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Download The Walnut Tree: A Holiday Tale Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Walnut Tree: A Holiday Tale, by Charles Todd Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (487 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Todd Narrator: Fiona Hardingham Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“I was in Paris the day the French Army was mobilized.”

In 1914, while visiting her friend Madeleine, Lady Elspeth Douglas’ life is thrown into chaos when war breaks out and the Germans quickly overrun Belgium, threatening France. Having just agreed to marry Alain, Madeleine’s dashing brother, Lady Elspeth watches him leave to join his unit, and then she sets out for England, only to find herself trapped on the French coast.

Caught amid a sea of stranded travelers, terrified refugees, and wounded men overflowing the port of Calais, the restless Elspeth—daughter of a Highland aristocrat whose distinguished family can trace its roots back to the court of Mary, Queen of Scots—decides to make herself useful, carrying water to weary soldiers near the Front. It is an act of charity that almost gets her killed when enemy shells begin to explode around her.

To her rescue comes Captain Peter Gilchrist, who pulls her away from the battle and leads her to safety. But before they can properly say good-bye, Elspeth and Peter are separated.

Back in London, surrounded by familiar comforts, Elspeth is haunted by the horrors she witnessed in France. She also cannot forget the gallant Peter Gilchrist, even though she has promised herself to Alain.

Transformed by her experience, Elspeth goes to London and enrolls in a nursing course, where she meets a fellow nurse in training, Bess Crawford. It is a daring move, made without the consent of Elspeth’s guardian, her cousin Kenneth, a high-handed man with rigid notions of class and femininity.

Yet Elspeth Douglas is a woman with a mind of her own, which—as she herself says—is a blessing and a curse. She is determined to return to the battlefields of France to do her part … and to find the man she has no right to love, no matter how far Cousin Kenneth may go to stop her. But before she can set things right with Alain he goes missing, and then Peter is gravely wounded. In a world full of terror and uncertainty, can the sweetness of love survive, or will Elspeth’s troubled heart become another casualty of this terrible war?

A poignant, compelling tale brimming with adventure, danger, and love, The Walnut Tree is an enchanting holiday gift and a wonderful companion to Charles Todd’s acclaimed Bess Crawford series.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Framed by the horrors of the battlefields of World War I, Scottish history, and details of the lives of the hardworking nurses and the deprivations of wartime England and France, this is the story of a strong-willed woman rejecting her privileged background to serve king and country.”


  • “Charles Todd’s ability to portray the period of WWI is a triumph, and Fiona Hardingham’s quiet, emotionally charged performance brings every detail of this moving love story to life.”


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Vickie | 2/17/2014

    " This story was a romance rather than a mystery although Bess Crawford does make a brief appearance. It was merely okay. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Barb | 2/14/2014

    " I enjoyed this book - I love historical fiction and this one was about WW I and the nurses' heroic work. The love interest was entertaining and the inclusion of Lady Elspeth getting involved in the war effort despite her wealthy background was gratifying. Being a nurse, I was again proud of my profession for the contributions they made under the worst conditions. This was a great, light read, "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Joanna | 1/24/2014

    " This was a very fast read. I was somewhat discouraged to see that it was marked "romance" at my library but I read it anyway. I won't give away any of the story but only the comment that our communications today have really changed the world and would have changed this and many other stories and books I have read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Debbie Maskus | 1/23/2014

    " I enjoy reading a mystery by the mother and son team of Charles Todd, but the Ian Rutledge series are my favorite. This is a short, Christmas novella, just the recipe for the winter season. This is a part of the Bess Crawford series that writes of the nursing women during WWI. This book features a fellow worker of Bess Crawford, a Lady Elspeth Douglas, a Scotland aristocrat. The story is endearing with Elspeth's dilemma of loving two men. "

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