I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't stay very interested. Maisie, in the end, was just too perfect to be likeable, and there were no real villians at all. Even the Major turned out to be just a man driven mad by the damands of the war, and his henchman similarly twisted and confused. Her love interest had been conveniently disposed of with a heroic death, all the characters were saved at the last minute, etc. Even Disney cartoon characters are more interesting. But there were several bright moments that rescued this book. I was moved by Maisie's experiences and observations as a field nurse during the war. Until he was revealed as a sad lunatic who only needed Maisie's understanding to be stopped in his tracks, I found the mystery of the Major and The Retreat intriguing. Those bright moments held me to the story, kept me slogging through the dull parts. At the very least, this story kept my mind otherwise occupied while getting my chores done over the weekend. That's worth something.