Today it is my stop on the blog tour for LP Fergusson’s A Dangerous Act of Kindness.
What would you risk for a complete stranger?
When widow Millie Sanger finds injured enemy pilot Lukas Schiller on her farm, the distant war is suddenly at her doorstep. Compassionate Millie knows he’ll be killed if discovered, and makes the dangerous decision to offer him shelter from the storm.
On opposite sides of the inescapable conflict, the two strangers forge an unexpected and passionate bond. But as the snow thaws, the relentless fury of World War Two forces them apart, leaving on the haunting memories of what they shared, and an understanding that their secret must never see light.
As Millie’s dangerous act of kindness sets them on paths they never could have expected, those closest to them become their greatest threats, and the consequences of compassions prove deadly.
As you know, I am a huge fan of historical fiction, particularly that which is set during World War II so I was very excited to be invited to read this debut novel by LP Fergusson and offer my review as part of the blog tour.
What sets this apart from other World War II historical fiction that I have read is the characters and the setting. So much of what I read is about those living throughout the blitz in a war torn London. In contrast this is set in the country, where the inhabitants are affected by the war due to rationing, and the inflow of women and children who are swarming out of the cities. They are not however directly affected by the constant bombing, and therefore, at times, the war can feel to be far away. The sense of this is really captured within the novel. Of course the war is part of their every day lives, but not necessarily in the same way as those who found themselves night after night in air raid shelters, escaping the constant bombing.
The characters also set this novel apart. Millie is a woman widowed, left fighting to keep her farm afloat in the absence of her husband. She is struggling in a way that very few could understand due to the circumstances of her husbands death. When a German plane comes down near Millie’s farm, the war becomes more real for the local villagers as they revel in the successes of Britains war effort in destroying the enemy.
When Millie finds Lukas, the injured German pilot, on her land she finds herself drawn to him despite the danger it puts them both in. She protects him, as she finds herself becoming more and more emotionally involved as they both try to forget the circumstances they find themselves in. I really enjoyed reading about Lukas – it was fascinating to read about the British war effort through German eyes, to find out more about the propaganda that the German forces were fed and how certain they were that they were mere days away from victory. What he sees when he eventually leaves Millie and is captured is eye opening.
This is such a poignant tale of war, of love, of guilt and of betrayal at a time when all of these things were at the forefront of everyone’s minds. It really is a beautiful debut novel, and I hope to read more historical fiction from LP Fergusson.
Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖 📕
Thank you to Ellie Pilcher at Canelo for providing me with a copy of this novel and inviting me to be a part of this blog tour. All opinions expressed are my own.
Links to Book:
LP Fergusson grew up on the borders of Wales in a Tudor house on the banks of the River Wye. As a child she longed to go back in history. Now she does, through her writing. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University and won the Blackwell’s Prize for MA Creative Writing. Her stories have made a number of shortlists for competitions run by the Orwell Society, Oxfordshire Libraries and Flash500. Her psychological thriller reached the final three of a Quercus/Psychologies Thriller competition and her wartime novel A Dangerous Act of Kindness was Highly Commended in the Caledonia Novel Award 2018. She edits the historical blog With Love from Graz which was featured on BBC Radio Wales, Radio 2 and BBC4’s A Very British Romance with Lucy Worsley. She now lives in an Oxfordshire village beneath the chalk downs where her debut novel is set.