The FitzOsbornes at War - Michelle Cooper

I have such mixed feelings about this finale to the unique and surprising Montmaray trilogy. I am sad to say goodbye to the characters, but I also feel the author did her duty in tying up loose ends. Not everyone gets a perfectly happy ending, but every story does feel right.

I think the thing that surprised me most about this novel is that it is really a remarkably well-done, immaculately researched novel of the British home front during World War II. As an American I have a, not surprisingly, very American perspective about WW II. Of course, I know about the blitz and I've read my share of British WW II novels (The Night Watch, etc.) and watched fantastic television series (Foyle's War...seriously SO good!), but for some reason this book really finally brought home that uniquely British perspective for me.

I think what really helps is that Sophie, being Montmaravian, is technically an outsider in Britain and so her perspective is that of both an insider AND an outsider experiencing wartime Britain. Sophie, while clearly ready to do her part for the war effort, isn't blindly loyal to Britain. Therefore, she doesn't paint all of Britain's wartime actions in the best light. It's really kind of brilliant. My hat's off to you Ms. Cooper!

At first I wasn't thrilled with how far we'd gotten away from Montmaray, but I think, ultimately, it was necessary for Sophie's character development and for the advancement of the plot. Also, some will say that Sophie is a bit modern/anachronistic, but I don't really see it that way. She is an educated and independently thinking young lady.

Now for the not so great. I thought the book dragged a bit in spots and in its effort to be very historical accurate there was a lot of name dropping (I had the same issue with the last novel). The inclusion of the Kennedys in particular was very irritating to me.

In the end, a good solid ending to a very good series!