Lady Violet Kenefick is drowning in nostalgia for the grandeur of a way of life that no longer exists for her as a widow. Her son Samuel is an RAF pilot and has no interest in his title and Violet is appalled that he’s taken up with Kate Murphy whose family has long been in service to the Keneficks. The two families may occupy one estate but their lifestyles are drastically different. And when the money needed to maintain that way of life runs out, major changes are necessary. Lady Violet stubbornly clings to her outdated views on the social acceptability of mingling with the masses but a war is raging and society is rapidly changing.
“What Once Was True” is set primarily in Ireland and Jean Grainger brings the lushness of the Irish countryside to life. As always her characters are imbued with the same qualities you’d look for when choosing your friends and it was easy to fall in love with the whole Murphy clan. Grainger does a masterful job portraying fact-based fiction in a richly historic setting. I must say though that this book was somewhat of a slow starter for me and the plot was equally slow to emerge. Slow enough that I almost put it in the DNF pile. However, I’m very glad I didn’t give up on it as it is well worth staying with it. This is the first in a three book series of ‘The Robinswood Story’ set in the WWII era and I’ve already downloaded Book Two, “Return to Robinswood”. Four stars.
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