Hello lovely readers hope you are doing well and are coping with the current world situation. Today’s book review is of Lucia’s War, it is historical fiction – my favorite genre and a story I enjoyed reading. Happy Reading and Discovering new stories.
London, 1949. Opera singer Lucia Percival is due to perform her last concert. But she has no intention of going onstage. A terrible secret from the First World War has finally caught up with her.
London, 1917. Lucia, a young Jamaican exile, hopes to make it as a musician. But her past haunts her, and when she meets Lilian, an old woman damaged by war, she agrees to a pact that could destroy everything she has striven for.
From the Western Front and Glasgow, to black society in London, Lucia’s story tells a tale of music, motherhood, loss and redemption.
Lucia’s War is set in the early 1900 from the time she leaves Jamaica, the life her parents chose for her and moves to Europe for a better life, to pursue her dreams of singing. With only nurse’s training to help her get a step into the white world of European society she starts work as a nurse. From battlefield nurse where her personal life takes flight with love and loss to being a celebrated, successful singer giving her last interview to a persistent young journalist, it is Lucia’s war. Lucia’s war is with everything around her to make her place in a society where she at the most is reluctantly allowed inside.
The story deals with subjects like Racism, how talented, educated people of color were treated in the European society despite being equally or more talented than their British counterparts. It also deals with a common occurrence of war where young women in love were left behind either due to death, betrayal or plain human cruelty. World War 1 left behind a lot of widows, orphans, abandoned children which is what troubles Lucia in this story. From the time she left behind a part of her flesh and blood she is haunted, sad and always grieving in private.
While personally Lucia’s life is blown to smithereens she soars high in society with her singing and continues till she is in her 50’s and finally takes a break before retiring. As Lucia sits down with a persistent young journalist to narrate how she come from being a Jamaican teenager who left home behind to being the celebrated European Singer she is now. Only the young journo has a personal interest and part in the story which we discover right at the very end of the story.
I loved Lucia’s story she is a strong woman as she takes everything in her stride and keeps moving ahead. She doesn’t forget to be herself amidst the chaos in and around her life. She smiles often, laughs, finds little moments of joys in friendship, falls in love, cries and is vulnerable like anyone of us.
She gives her best to lead a normal life in circumstances and time when the world is anything but normal. Being a health care worker during the First World War to making life in post war times she keeps up her spirits. Her humor and attitude towards tough times doesn’t fail to lift my spirit in today’s bleak times.
Lucia is a woman who knows herself, what she wants and delivers a punch with her choices. As the story is set in times of war and a pandemic partially similar to today’s times you will find some solace in simpler times and the strength from its characters to deal with life or just lose yourself in a story which will make you feel good and maybe even hopeful towards life.
Know more Susan Lanigan the author of Lucia’s War click here
Reviewed by Bee