The novel comes to tell us how the war destroys families and futures.
Hester lost everybody she loved, her brothers, her father, Walter, and then after the war the Spanish flu took Violet and her mother. Hester also lost the love of her life when William returned a broken man with no memory and with serious health problems. For seventeen years he didn’t remember the moment in which he confessed his love the day before returning to the front when he dared to give Hester the seed packets where he wrote his love letters, and Hester also confessed what she had tried to ignore, her love. Then when seventeen years later when he was in the sanatorium where he was being treated for tuberculosis, he found a seed packet in a book, and he remembered. At once, he called Hester, and they had a beautiful, sad conversation. The war had taken everything from them and they had no future. What Hester didn’t tell him was about Ivy being his daughter and not his niece. I wonder if she ever told him; I think he deserved the truth, and I think Ivy should have been told as well. Maybe Hester intended to do so at some point in the future, but I think she died too soon. Was that what the letter she found said? Was that why she got so upset?
As for Ann, she is still fighting her nightmares and sleepwalking. Connor and she finally sleep together after he found her sleepwalking in the forest. After that moment, Ann slept the whole night through. I guess Connor gave her something to fill her emptiness. I am curious to see what secrets her past hides. I am sure Phoebe must know why she is being haunted by these nightmares, and I’m pretty certain that whatever is troubling Ann has to do with her father. I believe that Sylvester is dead. I have my doubts about being a murder and Phoebe killing him. She is a tough woman, but I can’t see her turning against her husband. Maybe what Ann witnessed was Sylvester committing suicide, but then why did Phoebe conceal his death? That doesn’t make sense. Or maybe Ann saw him with another woman or maybe a man in a compromising position. I don’t think that’s it. Ann was just five to understand the complex dynamics of men and woman, and even if she understood, that wouldn’t haunt her so much that she can still have nightmares about it forty years later.