|The Forgotten Village by Lorna Cook|
I picked up this book as it is set in Dorset, England where I grew up and I was intrigued by the snippet on the back as it is set in the village of Tyneham where I was never able to visit, but my mother finally got to see it last year.
This novel has two stories interweaved throughout: that of Lady Veronica in 1943 and that of Melissa set in 2018. Tyneham is actually the 'forgotten village' mentioned in the title - although it is apparently titled The Forgotten Wife in Canada and the US which isn't as compelling a title in my opinion.
Tyneham - Real World History
|Photo © David Dixon (cc-by-sa/2.0)|
When the war ended, however, the requisitioned village was not returned to the original owners and is in fact still owned by the Ministry of Defence. It has now been made accessible on some weekends when the Ministry of Defence isn't using it for training purposes.
Surprisingly there are several villages in the UK that suffered similar fates (I had always believed Tyneham was the only one).
In the book Melissa is on holiday in Dorset when she sees that the forgotten village of Tyneham is having it's grand re-opening (this never actually happened). She visits and comes across a photograph of Lady Veronica and Sir Albert Standish (this family and the people are all fictional) which intrigues her. She also meets a television historian (yes there is a romantic angle to the book) and they both try and find out what happened to the Standish couple as they appear to have disappeared.
The Two Stories in the Novel The Forgotten Village
This book weaves through Lady Veronica's life in 1943 as they prepare to leave the village as well as Melissa's life as she tries to find out what happened to Lady Veronica (and falls in love at the same time).
If you enjoy a little romance, glimpses of Dorset and historical novels then you will enjoy this book. I found that although I put it down to go to bed I was lying awake wondering what had happened so much I ended up getting up again and finishing the book before going back to bed at some ungodly hour!
The only bit that I didn't really enjoy was when Melissa refers to her parent's relationship which I feel was an unnecessary aspect to the book, although I can see why the author thought it needed to be there. Personally I got aggravated by her contemplating her parent's relationship especially as they weren't actual characters in the book.
I would definitely recommend reading this and I can't wait to see what the new book is about.
The author says this about her book -
"The Forgotten Village doesn’t attempt to delve too deeply into the intricacies of the requisition of Tyneham. I’m not sure I wanted to give readers a history lesson. Instead I hope I’ve written a well-paced story of love both lost and found, great sacrifice and how all is not forgotten even though it often appears to be. "
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