A Silent Love
The Return by Anita Frank is a marvellous historical novel that enthralled me from the start.
The story alternates between 1939 and 1945, through the voices of the two main characters. The action is mainly set in the Berkshire countryside.
Farming is a hard way of life. We witness the strength of characters who have to adapt and change as war approaches and as it subsequently ends.
Women of strength and character keep the home front going as they pull together to feed the nation.
As with many small communities, there is a lord of the manor. We witness the arrogance of some of the privileged as they leave destruction behind. They are in complete contrast to the characters who do not have worldly goods but have huge hearts.
Anita Frank has cleverly constructed her novel. As it opens, we hear a character running from something. We hear the hints and try to guess the reason before it is later revealed. I failed to correctly guess, again!
As the novel progresses, we see love in action. It is a love that stands quietly by, wanting the best for others, whilst remaining silent. It is a beautifully love, perfectly summed up by: “Life’s real treasures can’t be bought… Happiness, love, knowing you are loved… those are the things that truly matter.”
The Return was a powerful, all-consuming novel about community, family and love. I thoroughly enjoyed it and cannot wait for more by Anita Frank.
I received a free copy from Harper Collins via Net Galley. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.