Fateful Decisions by Trevor D’Silva is a historical novel set against the backdrop of WWI in 1915. The novel explores the ills of the time and readers will be interested to notice the place of women in the early part of the 20th century and social issues resulting from the war. We meet Rachel Williams, a very interesting and charming woman, aboard the RMS Lusitania, bound for England. She meets Fredrick “Fred” Johnson and Rudolph “Rudy” Holzmann, two friends who both take a great interest in her. Rachel thinks about becoming a nurse and helping at the war front and has never given any thought to getting married. Then she receives two marriage propositions from Fred and Rudy. She thinks choosing to marry Fred could be the best thing, but she soon discovers that some choices can have devastating consequences and can affect the lives of many.
This is a story with great characters, a lot of drama, and emotionally charged moments. Rachel is a compelling character, but one who is destined for a fate she can’t control. The plot is compelling, intelligently imagined and written with surprising moments. Trevor D’Silva’s gift for character and plot comes out strongly in this narrative and I enjoyed the way the author weaves historical elements into the narrative; the social commentaries give more flesh to the story and situate readers within a well-defined historical context. The conflict is well-handled and readers will enjoy the psychological and emotional aspects of the conflict while following Rachel as she struggles to come to terms with the inevitable situations resulting from her choices. Fateful Decisions is a good treat for fans of historical novels, especially those set within the period following WWI in Europe and America.