Jackie French has debuted the first novel in an exciting new fiction series—and we're already hooked. Miss Lily’s Lovely Ladies is the first instalment in a wartime series, with the beloved author this time using her magic storytelling to highlight the often underestimated and largely forgotten role women played in the First World War.
"So little of women's roles during World War one are included in official histories," says French. "How could such heroism be forgotten?"
With women's issues at the forefront of so much political discussion right now, French's decision to hero strong-yet-sensitive female characters, focusing on their role in such a crucial time in history, feels especially pertinent.
"As women across the world still fight for equality or even survival, the stories and achievements of those forgotten women matter deeply," says the author.
Miss Lily’s Lovely Ladies by Jackie French, RRP $29.99
The tale centres on the enigmatic Miss Lily, who handpicks daughters from some of Europe's most elite families (including the Australian Sophie, along with Alison, Emily and Hannelore) to be educated at her private English countryside estate. Miss Lily teaches the girls to channel their poise, charm and grace to win over men—a worthy pursuit at the time—but her true motivations aren't exactly what they seem.
When war takes hold of the young women's lives, they begin using their skills to organise themselves and the war effort, building hospitals and infrastructure—but quickly realise the powers of influence Ms Lily imparted on them could have greater uses in the war-gripped world around them.
The story is equal parts Downton Abbey and wartime action, with enough romance and intrigue to make it 100% not-put-down-able. Read an exclusive extract here, and look out for Miss Lily's Lovely Ladies on shelves now.
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