Life On The Homefront
A Wartime Secret by Helen Yendall is an epic novel set during 1940 that mesmerized me from the start.
The reader hears about life on the homefront as we follow a group of bank employees as they are relocated from London to the Cotswolds during the height of the Blitz. We see the camaraderie between the employees and the land girls as everyone does their bit for the war effort.
Many have secrets. For some if they came out, it could be catastrophic. We share the concerns of the characters and are able to empathise.
There are moments of immense bravery too – whether it’s learning to ride a tandem bicycle or something altogether more serious. There are pockets of courage.
A Fabulous Debut
The Keeper Of Stories by Sally Page is a delightful contemporary debut novel that enchanted me from the start.
We all have a story to tell. Some we want to share, others we want to keep hidden. As an excellent cleaner, Janice, goes about her job collecting stories along the way. People take her into their confidences and open up to her. Janice has a likable, trustworthy personality that invites people to share their stories – but Janice has a secret and doesn’t want to share it.
Sally Page has written a book that is not only charming and entertaining but full of pathos as we witness lives that are lonely; put upon; or drowning in grief. By sharing their stories, they learn to live again.
Family And Community
As Time Goes By by Anne Bennett is a delightful historical novel set in early 1930’s Birmingham which is my home town. It was wonderful to recognise locations mentioned including St Martins, St Chads and the Bullring.
The 1930’s were a period of poverty following the global crash of 1929. The sense of community was high as people helped where they could.
Tragedies still happened as there were old factories which made shells during World War I which needed clearing and repurposing. This really spoke to my heart as my Nanny made shells during World War I in a factory in Birmingham.
Take Your Breath Away by Linwood Barclay is an exciting contemporary thriller that had me guessing from the start.
It has an intricately constructed plotline that has the reader and the characters questioning what really did happen six years earlier? There is a search for the truth.
I tried to guess the perpetrator – I guessed twice – and was wrong on both accounts – again! I really am no good at solving crimes!