Sowing Seeds Of Hope
The Ration Book Baby by Ellie Curzon is a delightful historical novel to start a new series.
The action is set during the early years of World War II, near an air base in the South East. We follow a young nurse and her family, as well as the English and Polish airmen and their families.
The RAF functions as a family. Any losses are keenly felt by both the men and the local village.
We see that even in war prejudices and injustice still exist as not everyone greets the Poles with kindness. Grief and loss have distorted a viewpoint – but that is no excuse for poor behaviour and choices. Without the help of the Poles, Britain may well have lost the battle for the skies.
Prejudices against unmarried mothers force a baby to be abandoned. Kind hearts take the baby in as the search for her mother begins. We see the village pull together to help the ration book baby. “A kind gift in the face of so much tragedy… The world wasn’t a hopeless and dark place.” Kindness sows’ seeds of hope.
War leaves scars – physical and mental. We witness a character trying to heal from terrible burns. The mental scars are awful. Fortunately, there are those who surround him who remind him that inside, he is still the same man they know and love.
I adored The Ration Book Baby and cannot wait for the subsequent books in the series.
I received a free copy from the publishers via Net Galley. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.
The Ration Book Baby: An utterly heart-wrenching and uplifting World War 2 saga (A Village at War) by Ellie Curzon
England, 1940. Opening the box with trembling hands, she couldn’t believe it – a tiny baby lay inside. She gently lifted the newborn as it started to cry. Cradling the little one to her chest, she searched the darkness for any sign of whoever left it here. And as she rocked the child, something fluttered to the ground… a ration book.
Nurse Annie Russell anxiously listens to the terrifying sounds of planes and gunfire overhead, worried about what the morning will bring for the patients in her care. The boys from the local airfield fly up in the skies each night, risking their lives to protect the people of Bramble Heath village, but they can’t stop every bombshell. Until a knock at the door makes her jump.
Awaiting Annie on the doorstep is a hatbox. Peeking under the lid, she gasps – inside is a whimpering newborn, round cheeks glistening with tears. The poor little thing may be all alone, but someone must truly love the baby… Tucked into a hand-knitted blanket, there’s a precious ration book, vital for food supplies in these darkest of days.
Her heart breaking, Anniedoes everything she can to care for her tiny charge. But, without a ration book, she knows that the frightened young mother could also be in dire need of help too. Then social services bring devastating news. If Annie can’t find the helpless child’s family soon, the authorities will have to take the little one away.
As the Nazi threat grows, more and more of the brave pilots at the local airbase don’t come home. Is one of the fallen the child’s father? And with her only clue leading nowhere, can Annie find the answers she needs, and reunite the innocent baby with its parents before it is too late?
A totally unputdownable and emotional historical novel that will have you reading late into the night. Perfect for fans of Diney Costeloe, Martha Hall Kelly and Before We Were Yours.
Buy link: https://geni.us/B0C69ND1H1social
About the author:
Ellie Curzon is the pen name of Catherine Curzon and Helen Barrell. Catherine and Helen began writing together in the spring of 2017 and swiftly discovered a shared love of the past and a uniquely British sort of story. They drink gallons of tea, spend hours discussing the importance of good tailoring and are never at a loss for a bit of derring-do.
Catherine Curzon is an author and historian of old Hollywood and even older royalty. In addition to a series of eighteenth century biographies and a sell-out play, she has written extensively for a number of international publications, and has spoken at venues and events across the United Kingdom. Catherine lives in a haze of Dean Martin atop a steep Yorkshire hill, with a rakish gentleman and a very woolly dog.
Helen Barrell has written two books on Victorian crime, and has appeared on BBC1 and Radio 4. She loves researching family history and rummaging in libraries and archives. Originally from the south-east of England, Helen now lives somewhere in the Midlands with a large ginger cat, who resembles a Viking, and a well-stocked 1960’s cocktail bar.
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