In the spring of 1917, all of Britain’s attention is on the WWI war front and the thousands of young men serving their country on the front lines. Jack Benningham, dashing heir to the Earl of Stonebrooke, is young and able-bodied but refuses to enlist despite the contempt of his peers.
A wealthy young suffragette, Grace Mabry will do anything to assist her country’s cause. Men like Jack infuriate her when she thinks of her own brother fighting in the trenches of France, so she has no reservations about handing him a white feather of cowardice at a posh masquerade ball.
But Grace could not anticipate the danger and betrayal set into motion by her actions, and soon she and Jack are forced to learn the true meaning of courage when the war raging overseas suddenly strikes much closer to home and their fervent beliefs become a matter of life and death.
In 1917, any man not in military uniform could be accused of being a coward. Young women who were part of the suffragette movement would boldly hand a white feather to these men in an effort to shame them into enlisting. Sometimes their method worked. Sometimes there could be a very good reason why a man might be out of uniform, even if that reason wasn’t evident. In Not by Sight, Grace comes to believe her action pressured Jack into enlisting, but the reader will have discovered early on that Jack was already doing his part in the fight against Germany.
Most of Not by Sight takes place in rural southeastern England. Grace and her maid Agnes volunteer for farm work, taking the place of men who had gone to war. There are ample descriptions of the countryside as well as the coast. We learn the various backgrounds of the women who worked with Grace and Agnes, all doing their bit for the war. There’s the buildup of suspense as Jack and his associates work to unmask a German spy. Oh yes, and there’s romance too. The characters are mostly sympathetic, although I didn’t care for Grace’s preaching about how suffrage would change women’s lives. Whatever problems or impossible dreams the women had, Grace seemed to think suffrage would be the answer. Overall, however, this is an enjoyable read about a lesser known aspect of World War 1.
Thank you to Bethany House for my complimentary Advanced Review Copy of Not by Sight, which I downloaded from NetGalley. A review was not required.
Have you read Not by Sight? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing Group)
Publication Date: 04 August 2015
Page Count: 384