Whenever I finish reading a book I note it down in a notebook, it makes it nice and easy to keep track of what I’ve read over the years and I can quickly tot up how many I read by male/female authors, how many fiction and non-fiction books. A small pencilled Sc in the margin means I can see almost at a glance how many books by Scottish authors I’ve read that year. I do the same with the non fiction – nf. It would take a lot longer if I only had that information on my computer and had to scroll down all of my book posts.
Anyway, I see from my notebook that I finished reading Long Summer Day by R.F. Delderfield (the first in this trilogy) way back at the beginning of January and I really enjoyed it so I have no idea why it took me so long to get around to reading book two – Post of Honour, I possibly enjoyed this one even more.
At the beginning of the book it’s 1912 and the idyllic country setting of the Shallowford Valley in Dorset is still a rural backwater. Horses are still the mode of transport for the lucky few who have them and Squire Craddock, as the tenants call Paul, is still in love with the area although he’s now married to a different wife as Grace his first love decided that being a Suffragette was more important than being a farmer’s wife and mother. Claire his second wife had ‘set her cap’ at him from the minute she met him and before he married Grace and has triumphed at last.
World War 1 is just about to change everything forever though as so many of the tenants and even Paul himself eventually become involved in the conflict, many of them ending up in the mud and gore of Ypres. As the war comes to an end it transpires that as Paul is still a sleeping partner in the scrap metal company that had been his father’s – he has made a lot of money out of the war. Appalled at the thought of profiting from the deaths of so many people Paul decides to use the money to develop his land and properties to make life better for his tenants.
This makes it sound a dry read but it’s anything but that as there are so many quirky characters and of course their love lives and family relationships are all intertwined. I went straight on from finishing this book to starting the next one – The Green Gauntlet.
Post of Honour ends with the beginning of World War 2 and if you’re interested in the social history of the time then this book will be a great read for you.