on June 7, 2012 :
I loved this series and how Shayne Parkinson' was able to make us feel as if we were part of these families. I greatly enjoyed the New Zealand history as well as she shared bits and pieces of that country's history through each book.
I just found this series and was glued to it. I only had a slight wait for the last book. Although smaller in content, I greatly enjoyed it. Since all of the books were in my head I didn't have the need for refreshing the characters as others noted.
I would have loved to know more. But isn't that what we live about this author's writing. She gives us so much information but still leaves us wanting more. I would love to continue reading about these characters. I am hoping that Shayne Parkinson continues this journey for us.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
on May 19, 2012 :
I have read the entire series and now Daisy's War. The book is exceptionally well-written, just as were the previous 4 books in the series. Even with the noted "problems" below and in other comments, this is a 5-star book, especially if you look at the series as a whole rather than the book as a standalone book.
The description does not do justice to the book. The book is a reflection on World War I and its impact on New Zealand, a far-flung outpost of the British Empire, as seen through the eyes of a child who almost understands the whats and whys of war but can’t quite grasp them. Daisy’s dreams take a back seat to the impact of World War I on her extended family and how the need for soldiers ultimately leads to conscription, beginning with single young men but rapidly moving to include married men with children, including Daisy’s father.
The story seems incomplete. We tangentially are given glimpses into the war’s effect on the adults. Because of how the prior books were written, I think Daisy’s War should have run with both major and minor story lines, the major being the tale we are given and the minor a more in-depth look at the effect on the adults. For example, Daisy’s Uncle Alf returns from the battlefields a changed man. We are briefly given a glimpse into why and we know that the children want to avoid him, but we are not given more insight into the change in family dynamics. Perhaps this broader look at intra- and interfamily dynamics is a tale that will be picked up in the next book.
However, I think there are 2 failings. First, there was no synopsis of the prior books and of the relationships among the characters. I read the fourth book in the series nearly 2 years ago and have read undreds of books since. I needed a refresher. In this case, the lack of the information poses another problem: The book doesn’t work well as a standalone book. You need to have read the previous books in the series to understand the importance of what is happening. Although that is good from a series sense, it is bad from the reader sense. A reader who picks up this book first, not having read the previous entries in the series, will not walk away singing the high praises the books deserve. Instead, they will be disappointed because much of the impact of book relies on knowing the relationships.
Regardless, as with the first four books in the series, Daisy’s War is exceptionally well-written. If you have read and enjoyed the first books in the series, then this is a must read for you. The book is reasonably priced and is clearly a 5-star read.
If you haven’t read Shayne Parkinson’s books, begin with Sentence of Marriage, the first in the series, which is free. If you like historical fiction and/or family sagas, you are likely to find this a captivating series.
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
on May 17, 2012 :
I agree with Doris, while I love this series I was left wanting more from this book. I have read the first 4 books several times in anticipation of this one coming out but was slightly dissapointed with she shortness of this particular book. Shayne Parkinson has a gift that not many authors have and that is to bring you into the story as if your living it yourself. I look forward to more of this series in hopes the people I have come to love are given more page space. I highly reccomend this whole series to everyone! Your awesome Shayne!
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
on May 16, 2012 :
Okay, so I read the whole Promises to keep series. I loved Mrs. Parkinson's ability to tell a story and put you in that place and time.
I gave this book 4 stars rather than 5 because, while i enjoyed it, it did not delve into the lives of my favorite characters as much as I would have liked. I did get to catch up on some of my old friends, however, it was not enough. Ms. Parkinson is a brilliant writer. I will probably read this book again and joyously read any other books that she might write in the future. She is just that good.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)