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A Ration Book Victory by Jean Fullerton

The Greatest Love

A Ration Book Victory by Jean Fullerton is a marvellous historical novel. It is the final book in the East End Ration Book series but can be read as a stand-alone.

The action takes place in 1945 as Britain is nearing the end of the war. This is interspersed with a backwards glance to Ireland in the late nineteenth century as the reader hears about the youth of the Brogan family matriarch. We witness life and light in a young life. It is good to hear of Queenie’s background as it helps us to understand her character, exactly what has shaped her life. She was not born an old matriarch, once she was young with hopes and dreams and loves. Outwardly she looks old, but inwardly her youthful heart and spirit remain.

The whole book is about love. The love for our family members – not necessarily blood related but those whom we love and who love us.

We witness the fierce love that protects and sacrifices in contrast to the ‘love’ that uses a person. We may not always agree with the choices made by the young, but love stands beside them.

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Victory Bells For The Harpers Girls by Rosie Clarke

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.

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The Mersey Mothers by Sheila Riley

Community Minded

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.

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New Recruits At Goodwill House by Fenella J Miller

Stepping Up

New Recruits At Goodwill House by Fenella J Miller is a marvellous historical novel and the second book in the Goodwill House series. It can be read as a stand-alone. I, however, loved meeting up with familiar faces.

The action is set during 1940 and covers familiar events such as the evacuation of Dunkirk. The reader witnesses the willingness of all to drop whatever they are doing and welcome the returning men with food, drink, blankets and a warm smile.

World War II gives women the opportunity to show just what they are capable of. Traditional roles are abandoned as women step up into the previously occupied men’s shoes. The women are resilient, proving they are more than just trinkets.

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