01 November 2013

Collected: Interwar Novels

My mother used to have a wooden chest filled to the brim with books. As a child, I didn't know what kind of chest it was, what type of wood was used to make it, or where it came from. I just new that the lid took all my strength to lift, the top tray kind of tricky for my little arms to move out of the way, and that the smell was a mixture of sweet wood and old books.

Throughout the years, I would retreat into this chest, eager to discover a little secret story that I could call my favorite. Some books were easy to shove past, some only served as a good flip-through to feel the wisp of a breeze and inhale the scent of pages fluttering before me, but others, like Flambards, pricked at my curiosity and latched on to me forever.

I think I was in high school when I discovered this book. The main character's name was Christina, and she was a brunette, and it's so rare to come across heroines who share your name and hair color, so naturally, I had to read it.

I remember my mother seeing me with it and remarking that she bought the book after seeing the PBS mini series in the 80s. She always liked the main character, and the name, Christina, and as my Aunt's name was already Christine, it was sort of set in stone that my name would be Christina too.

Much like that Sarah Blank print, I carried this book with me from apartment to apartment, house to house, and every winter, just like the winter in which I first discovered the book, I read it, celebrating my little anniversary with Flambards.

It wouldn't be until a few years later, that I, like Christina Parsons in the novel, would also fall in love with  an engineer who loves science and inventions almost as much as his girl.

And that's how my joy of reading interwar novels was born.

Flambards takes place in England before, during, and after WWI. It's a novel about tradition and change, perseverance and loyalty. It's a novel about love and family and horses. Written for the young adult, it's really applicable to all ages. If you love Downton Abbey, you'll love Flambards too.

So with that, I leave you with a little list of novels that continues to grow, and goodness, is probably much longer than what I've compiled for you here.

7 interwar books you might like:

The interwar period typically refers to the years between WWI and WWII, so 1919-1939, and for me, personally, an interwar novel has at least one part of it that takes place during this time period, or characters that were alive during this period (even if the book takes place a little bit before or after these years).

Do you have any interwar novels you can recommend? I can't get enough of them, especially if they take place in England.

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