THE WAY TO LONDON – Alix Rickloff
A Novel of World War II
Singapore and England, 1941
Lucy Stanhope's grandfather was an earl, making her mother a Lady, something Lady Amelia doesn't let anyone forget. Lucy's father held no title; he's an American. Not that it matters, as her parents split, and her mother is on her third husband. This one, a trader in Singapore, is the second of Lucy's wealthy step-fathers. Lucy joined her mother in Singapore after graduating from a Swiss finishing school . . . one of a number of boarding schools sent to by her self-centered mother over the years. Try as she might, Lucy can still never please Lady Amelia—she's not even allowed to call her Mother. This time Lady Amelia sends her daughter to Lady Boxley, an aunt in Cornwall. Lucy's ship is torpedoed by the Germans, but she is one of the lucky ones whose lifeboat is rescued. And that is only the beginning of a difficulty filled journey to find her dream.
Not happy at her aunt's, Lucy wants to get to London to meet a Singapore contact who will give her a starring role in a Hollywood movie. As she starts out, she meets 12 year-old Bill Smedley, one of the many children evacuated from London to safer locations. His was not a happy placement, and he misses his Mam. The two join forces to make the long and dangerous trip to the capital.
Is there a special man among the many taken by Lucy's beauty? Maybe . . . though it's certainly not a tale of love at first sight.
I had mixed feelings about Lucy from the beginning, yet much intrigued by the plot, re-creation of the era, and the many life-like characters in this novel. I came around as she changed, and, by the end, I greatly enjoyed THE WAY TO LONDON. Who wouldn't?