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Christmas with the East End Angels by Rose Hendry : uplifiting historical fiction

Synopsis
It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and the East End Angels are working hard to keep Londoners safe.
Frankie is trying hard to keep everything together. She can count on the support of the East End Angels, even in the face of family trouble.
Winnie’s beloved husband, Mac, is putting himself at risk every day in the bomb disposal unit and she’s finding it hard while he’s away.
Bella is growing in confidence and happiness. Her friendship with Winnie’s brother, James, is getting closer all the time.
Christmas on the Home Front is a hard time with loved ones far away – but the women of the Auxiliary Ambulance service are making do and mending.

My review
This is a lively and evocative story set in wartime London. Our three heroines are wonderfully strong women. Like so many others during this time of heartbreak but also empowerment, they’ve assumed important roles in the war effort. Not only are their jobs demanding and dangerous, but home life isn’t easy either. Frankie misses her grandfather who died recently and is struggling to cope with her obnoxious step-gran Ivy. Winnie’s husband is in the army and so she constantly worries about him, although she has her beloved dog Trixie to keep her company, and Bella has lost the writing assignments she so enjoyed. But they keep their spirits up as best they can and tackle every new task that comes their way.
A new person joins the team: Rose, who’s come from Austria. She moves into Frankie’s house as a lodger, which is a big boost to Frankie’s precarious financial situation. Since it’s Christmas their boss wants them to put a carol concert on. Bella helps to organise it and then they move on to organising another, grander event.
The women’s lives are busy and full of incidents, big and little. There’s never a dull moment for either the characters, or us the reader.
This is the third book about these three energetic ladies. However, it works well as a standalone, and there is enough detail so that we know everything we need to. I shall certainly read the earlier books now.
The atmosphere of wartime England is beautifully portrayed. There are many little details that make the descriptions so convincing. The author has brought the period to life, no doubt as a result of fascination on her part and considerable and thorough research.

A very enjoyable, festive read that is uplifting and moving.

Purchase Links
Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-East-Angels-Rosie-Hendry-ebook/dp/B07CLL56W9
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Christmas-East-Angels-Rosie-Hendry-ebook/dp/B07CLL56W9

 

About the author

Rosie Hendry lives by the sea in Norfolk with her husband, two children, chickens and a snake. She’s worked in a variety of jobs from fruit picking, waitressing, teaching and as a research scientist but has always loving reading and writing. Starting off writing short stories for women’s magazines, her stories have gradually become longer as her children have grown bigger.

Listening to her father’s tales of life during the Second World War sparked Rosie’s interest in this period and she’s especially intrigued by how women’s lives changed during the war years. She loves researching further, searching out gems of real-life events which inspire her writing.

When she’s not working, Rosie enjoys walking along the beach, reading and is grateful for the fact that her husband is a much better cook than her.

Website: www.rosiehendry.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/RosieHendrybooks/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/hendry_rosie

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The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May: original, touching and accomplished

‘The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay’ is a wonderful example of kick-lit – ‘chick-lit with a kick’, as the author likes to describe it. That kick comes from the strong heroine we have in this story. Rosa Larkin has had plenty of knocks in life and so she’s built up a tough shell around herself. She’s thus rather cynical about the mysterious inheritance she receives: the Corner Shop in a Devon seaside town. However, with the support of her friend Josh, and Hot the sausage dog, she heads down to see what the story is. She intends to sell it and get on with her life without this millstone round her neck.

However, that plan is soon scuppered but, out of work and with time on her hands, she decides to give running a shop a go. Of course, it’s not going to be easy and she faces obstacles and resistance, but unexpected friendships crop up along the way and Rosa’s soft centre starts to emerge from that hard shell. Rosa learns a lot about herself in this lively, uplifting story that’s original, touching and totally enjoyable.

The writing is wonderful and sweeps you along, much as events do Rosa. It may appear to be a quiet seaside town but there’s a lot going along under the surface. Cockleberry Bay comes alive for us in the detailed descriptions of the place and its residents as well in the exciting action we encounter.

This is an accomplished and heart-warming romcom from a talented author.

Follow Nicola as she goes on tour with this super novel.

 

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A Grand Old Time by Judy Leigh: part picaresque, part coming of (old) age and totally brilliant!

Recently widowed Evie, who’s 75, realises she should never have sold her home and moved into a care home in Dublin. She’s bored and going into a decline. So, she absconds. A four-tuitous (four is her lucky number!) win on the horses gives her the funds she needs to head first to Liverpool and some other cities, and then south for some sunshine. And so she leaves the UK for France, where she encounters some fascinating people and situations. It’s an emotional and developmental journey for her as well as physical one.

Meanwhile, her son Brendan, whose marriage to Maura is floundering, takes it on himself to track hi mother down. He doesn’t have much to go on other than dogged determination. He’d rather go alone, but Maura insists on joining him in the ailing Fiat Panda. Time after time they narrowly miss Evie but in the process learn a lot about themselves.  

Part picaresque, part coming of age, and with a touch of travelogue, this book is a total delight from start to finish. Every character is fascinating, although none can outshine our ordinary yet extraordinary heroine. There’s humour and tragedy, conflict and love. It’s simply unputdownable. A grand old novel.