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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Atonement, Birdsong, and Downton Abbey, the first of three novels about a privileged British family enduring the trials of World War I, from New York Times best-selling author Kate Williams.

In the idyllic early summer of 1914, life is good for the de Witt family. Rudolf and Verena are planning the wedding of their daughter Emmeline while their eldest son, Arthur, is studying in Paris, and Michael is just back from his first term at Cambridge. Celia, the youngest of the de Witt children, is on the brink of adulthood and secretly dreams of escaping her carefully mapped-out future and exploring the world. But the onslaught of war changes everything, and soon the de Witts find themselves sidelined and in danger of losing everything they hold dear.

As Celia struggles to make sense of the changing world around her, she lies about her age to join the war effort and finds herself embroiled in a complex plot that puts not only herself but those she loves in danger.

With gripping detail and brilliant empathy, Kate Williams tells the story of Celia and her family as they are shunned by a society that previously embraced them, torn apart by sorrow, and buffeted and changed by the storms of war.

©2015 Kate Williams (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Way too s-l-o-w... I gave up.

Would you try another book from Kate Williams and/or Fiona Hardingham?

Kate Williams: No. Fiona Hardingham: Maybe, depending on story.

Has The Storms of War turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, not at all. I enjoy historical novels.

What does Fiona Hardingham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She did try to do different voices & it's OK.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment. It's a long book & I kept waiting & waiting for something to happen. I gave it 9 hours but I gave up--main character Celia was STILL whiny & still had not done much.. I didn't even like her--or her bratty sister. Michael was only character worth the time, but I can't endure anymore.

Any additional comments?

I don't like giving a negative review, but this badly needed an editor who could've saved us all a lot of time. I was so tired of Celia's whining & being completely clueless that I have NO desire to spend 9 more hours on her. Maybe it's just me; I don't know. I wish I had that credit back!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

How war snakes into life and stays

What did you love best about The Storms of War?

The Storms of War promised to tell the story of how WWI changed the lives of an aristocratic family. I thought it was excellent how the story was told slowly. A few jumped into the war. Most were left behind, and slowly drown into the war by their feelings and what was pushed upon them. I liked the pace of the change. I liked how the narrative touched on so many aspects of the war. I thought Cecilia's stint as an ambulance driver was extremely vivid. I liked that the withdrawal from the war after the end was also slowly paced.

What did you like best about this story?

Cecilia's work in the ambulance corp.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Fiona Hardingham?

Fiona did good credit to the women's voices. Cecilia's was very effective in her tone and reflections of what she say, heard and felt. Emmeline's voice was also pleasantly distinctive for her character. The great flaw was Fiona's men's voices. Michael's voice was so unpleasant as to make him an unsympathetic character. Tom's was just slightly better, making him a man of little emotion. Rudolph's voice was well done. I don't know if I would listen to another of Fiona's books because of her poor ability to voice the men's character.

Who was the most memorable character of The Storms of War and why?

Of course. Cecilia

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Long and boring

I like historical fiction and in terms of attempting to understanding living during WW1 it was ok. But it was so long and repetitive at times. The performance was ok thankfully. I don't think it was worth using a credit for. Amy in Minnesota