I loved the main characters: Helen and Sebastian, whom the story is built around. Helen is a nurse on the front line, while Sebastian is fighting in the war. Eve Edwards shows how the two first met and the progression of their romantic relationship, while also showing the adversity that they must face to be together. I particularly liked Helen who comes across as very shy and reserved, but actually shows incredible strength of will and bravery, as well as a fiery temper when she is defending something or someone she believes in. I can't imagine being left all alone without any family but this is exactly the predicament that she has to cope with.
Edwards deftly shows the brutality and horror of the war and there are some quite gritty and hard-to-read scenes in the book. For anyone interested in this particular period of history, then this title will definitely have a lot of appeal. I enjoyed it but at times I felt like there was something missing. I can't quite put my finger on what but it did mean that I wasn't as hooked as I was expecting to be.
This is the first in a trilogy, which will be followed by 'Dawn' which is due to be published next year.