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The Wartime Vet by Ellie Curzon

A Light Shining In The Darkness

The Wartime Vet by Ellie Curzon is a marvellous historical novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is the third book in A Village At War series but can be read as a stand-alone.

The action is set in a village in the south east. Here, we meet a young female veterinarian who has fled urban bombed out Coventry. The year is 1942 and now the young vet is treating farm animals and not just cats and dogs.

The ruins of Coventry and that awful night in November 1941 still haunt the young vet. She is not alone with her fears. There is also a man from the ministry who is a decorated naval veteran of both wars, and he is haunted by the events of war. Both are struggling through PTSD, although little is known of that at the time.

In the countryside we meet land girls and a most delightful young female evacuee called Sarah. She has survived the Blitz in London. Ellie Curzon has perfectly captured her enthusiasm, zest for life, and determination to help with the war effort, despite her young age.

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A Letter From Italy by Rose Alexander

Searching

A Letter From Italy by Rose Alexander is a marvellous dual timeline novel that totally consumed me.

The action is set during World War II in both Yorkshire and Italy, and also on the south coast in 1972. Each chapter alternates with the time periods as the reader connects the dots.

A shock surprise, following her mother’s death, totally rocks a young woman’s world. All she thought she knew about herself and her family is shaken to the core as the foundations of her life wobble. She seeks answers, as she searches for her identity. The search takes her first to London, and then to Italy.

During World War II we start off in Yorkshire as we follow a young telephonist until her papers, at aged twenty, see her sign up and posted to Italy.

Also, in Yorkshire we meet an Italian POW based at Eden camp. The locals realise that the young Italian men are no different from themselves, they just want to see the end of the war. Once Italy joins the Allies, the young man joins the partisans in Italy.

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The Girl With The Red Hair by Imogen Matthews

Extraordinary Bravery

The Girl With The Red Hair by Imogen Matthews is a powerful historical novel that is grounded in fact.

The action is set in the Netherlands during World War II. We see the lives of the Dutch move from freedom to persecution as the Nazis marched in and tightened their grip on the country.

We witness the fear as good people hide their Jewish friends and strangers. We can understand the frustration of those in hiding – but is it really worth the risk of going outdoors?

Ordinary people commit extraordinary acts of bravery. It is surprising to learn of the hidden talents of some – being able to forge documents, de-code messages etc.

We follow members of the resistance. They are asked to do things one would never usually dream of – such as handling a gun.

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Aunt Violet’s Locket by Kristin Harper

A Lasting Legacy

Aunt Violet’s Locket by Kristin Harper is a most delightful contemporary novel. It is the sixth book in the Dune Island series but can be read as a stand-alone.

An unexpected inheritance sees the lead character travel to a remote island in order to claim an isolated property. It is everything she doesn’t want, but a summer spent preparing to sell sees more changes than in just the building.

Links to the past are unearthed as a character seeks out the truth behind the stories of her late ninety nine year old great aunt whom she never met. It has all been smoke and mirrors as there was so much more to her than the alleged wilting wallflower.

Secrets, stories and lies from World War II have been buried but are unearthed unexpectedly. This causes a dilemma – what to do with the knowledge?

Within the novel society has put an emphasis on women marrying young and not ending up on the shelf! Women are to be homemakers. Much is made of a showy engagement and wedding, without much thought to the actual marriage.

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