The Poppy Factory is a harrowing, thought provoking books which reflects on the effects of war. The novel cleverly incorporates the experiences of a modern day war and past wars. Paramedic, Jess, who has just finished a tour in Afghanistan is struggling to adjust to life outside the army when she finds diaries by her Great Grandmother, Rose. The diaries tell the story of Rose, and her husband Alfie who has returned from The Great War, and like Jess, is struggling with normal life.
The novel shows the ways in which people can be affected by war, both physically and mentally. The story portrays the heartbreaking truth of those who struggle to adjust to life after serving in the armed forces. The juxtaposition between the two wars highlights both the similarities and the differences in modern and past experiences of war. Although attitudes towards mental illnesses from war such as PTSD have changed the difficulties and battles Jess and Alfie face show a lot of similarities.
If you only read one book about war, this year, make it this one. It will truly open your eyes to the harsh realities that some people face.