Blog Tour: Poppy Flowers At The Front by Jon Wilkins

Welcome to my stop on the #damppebblesblogtours for Poppy Flowers At The Front by Jon Wilkins! I’m excited to be taking part in this blog tour as the author is from Leicestershire, where I live, and a fellow teacher! It’s great to be able to support a local author. Without further ado, here’s my review.


1917: with her father in the British secret service and her brother Alfie in the trenches, under-age Poppy Loveday volunteers against her parents’ wishes to drive ambulances in France. We follow her adventures, racing to save wounded men driven to the Casualty Clearing Station, and back to the Base Hospital.

“Jon Wilkins gets to the very heart of the mud and the blood of the battlefields and then with the same ease the gaiety of the ballroom in a thriller that will keep you entertained for hours.” Stuart Hill, author of The Icemark Trilogy.

During one battle she finds Élodie Proux, a French nurse, at a roadside clutching a dead soldier. Poppy rescues her. Élodie becomes her dearest girl as they fall in love.

Poppy and Élodie encounter frightening adversaries at the Western Front as well as away from it during the closing weeks of World War One.

About The Author

Jonathan loves to write. He is a retired teacher, lapsed Waterstones’ bookseller and former Basketball Coach. He taught PE and English for 20 years and coached women’s basketball for over 30 years.

He regularly teaches creative writing workshops in and around Leicester.

My Thoughts

The strength of Poppy Flowers At The Front lies in its description of the atrocities of the first world war. The narrative does not hold back in describing the horrors lived by the nurses and the soldiers on the Western Front. At no point at all was the war glorified, but it payed homage to the people who fought and helped in WWI.

I also really enjoyed the relationship between Poppy and Élodie. It was great having a historical novel with a f/f relationship as it was something different to what I had previously read. I found the characters to be likeable and realistic and they were really at the centre of the book.

The plot reminded me of classic novels in that it was a series of episodes of action which then came to a climax at the end. Poppy and Élodie always seemed to be in the right place at the right time for some action or to get involved in trying to find the guy who was impersonating soldiers. This style of plot isn’t particularly my cup of tea, it’s more about the characters than the action, but I know that it will really appeal to some. I do also have to admit that I had a bit of a bee in my French teacher bonnet with the mistakes in French – but hey, it’s an ARC and it won’t be picked up by most people!

Overall, this book packed a punch in its description of the horror of war with a host of likeable characters. A quick and entertaining read!

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