Posted in Book Reviews

Book Spotlight: The Somme Legacy: M. J. Lee

(Jayne Sinclair Genealogical Mystery #2)
SYNOPSIS: When a young teacher asks genealogical investigator, Jayne Sinclair, to look into the history of his family, the only clues are a medallion with purple, white and green ribbons, and an old photograph. Her quest leads her to a secret buried in the trenches of World War One for over 100 years.

Who was the real heir to the Lappiter millions?

The Somme Legacy is the second book in the Jayne Sinclair genealogical mystery series, but it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.

MY THOUGHTS: Once again, M.J. Lee has taken an obscure, albeit important, piece of history and woven it into an intriguing mystery. Although WWI is a popular topic, women of the era are often overlooked. As Jayne delves into the family genealogy, she realizes how much women endured in the fight for their civil rights. Suffragettes are mentioned in other historical fiction novels, but, I haven’t often seen them portrayed as the victims of an oppressive, often cruel, political machine.

Aside from the political aspect, Jayne also encounters the stigma of mental illness (people being put in insane asylums for lack of better psychiatric care) and class discrimination during the era. It serves as a remainder of how far we, first-world countries have advanced in the treatment of others and how far we’ve yet to go. At least, we’re not still putting people ‘away’ because they insist on voicing the truth.

Jayne must do a lot of legwork in this installment and it benefits the reader. We get a huge helping of history along with wondering how in the world Jayne is going to piece this together. While not a mystery in the sense of a whodunit, it is definitely a mind boggle as to the family’s real, fact-based history. It’s wonderfully well-written and I recommend it to fans of history, specifically those who enjoy learning of women’s role in society. Four stars!

*The synopsis belongs solely to the author/publisher.

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