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The Dark Side Of The Sun by Elizabeth Palmer - Book Review


The Dark Side Of The Sun
Elizabeth Palmer

Fiction-Net Rating 1 Star Rated Book

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Cover Story

Growing up under the spell of the captivating Harding family, Mary Fox knows she will never share their good looks, wealth or easy charm. For beautiful Godfrey, outrageous Nettie and the twins Jonathon and William, the world is theirs for the asking.

But when the idyll is shattered by the outbreak of war, it is Mary's brains that really counts - while Nettie finds a much more unusual way of helping the brave boys fight Hitler.

We Say

If you're hoping The Dark Side Of The Sun to be an entirely predictable wartime romantic story then don't worry - because that's exactly what it is.

It begins with the arrival of a new governess and her daughter in the wealthy Harding household. Author Elizabeth Palmer deploys every cliché under both sides of the sun in the telling of this story. The difference between the wealthy Harding daughter (flighty, promiscuous and spoilt) and the not-so-wealthy servant's daughter (modest, moral and bright) has been done a million times before. There are several mysteries hinted at within both families. At least, I think they were meant to be hints but it did feel rather more like having a big flashing sign held up in front of your nose every other page.

With a cast of characters that included names like Jonty, Nettie and Godfrey, it was difficult not to feel like I could hear comedy upper class English accents as I was reading. Of course, there were spies, bombs, soldiers and tea dances and it was all terribly spirited but tinged with predictable sadness (although this was kept safely on the fringes). The descriptions were excessively flowery and so laden with romantic pretensions that it was difficult to get to any sense of real meaning at all.

I'm perhaps being a little harsh and if it were made into a Sunday night drama (which it would be perfect for), I'm sure I'd be quite happily entertained for an hour or two but, for a book, I felt that The Dark Side of the Sun didn't go deep enough into the realities or inspire enough emotion.

Review by: Rachel Taylor

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