Book Club: In Farleigh Field


I decided to take advantage of Amazon's free library of books again and found In Farleigh Field to catch my eye. I read the summary - an novel about English gentry in World War II - and I was immediately sold! Ever since I read Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, I've had kind of a fascination with British spy novels, specifically set in WWII. The forming of MI5 and MI6, Bletchley Park and decoding the Enigma, the secrecy, everything is so interesting! I eagerly downloaded the book to my Kindle and read the book in two days. 


In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen

Goodreads Synopsis

World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy. The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham’s middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret: she has taken a job at Bletchley Park, the British code-breaking facility.

As Ben follows a trail of spies and traitors, which may include another member of Pamela’s family, he discovers that some within the realm have an appalling, history-altering agenda. Can he, with Pamela’s help, stop them before England falls?

Inspired by the events and people of World War II, writer Rhys Bowen crafts a sweeping and riveting saga of class, family, love, and betrayal.

My Review

I liked reading this book a lot more than I probably should. The writing is a bit juvenile, the storyline is predictable, and the characters are underdeveloped. But I still liked reading it! I don't know what that says about my standards but the story was fun. As predictable as it was, I liked imagining myself amongst Britain's wealthy elite and trying to solve the mystery that was the parachutist and the potential German spy amongst them. Who doesn't like a fun mystery mixed in with stories of those with titles and honors? The story of Ben and Pamela was also really cute, if not frustratingly predictable at times. It's your classic love triangle - Ben is in love with Pamela who is in love with Jeremy, a wealthy fighter pilot who is know in the debutante circles as a "Not Safe in Taxis," a term used by mothers of debutantes to describe young men who could not be trusted to bring their daughters home without "danger to the goods in transit." (I laughed really hard when I read that too). Jeremy is brash and obnoxious - pretty much the epitome of a frat boy, if they had American Fraternities in England in the 1940s. Of course you root against Jeremy and as predictable as the outcome was for the love triangle, I still enjoyed reading it. I can't help it!

While I won't spoil anything else about the book, I will say that the focus was not solely the love triangle, but also the mysterious parachutist who crash landed and died in Farleigh Field. Did he come to meet a spy nearby? If so, who would betray their country to the Nazis? I learned about the group of aristocrats who secretly supported the Germans (called "The Ring" in the book but was actually a group called "The Link") and this fact was one of many gems of research that was evident throughout the novel. MI5 and Bletchley Park was thoroughly researched and I liked reading about those details.

I recommend this book for perhaps a light beach read - it's fun, it's cute, and maybe you'll learn a thing or two about WWII along the way. 

11 comments

  1. I haven't read a historical fiction novel in a long time- this one might be a fun place to pick back up with that genre! :)

    xoxo A
    www.southernbelleintraining.com

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  2. happy you liked it more than you thought! I don't typically read books based in the past - for some reason I stopped being interested in history as I got older!

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  3. This sounds very interesting. I need to read more history type books. Thanks for posting about this.

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  4. never heard of this book before, but it sounds so interesting! thank you for sharing ^^

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  5. I'll have to check this book out soon. It sounds intriguing.

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  6. Sounds interesting! I'm always looking for new reads, I will have to check it out. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. I've never been one for historical fiction but this book does sound intriguing!

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  8. I'm trying to read more & struggle w/ getting into fictional books but the WWII background story here sounds v interesting. as always, thx for sharing girl! x, nicole // www.nicoleeigh.com

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  9. I've yet to dive into the historical fiction realm- this book sounds good!
    -Nicholle
    www.nichollesophia.com

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  10. Checking out this book for sure! It's added to the list!

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  11. I love reading!!! I'll have to check this out soon :)

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Thank you for your comments! I read every single one :]