Although I've read my fair share of historical novels in the past, I have to say that I actually haven't read very many based in the war years, which seems a little odd to think about now. It's such a massive part of recent British history, and, despite learning about it fairly intensely at school, I've read so few fictional interpretations of time abroad and at home during the two periods of World War.
Where the Dragonflies Hover is set in three time periods, but thankfully you're not jarred as you move from one to the other. In the modern day, our protagonist Lexi, a young woman, is a part owner in her own solicitor firm with a rocky marriage at home. Her husband Dylan is working all hours as a doctor to finance their lives, and the lack of time spent together is really starting to drive a wedge between the pair. Lexi falls in love with an old mansion up for sale, and sees this as the chance to make everything right again - they could move in together, create a family and fall in love all over again by restoring the old place. Dylan however has other plans. He's got the opportunity to move to London with a much better job and wants Lexi to come with him. Ultimately their dreams are clashing, and they can't see eye to eye. Is there anything that can change this?
When Lexi looks at the mansion she finds an old diary from a woman called Allie. Allie is writing during World War Two about her experiences as a nurse who fell in love with an officer in the First World War. This seems like the oldest tale in the book, but it's one that I've actually never read. Unfortunately for Allie her love is one that is forbidden to her as a nurse and eventually a matron, but in the heat of war lines are blurred and acts are forgiven. However, will society ever be able to accept the great love between this pair even if it is an nontraditional one?
I loved the interweaving of all three time periods in this novel, and the fact that the two love stories were told side by side without being basically the same story in different time periods. Allie and Lexi do face seriously different challenges, and I loved both of their stories.
Have you read it? What did you think?