Monday, May 16, 2016

DORA - Julia Schoonenberg

When Dora's settled family life disintegrates following her brother's death in the trenches of World War 1, she is forced to shoulder the responsibility of a demanding mother and an uncertain future. Resourceful and resilient, Dora makes a life for herself but when faced with misfortune and betrayal must decide what price she is willing to pay for the independence she has striven to achieve.

This novel is set in England during the period between World War I and World War II. When Dora's brother, Edwin, is killed in action, her family soon begins to deteriorate. Her mother is devastated at the loss of her favourite child and her crusty personality deteriorates into deep grief and depression. Soon the marriage falls apart and after some machinations by Dora's mother, her father remarries and departs for a new life Canada. When Dora's remaining brother leaves home, Dora is left alone to support her mother. She works in a fashion shop. As life continues, Dora encounters two men and must choose between them. 

This is a tale of love and loss, of choices and betrayals, of lies and truth. What I really enjoyed about this book is how relationships between the characters developed, either deteriorating  or resolving themselves. Although the plot is not fast paced, the story itself was intriguing enough to have captured my interest. There were several subplots swirling about with different characters that added interest and variety. 

The prose is highly legible, easy to understand and read. It flowed nicely, making for a great little escape into a well told tale. The characters were believable and very real. The ending was a bit predictable, but very satisfying. 

For those who love character driven novels, or for book clubs, this is an excellent choice. It makes one ponder on life's decisions and how easy it is to err. 

Thank you to the author and publisher. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for visiting my blog,, where the greatest historical fiction is reviewed! For fascinating women of history bios and women's fiction please visit

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