Leave A Lasting Legacy
The Saturday Morning Park Run by Jules Wake is the most wonderful contemporary novel about love and family and friendship. It celebrates what is most important – family and home.
The main characters are delightful and a real eclectic mix – a septuagenarian, a young woman and man, two children and a stray dog. They all have needs from loneliness to workaholics (“I’d lost some good friends over the years, sacrificed on the alter of my job.”) to feeling unloved and homeless. They are all in need of rescuing from their situations. As individual needs are identified, they are met with much love.
We witness unconditional love in action as each character has the capacity to love and be loved – even a stray dog.
They story revolves around the institution of a park run. It is hoped to bring a park to life and to provide for health needs and community interaction. As people come together, lives open and blossom.
The Mersey Mothers by Sheila Riley is a compelling historical novel set in 1953. It is part of the Reckoners Row series but can be read as a stand-alone.
The novel has a powerful opening that grabbed my attention immediately and kept me questioning and returning, in my mind, to the start throughout. It is set in 1947 before jumping to 1953 but I wanted to know the truth about what had really happened and who had done what?
Reckoners Row is a place of community. We see life happen on a microcosm with love and care juxtaposed against deep-seated rivalries. We witness the effects when a jealousy gets out of hand.
Family is important. Family is not always blood ties but those who love us.
Education is the key to lifting lives out of poverty. We see this as we follow a sixteen year old with her hairdressing apprenticeship.
There is a cold case murder to solve. Is a life innocent? Or guilty? Some folks know more than they are letting on.
Shadows In The Mind’s Eye by Janyre Tromp is a compulsive historical Christian novel set at the end of World War II.
Returning soldiers do not always come home whole, whether physically or mentally. Janyre Tromp expertly portrays a character suffering from what we would today call PTSD. His fears are very real and may strike at any time. We see a love for family and a fear that he may hurt them when the visions come.
Love is the antidote to fear but sometimes professional help is needed for a mind left behind on the battlefield. “Seems like war had gotten hold of Sam like a terrier and wasn’t letting go.” In order to get well, a character needs to realise there is a problem.
There is the theme of the sins of the fathers as we see a character consumed by bitterness and determined that the innocent will pay.
Secrets, Lies And Daily Life
A Ration Book Dream by Jean Fullerton is a marvellous historical novel and the first book in the East End Ration Book series which promises to be fascinating.
The book covers the beginning of the war from 1939 and into 1940. The reader meets the characters, many of whom are of good east end stock and community minded. We see hearts that want to do their bit for the war effort.
Fact and fiction blend together as we meet Oswald Moseley and his supporters. Ironically, they are living in freedom whilst terrorising the local Jewish population. In contrast good British-minded people who happen to have their roots in Italy are viewed and treated with suspicion. Friends and neighbours turn on those they view as enemy aliens once Italy enters the war.