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Reviewed by Heather Stockard for Readers' Favorite
The year is 1910, and Celia Lutyens is fourteen years old. Her father, the successful architect Edwin Lutyens, has been commissioned to design a castle for the wealthy Sir Julius Drewe who wants to create a legacy for his sons. Celia finds the idea romantic and takes an interest in the project. It is at the stone-laying ceremony for the castle that Celia first meets Adrian Drewe, with whom she falls quickly in love. He is eighteen and takes little notice, but her feelings remain, even after she returns home, where she is forced by her mother’s growing obsession with Theosophy and Krishnamurti to become the lady of the house and care for her father and younger siblings. Nearly ten years pass before she sees Adrian again, this time as a soldier preparing to go to war against Imperial Germany. Adrian is entranced by the now-grown and beautiful Celia. But war and family expectations stand between them.
Of All Faiths and None by Andrew Tweeddale is a novel eighteen years in the making. It is based on the true story of the building of Castle Drogo and the lives of the Drewes and Lutyens before and during WWII. Celia is fictional as is Christian Drewe and several other characters, but all are well-written. Tweeddale effectively conveys the horror of that war and its effect, both physical and psychological, on the soldiers (and nurses) who fought in it and their families in England. History buffs and lovers of bittersweet romance will appreciate this novel.