Community Care And Compassion
Victory Bells For The Harpers Girls by Rosie Clarke is a marvellous historical novel. It is the sixth book in the Harpers Emporium series but can be read as a stand-alone.
The novel covers the year 1918, a year that everyone hoped would bring the end to the world war. As the book closes on 1918 we see the hope of peace has materialised.
War touches everyone. Many suffered losses. Those who did return often left pieces of themselves on the battlefields of Europe. Many suffered physical wounds – disfigurations were common as it was only with the end of World War I that plastic surgery and reconstructions began. The men who returned whole in body had often left their minds behind. Shell shock or PTSD was not understood. The returning men needed love, care and compassion. Their families witnessed huge personality changes in previously mild-mannered men.
Harpers store is a family run store with family values. It is a community in microcosm that looks after its own. This care evolves as needs are identified and met. Women need childcare to be able to work. Returning men need a quiet space and compassion. Harpers management is a group that sees needs and values their employees.
World War I produced spies and resistance members. Quiet men often lead lives of extraordinary bravery.
As if the losses of World War I were not enough, Europe suffered an outbreak of the deadly Spanish flu. Loved ones could succumb quickly, leaving families devastated.
All the characters were well drawn, realistic and likable. They exuded love, care and compassion. Their warmth reached beyond the pages to envelop the reader.
Victory Bells For The Harpers Girls was an epic read of community and love. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I received a free copy via Net Galley from Boldwood and Rachel’s Random Resources. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.
Victory Bells for the Harpers Girls
Can the Harpers Girls look forward to some happy times as a new dawn rises over London?
Sally Harper is busy juggling running London’s Oxford Street Store Harpers and looking after her beautiful new-born daughter, whilst husband Ben is overseas on another dangerous mission, this time to rescue a friend in need.
Young Becky Stockbridge finds herself in a difficult situation which could bring shame to her and her family. Will Becky, with the help of her friends find her happy ever after and keep her secret?
Marion Jackson is blessed with a son as she eagerly awaits the return of her husband Reggie. But all is not right when Reggie returns. Is Marion strong enough to save her family from yet another crisis?
As the war clouds retreat and the victory bells ring, tears and joy mingle with those of sadness as the world counts the true toll of war and celebrates peace.
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Author Bio –
Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Shop Girls of Harpers and The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire.
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