Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004
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*****= An all-time favorite
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****Legacy of Love

by Joanna Trollope

writing as Caroline Harvey

Reviewed January 20, 2004.
Berkley Books, New York, 2001.  Separate parts originally published in 1980 and 1983.  482 pages.
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #3, Historical Fiction

Thanks to my sister Becky for giving me this book for my birthday.  (Can you tell I was trying to get read the books I’d been given before I saw my family?  I love owning books, but then when they don’t have a due date, I often don’t get around to reading them.)

This book tells the story of the romances of women in three generations of one family, but the historical settings have so much more to offer than just the romance.

Charlotte, the heroine of the first section, marries a soldier and goes off with him to Afghanistan in 1841 because she feels stifled by her life in England.  She brings along her sister Emily to keep her company, though Emily doesn’t throw herself as whole-heartedly into life in Afghanistan.

Once there, Charlotte doesn’t behave as a conventional British bride should, and this doesn’t please her husband.  To make matters more complicated and suspenseful, the natives aren’t too happy with British rule, and the sisters get caught up in the conflict.

The second section deals with Alexandra, Charlotte’s granddaughter.  Charlotte has always lived in the shadow of her famous grandmother.  She visits her great-aunt Emily, who helps her grow into her own person.

Alexandra’s daughter Cara comes of age on the eve of World War Two.  She longs to go into the service and help the war effort, but instead her duty lies on the farm at home.  She struggles with this duty and eventually gets to show her own heroism helping a friend.  In the course of her story, she grows from a self-centered teenager to a woman who cares about and helps others.

The three stories combine into a lovely, absorbing book.  The three different historical settings keep things interesting, and each story has some romance.  This book left me with a smile.

Review of the sequel:
A Second Legacy

Review of another book by Joanna Trollope:
Sense and Sensibility

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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