Author: Alix Rickloff
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publish Date: September 19, 2017
Source: TLC Books and HarperCollins
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "On the eve of Pearl Harbor, impetuous and overindulged, Lucy Stanhope, the granddaughter of an earl, is living a life of pampered luxury in Singapore until one reckless act will change her life forever.
Exiled to England to stay with an aunt she barely remembers, Lucy never dreamed that she would be one of the last people to escape Singapore before war engulfs the entire island, and that her parents would disappear in the devastating aftermath. Now grief stricken and all alone, she must cope with the realities of a grim, battle-weary England.
Then she meets Bill, a young evacuee sent to the country to escape the Blitz, and in a moment of weakness, Lucy agrees to help him find his mother in London. The unlikely runaways take off on a seemingly simple journey across the country, but her world becomes even more complicated when she is reunited with an invalided soldier she knew in Singapore.
Now Lucy will be forced to finally confront the choices she has made if she ever hopes to have the future she yearns for."
My Two Cents:
In "The Way to London," privileged Lucy is forced to leave her cushy in warm Singapore home where she is basically free to do whatever she wants and spend money however she wants for cold, dreary London as war threatens to engulf the Pacific. Lucy will go on a journey that forces her to change and adapt in ways she didn't think possible.
This book had a slow start for me. Lucy does not start out as the most likable character; it was hard to find common ground with her for me. She is so focused on herself that she seems to treat the war as a nuisance rather than something to be concerned about. She's annoyed by having to go to England even though it is safer. She's annoyed about having to stay with her aunt so she goes to London and along the way meets Bill, a young boy looking for his mother. Bill was one of my favorite parts of the book and really shakes Lucy loose from her myopic tendencies. Meanwhile, Lucy learns that she may have lost her own mother, which gives her a bit of introspection as to whether she will follow her mother's footsteps or break free.
This book is very much about how the rich "waited out" World War II. I really liked a lot of the historical detail that was in this book. I loved the descriptions of Singapore in the 1940s. I also really enjoyed some of the smaller details that the author put in the book like restaurants not having to adhere to ration amounts in the early 1940s. I had no idea about that! All of these details really brought the book to life.
The slow start hung things up for me a bit but the book settles into a nice pace.