Hi all, this last week’s choice was an easy one for me as it was the first one I thought of when I came up with my theme. Although it starts off in modern day, our young protagonist ends up in the middle of a battlefield in World War One in Belgium. Yup, if you guessed this was a time-slip novel then you are right. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!!
Title: Valentine Joe
Author: Rebecca Stevens
Publication details: Chicken House; UK, 2014
What this book is about: Rose goes to Ypres in Belgium to visit the graves of those who died in the Great War. There, the name of one boy stays in her mind: fifteen-year-old Valentine Joe. That night, Rose hears marching and when she looks out of the window, she sees a young soldier…
My review: What follows is an intriguing tale of time travel to the battlefront of World War One in Ypres. An exceptionally written story of loss, love and moving on from the past into the future. Rebecca Steven’s description of the war zone at that time brings a powerful picture to the mind. Sad and poignant, but a lovely story. Reading war stories, especially when they’re time-slip ones, takes the reader to a point in history that affected the lives of so many thousands of people and showcases their humanity. I felt that Rebecca did an exceptional job of this by combining the contemporary story of Rose’s grief and Joe’s tale of war.
For me one of the most humbling and touching moments was finding out that Rebecca Stevens was inspired to write this story based on real characters from history and that she published it on the centenary of the start of the Great War! A truly remarkable read!! I hope it evokes similar emotions in you as well.
My rating: 5 ⭐
Additional notes: Valentine Joe is the first in the Rose series by Rebecca Stevens. She has published a sequel titled, Rose in the Blitz in 2016 featuring the same main character, about a different war.