Small-town girl sets up a soup kitchen in Belgium and falls in love. Both a haunting romance and a mystery.
--at the photograph, and got that feel of drive and force. And in the evenings Harvey came, and she lost it. For, outside of a frame, he became a rather sturdy figure, of no romance, but of a comforting solidity. A kindly young man, with a rather wide face and hands disfigured as to fingers by much early baseball. He had heavy shoulders, the sort a girl might rely on to carry many burdens. A younger and tidier Uncle James, indeed--the same cheery manner, the same robust integrity, and the same small ambition.
To earn enough to keep those dependent on him, and to do it fairly; to tell the truth and wear clean linen and not run into debt; and to marry Sara Lee and love and cherish her all his life--this was Harvey. A plain and likable man, a lover and husband to be sure of. But--
He came that night to see Sara Lee. There was nothing unusual about that. He came every night. But he came that night full of determination. That was not unusual, either, but it had not carried him far. He had no idea tha
Rinehart at her romantic (and idealistic) best. Family conflict and heroism in WW I. Similar in type to Dangerous Days, but less complex and faster moving.
An absorbing romance set in the early days of World War I. Against great odds and opposition, 20-year-old Sara Lee Kennedy leaves her small town and stolid fiance to run a soup kitchen for soldiers on the Belgian front. Her experience -- and a gallant Belgian captain -- change her worldview.
I am a European-American male in my late 50s, and I don't generally read books that are labelled "romance", but I came across this one in the long list of books by Mary Roberts Rinehart, of which I had already read some good stories.
This is not the kind of story that I thought I would like, but the quality of the writing and the strength of the character development captured me. And now this is my favorite Mary Roberts Rinehart book, and that's saying something because I generally like all her stories!
Give this one a chance even if you don't generally read "romance" fiction. It is much more than just a romance.
At times, this novel approaches the scope and depth of a Great Work. For example, I found myself reflecting on Dickens' Tale of Two Cities at least once or twice. The themes of Rinehart's book are also of courage and sacrifice. But in the end, this is a simply a very good novel that provides a first hand description of the first world war, the American perspective and the devastation of Europe.
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