The Lily and the Rose by Jackie French
HarperCollins, 2017. ISBN 9781460753590
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. The Great War is over but that doesn't necessarily equate to peace. Sophie Higgs is soon to come to this realisation as she re-establishes her life in Australia, taking over her late father's business empire as an independent confident young woman. Alongside her is the circle of women who have become her ongoing support network in a society that is no longer defined by the old norms.
It is not only politics and world affairs that are clouded for Sophie. She is still torn between her love for Nigel, Earl of Shillings, the strange attraction of Dolphie the German aristocrat, and in a new twist, a stranger, John, who is trying to expiate his own war by carving crosses into rocks until he feels at peace.
A call for help from her old friend Hannelore sees Sophie becoming even more daring as she goes to wartorn Germany on a rescue mission from which she returns even more confused in her emotions.
Those thoughts remain until a crisis with Nigel's health sees her racing to England via the unheard of method of flying with female pilots around the world to reach her beloved and at last the two are married with their whole future ahead of them. Or is it?
Jackie has left this tapestry with some small waving threads that will have every reader hanging out for the next instalment. Again a superlative storyteller takes us on a magical, romantic and adventurous journey and my recommendations remain glowing for the mid-teens upwards.