The Poppy Field

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‘A beautiful, heartbreaking novel of war and loss and the resilience of the human spirit’ Rosemary, Netgalley Reader

Young nurse, Gemma, is struggling with the traumas she has witnessed through her job. Needing to escape from it all, Gemma agrees to help renovate a rundown farmhouse in Doullens, France, a town near the Somme. There, in a boarded-up cupboard, wrapped in old newspapers, is a tin that reveals the secret letters and heartache of Alice Le Breton, a young volunteer nurse who worked in a casualty clearing station near the front line.

Set in the present day and during the horrifying years of the war, both woman discover deep down the strength and courage to carry on in even the most difficult of times. Through Alice’s words and her unfailing love for her sweetheart at the front, Gemma learns to truly live again.

This epic historical novel will take your breath away.

Readers are falling in love with The Poppy Field:

‘Both heartbreaking and full of hope and happiness’ Pam, Goodreads

‘Exceptional’ Cassie’s Books

‘A beautifully written, highly enjoyable read’ Nicki’s Book Blog

‘One to watch’ Good Housekeeping

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About the author

Deborah Carr lives on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands with her husband, two children and three rescue dogs. She became interested in books set in WW1 when researching her grandfather's time as a cavalryman in the 17th 21st Lancers.

She is part of ‘The Blonde Plotters’ writing group and was Deputy Editor on the online review site, Novelicious.com. Her debut historical romance, Broken Faces, is set in WW1 and was runner-up in the 2012 Good Housekeeping Novel Writing Competition and given a 'special commendation' in the Harry Bowling Prize that year. The Poppy Field is her second historical novel.

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4.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
HarperCollins UK
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Published on
Oct 12, 2018
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9780008301002
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Romance / Historical / 20th Century
Fiction / Romance / Historical / General
Fiction / Romance / Military
Fiction / Small Town & Rural
Fiction / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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It’s World War One and Snow doesn’t know why he’s there. Then he meets Cozette in a tiny French village and begins to understand. Ninety years late his son George travels to the same village and makes an astonishing discovery. Northern France, April 1917, the Germans are retreating and the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) is in hot pursuit. Snow’s battalion, the ‘Old Bat’, captures the village of Hermies and a Victoria Cross is won. But the Germans are not retreating, merely consolidating. Exhausted, the battalion is flung back into a bloody, drawn out and ultimately futile battle at Bullecourt. Depleted and demoralized the unit is rebuilt over summer and then rushed north to join an Allied assault in Belgium. Rain turns the battlefield into a quagmire and the Old Bat is sent for a long rest in Grand Sec Bois, a tiny French village in the heartland of the Flemish nationalist region. Billeted on a farm, Snow meets Cozette Vandenberghe, the daughter of a pro-German nationalist father and a patriotic French mother. A romance develops and the young couple spends a happy summer together. In autumn the Old Bat leaves again for Belgium and terrible battles at Menin Road, Polygon Wood and Broodseinde Ridge. Only Snow’s love for Cozette and his hopes of seeing her again on leave sustain his will to live through these, the darkest days of war. After his best friend is killed and leave is refused, his morale plunges and his mental condition, deteriorates. Seriously wounded at Passchendaele, he is hospitalized in England and loses contact with Cozette. The following spring Snow rejoins the Old Bat in northern France. It's a ‘company of ghosts’ now, with most of his comrades, dead, mad or wounded. Rushing to meet head off a last-ditch German assault before the Americans arrive, the Old Bat passes French refugees and Snow and Cozette meet briefly. The Germans are halted, citizens begin returning to their homes and the lovers are reunited for one last time. The story cuts to Sydney in 1999. Snow’s son, George, finds a manuscript, written by his long deceased father relating his war experience and a letter, addressed to him: "My darling son, George The first thing I’m going to tell you is that I’m not going to tell you everything. There are things a father need not, should not, divulge to a son as you will know if you are fortunate enough to have a family of your own when you read this; things that have happened in our lives as men, too horrible or intimate for anyone else to know. There are things I did in the Great War and things which happened to me, of which I cannot speak to your mother or anyone else other than a few weeping Diggers on Anzac Day. My darling boy, after your mother and I have gone, I pray you read my story, which I begin on this day of your birth, and understand the miracle it is that we both exist, how much I love you and hope you will always remember me ... lest we forget." A decade later George travels to Grand Sec Bois to find out more about Cozette Vandenberghe, his war hero, to whom he believes he owes his own life by inspiring his father to go on living. He is astonished by what he finds. A touching resolution brings the book to a satisfying conclusion.
Comments like “I’m worried sick” convey the conventional wisdom that being “stressed out” will harm our health. Thousands of academic studies reveal that stressful life events (like a job loss), ongoing strains (like burdensome caregiving duties), and even daily hassles (like traffic jams on the commute to work) affect every aspect of our physical and emotional well-being. Cutting through a sea of scientific research and theories, Worried Sick answers many questions about how stress gets under our skin, makes us sick, and how and why people cope with stress differently. Included are several standard stress and coping checklists, allowing readers to gauge their own stress levels.

We have all experienced stressful times—maybe a major work deadline or relocating cross-country for a new job—when we came out unscathed, feeling not only emotionally and physically healthy, but better than we did prior to the crisis. Why do some people withstand adversity without a scratch, while others fall ill or become emotionally despondent when faced with even a seemingly minor hassle? Without oversimplifying the discussion, Deborah Carr succinctly provides readers with key themes and contemporary research on the concept of stress. Understanding individuals’ own sources of strength and vulnerability is an important step toward developing personal strategies to minimize stress and its unhealthy consequences. Yet Carr also challenges the notion that merely reducing stress in our lives will help us to stay healthy. Many of the stressors that we face in everyday life are not our problems alone; rather, they are symptoms of much larger, sweeping problems in contemporary U.S. society.

To readers interested in the broad range of chronic, acute, and daily life stressors facing Americans in the twenty-first century, as well as those with interest in the many ways that our physical and emotional health is shaped by our experiences, this brief book will be an immediate and quick look at these significant issues.

View a three minute video of Deborah Carr speaking about Worried Sick.
Thanks to advances in technology, medicine, Social Security, and Medicare, old age for many Americans is characterized by comfortable retirement, good health, and fulfilling relationships. But there are also millions of people over 65 who struggle with poverty, chronic illness, unsafe housing, social isolation, and mistreatment by their caretakers. What accounts for these disparities among older adults? Sociologist Deborah Carr’s Golden Years? draws insights from multiple disciplines to illuminate the complex ways that socioeconomic status, race, and gender shape the nearly every aspect of older adults’ lives. By focusing on an often-invisible group of vulnerable elders, Golden Years? reveals that disadvantages accumulate across the life course and can diminish the well-being of many.

Carr connects research in sociology, psychology, epidemiology, gerontology, and other fields to explore the well-being of older adults. On many indicators of physical health, such as propensity for heart disease or cancer, black seniors fare worse than whites due to lifetimes of exposure to stressors such as economic hardships and racial discrimination and diminished access to health care. In terms of mental health, Carr finds that older women are at higher risk of depression and anxiety than men, yet older men are especially vulnerable to suicide, a result of complex factors including the rigid masculinity expectations placed on this generation of men. Carr finds that older adults’ physical and mental health are also closely associated with their social networks and the neighborhoods in which they live. Even though strong relationships with spouses, families, and friends can moderate some of the health declines associated with aging, women—and especially women of color—are more likely than men to live alone and often cannot afford home health care services, a combination that can be isolating and even fatal. Finally, social inequalities affect the process of dying itself, with white and affluent seniors in a better position to convey their end-of-life preferences and use hospice or palliative care than their disadvantaged peers.

Carr cautions that rising economic inequality, the lingering impact of the Great Recession, and escalating rates of obesity and opioid addiction, among other factors, may contribute to even greater disparities between the haves and the have-nots in future cohorts of older adults. She concludes that policies, such as income supplements for the poorest older adults, expanded paid family leave, and universal health care could ameliorate or even reverse some disparities.

A comprehensive analysis of the causes and consequences of later-life inequalities, Golden Years? demonstrates the importance of increased awareness, strong public initiatives, and creative community-based programs in ensuring that all Americans have an opportunity to age well.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this powerful novel, Danielle Steel tells the story of two World War II concentration camp survivors, the life they build together, and the son who faces struggles of his own as a first-generation American determined to be his own person and achieve success.

When U.S. troops occupy Germany, friends Jakob and Emmanuelle are saved from the terrible fate of so many in the camps. With the help of sponsors, they make their way to New York. In order not to be separated, they allow their friendship to blossom into love and marriage, and start a new life on the Lower East Side, working at grueling, poorly paid jobs.

Decades later, through talent, faith, fortune, and relentless hard work, Jakob has achieved success in the diamond business, invested in real estate in New York, and shown his son, Max, that America is truly the land of opportunity. Max is a rising star, a graduate of Harvard with friends among the wealthiest, most ambitious families in the world. And while his parents were thrown together by chance, Max chooses a perfect bride to start the perfect American family.

An opulent society wedding. A honeymoon in Tahiti. A palatial home in Greenwich. Max’s lavish lifestyle is unimaginable to his cautious old-world father and mother. Max wants to follow his father’s example and make his own fortune. But after the birth of children, and with a failing marriage, he can no longer deny that his wife is not the woman he thought she was. Angry and afraid, Max must do what he has never done before: struggle, persevere, and learn what it means to truly walk in his father’s footsteps, while pursuing his own ideals and setting an example for his children.

Moving from the ashes of postwar Europe to the Lower East Side of New York to wealth, success, and unlimited luxury, In His Father’s Footsteps is a stirring tale of three generations of strong, courageous, and loving people who pay their dues to achieve their goals.
A remarkable story of everlasting love, about two couples whose lives intersect in profound and surprising ways,
in the tradition of Nicholas Sparks's beloved #1 New York Times bestselling first novel, The Notebook.Ira Levinson is in trouble. Ninety-one years old and stranded and injured after a car crash, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together - how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can't possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior's life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death - loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he's keeping doesn't destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.
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