The Silver Locket by Margaret James

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The Silver Locket by Margaret James

Category: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Katie Pullen
Reviewed by Katie Pullen
Summary: Instead of marrying the man decided for her by her parents, Rose Courtenay runs away to become a nurse in First World War France where she meets Alex Denham, a dashing soldier, and the only man who has ever made her blush. An absorbing and fast-paced read, full of old-fashioned romance.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 336 Date: November 2010
Publisher: Choc Lit
ISBN: 978-1906931285

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It is the eve of the First World War and Rose Courtenay's parents are keen to marry her off to well-bred Michael Easton. But Rose is certain a life of domesticity in Dorset is not for her and so instead she takes the bold step of running away to London where she volunteers as a nurse for the war effort. Posted to France, Rose meets injured soldier Alex Denham who she has known since childhood, and is the only man who has ever made her blush. Romance soon blossoms between Rose and Alex, despite Rose fighting against her feelings as Alex is already married, and also disapproved of by her parents due to his dubious background.

The future for Rose and Alex is anything but certain as Alex's wife refuses to divorce him and Rose risks being disinherited by her parents for carrying on with Alex rather than marrying Michael. Plus with the grip of war constantly separating the two of them, will their love be strong enough to overcome these obstacles?

The Silver Locket is a reissue of Margaret James' 2005 novel The Morning Promise. Revised, and with a stylish new cover by Choc Lit publishers, this is now a well-packaged and very readable romantic read.

Our heroine is Rose, an intelligent, kind, spirited and highly likeable young woman, determined to make her own decisions as she battles against her parents' wishes and the conventions of society. I was impressed by her determination to experience a different life than the one mapped out for her when she becomes a nurse. She ends up witnessing the horrors of war in France and deals with the most appalling of conditions, but this is one girl who is not going to be beaten.

Rose meets her match in Alex, a young man equally as determined and keen to do his duty in the war, despite being injured on several occasions. He is full of courage and moral fortitude, but maintains a slight air of mystery about him with his shady background and status as a married man, which makes him all the more appealing, and I'm sure frankly irresistible to some readers, as our hero.

James' writing style is incredibly fast-paced and she drives the narrative forwards at such a rate her characters barely stay still in one place for long. Although this means the novel is packed with drama (there are many other storylines as well as that of Alex and Rose's romance), at times I really wished she had lingered a little more over certain events so that I could savour what was happening before being moved swiftly on. As a result there is also is little room for any lengthy description of how Rose and Alex feel about each other, which would have made their romance even richer.

However, James really scores with her believable depiction of the First World War and the horrors witnessed individually by Rose and Alex, which are sure to occasionally turn the stomachs of most readers. She also uses the backdrop of war as a way of creating and sustaining the tension between Rose and Alex. As they are constantly separated by the war, they have to grab what time they can together, which really adds to the drama of their romance and leaves you thirsty for more.

I'm not usually the sort of reviewer that would advocate any book as perfect for curling up with on a dark afternoon next to a roaring fire, but this one has to be my exception. It's great escapism that really takes you to another time, so put the kettle on, grab some chocolate and settle down for a treat.

I'd like to thank the publisher for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

Further Reading Suggestion: If you like the sound of this book, you may also enjoy Harvest Nights by Pamela Evans.

Buy The Silver Locket by Margaret James at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Silver Locket by Margaret James at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Silver Locket by Margaret James at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Silver Locket by Margaret James at Amazon.com.


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