You can’t fault the intent of the story, which is to bring attention to the plight of veterans and the psychological damage they incur during wartime.
Trenow also introduces readers to the story, beginnings and history of the Poppy Factory. Also to the origins of how exactly the poppy was picked as a symbol of remembrance. Nowadays Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a well-known and researched mental health issue.
In the aftermath of First World War it was an unknown concept and sufferers were deemed cowardly, unstable and often accused of ‘putting it on’ to get out of further combat. In the 21st century healthcare providers are very aware of the long-term effects caused by war and combat.
It is only natural for the human mind to find it difficult to cope with, understand and be at peace with the atrocities they have seen or been a part of during combat. Nightmares, flashbacks, anger issues and depression are hard enough to deal with without the lack of support which is due to but often not given to men and women who have served their countries.
I liked the way Trenow connected the experiences of Rose and Alfie. The undeniable link being the war and the personal aftermath for them both. How it brings both of them to the brink of destruction and makes their family members or loved ones give up on them.
I wasn’t overly impressed by the overall feel, flow and style of the story. I thought it could have been much better.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.