#BookReview THE RAILWAY GIRLS IN LOVE by MAISIE THOMAS



The brand new Railway Girls novel set in Manchester during WWII. Perfect for fans of Nancy Revell, Daisy Styles and Margaret Dickinson.
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Readers LOVE the Railway Girls:

Gripping and intriguing’
‘Great story lines’
Exceptional story . . . a must-read
Poignant
Emotional . . . strong women’

ABOUT THE BOOK 

Love is in the air, and together the railway girls can overcome even the hardest of times.

Mabel has finally put the past behind her, and her relationship with the dashing Harry is stronger than ever. That is, until an old flame shows up, leaving Mabel questioning her future.

Meanwhile Joan has made amends with Bob – if only she could do the same with Gran. And there’s still that family mystery she wants answer to, isn’t there?

As a mother and grandmother, Dot Green has always put her family first. Her job as a parcels porter has brought new purpose to her life, so is it finally time to start following her heart . . .

Life as a railway girl is busy but as war rages on and air raids disrupt daily life, the women realise they need each other more than ever, especially when there might be wedding bells on the horizon. 

PUBLISHED BY ARROW


PURCHASE LINK


Amazon


MY REVIEW

It feels wonderful to be back in the company of The Railway Girls once more, and in this 3rd book in the series, we get to witness more of the day to day goings on in the life of these women as they cope with life during the war, alongside their own personal dramas – and there’s always lots going on in their work and family lives to explore!

Life in Manchester in 1941 is ticking along – the women are settling in their new roles, and are just happy to be doing what they can to help at this time. They feel useless when they’re not doing anything, so their new jobs give them a purpose. It still doesn’t get any easier though living life with the fear of air raids on a daily basis, but it has to! And Mabel, Joan and Dot are finding life is not getting any simpler!

You really get a great sense of the time with the way the story is written, and get to experience life in the 40’s through these women and the issues facing them at the time. Shocking secrets from the past are also revealed and goes to show that what you believe to be true is not always as it seems, and that support of family and friends really comes to the front throughout as events play out.

This series never seems to disappoint with the drama and history, and showing that life for these women is anything but simple, and I love losing myself in their stories in each book. Can’t wait for more!!


★★★★★

My thanks to the author for the advanced reader copy, in return for a fair and honest review.

#BookReview THE SECRET MESSENGER by MANDY ROBOTHAM

ABOUT THE BOOK

Set between German-occupied 1940s Venice and modern-day London, this is a fascinating tale of the bravery of everyday women in the darkest corners of WWII, for readers of Kate Quinn’s The Alice Network and Pam Jenoff’s The Lost Girls of Paris.

Venice, 1943

The world is at war, and Stella Jilani is leading a double life. By day she works in the lion’s den as a typist for the Reich office; by night, she risks her life as a messenger for the Italian resistance. Against all odds, Stella must impart Nazi secrets, smuggle essential supplies across the city, and produce an underground newspaper on her beloved typewriter.

But when German commander, General Breugal, becomes suspicious, it seems he will stop at nothing to find the mole, and Stella knows she faces an uncertain future…

London, 2017

Years later, grieving Luisa Belmont finds a mysterious old typewriter in her attic. Determined to find out who it belonged to, Luisa delves into the past, and uncovers a story of fierce love, unimaginable sacrifice, and, ultimately, the worst kind of betrayal…

published by Avon

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon UK

MY REVIEW


An engrossing piece of historical fiction that really brings home the untold stories of those who lived during WWII and the brave and selfless acts that many went through to do all the could to ‘fight the good fight’ whilst putting themselves in danger, and the importance of sharing those stories so that future generations can understand what happened.

It’s a dual timeline story, so we see the story from the point of view of Luisa in London in 2017 as she is dealing with the grief of losing her mother, and sorting through all her personal possessions and finding out the significance of certain pieces she finds, especially a portable typewriter.

And we see the story of Stella, in Venice in 1943, and her remarkable story of how as a young woman she is helping the resistance, whilst living and working amongst the Nazi’s who have taken over Venice. She gets a role as a typist of the Reich during the day, but at night she delivers messages for the resistance and writes articles for a newspaper. Seeing her struggle with keeping her double life quiet from those around her was a real eye opener, and as a young woman her only aim is to do the right thing and keep those she loves safe. It was fascinating to see how the war affected those who lived and worked in Venice at the time – with soldiers patrolling the streets liable to ask you questions or search your belongings at everytime, so the importance of safe houses was paramount to those working to get messages out.

The storyline of Stella was obviously far stronger and the more captivating, but I did like the role Luisa played in bringing things together and how the research into her family history helped distract her mind from the grief she was suffering, and that she wished she’d known more whilst her relatives were still alive. I hadn’t given much thought to what it must have been like for those in Venice at the time living under Nazi rule, and there were some horrific acts that were committed on innocent people that really brought home how awful it must have been for everyone at the time. Not knowing who to trust and trying to get on normally with your day to day business, whilst fearing what was going to happen next must have taken its’ toll on everyone. But Stella was always determined to keep on putting herself in danger to keep doing what she could and is a really inspirational character.

An excellent historical story


★★★★

The Women of the Castle by Jessica Shattuck – book review

A resistance widow. A silent co-conspirator. The only one who survived.

Bavaria, Germany. June, 1945.

The Third Reich has crumbled. The Russians are coming.
Can Marianne von Lingenfels and the women in her care survive and build their ravaged world anew?

Marianne – widow of a resistor to the Nazi regime – returns to the grand, crumbling castle where she once played host to all of German high society. She assembles a makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s movement, rescuing her dearest friend’s widow, Benita, from sexual slavery to the Russian army, and Ania from a work camp for political prisoners. She is certain their shared past will bind them together.

But as Benita begins a clandestine relationship and Ania struggles to conceal her role in the Nazi regime, Marianne learns that her clear-cut, highly principled world view has no place in these new, frightening and emotionally-charged days.

All three women must grapple with the realities they now face, and the consequences of decisions each made in the darkest of times . . .

Deeply moving and compelling, THE WOMEN OF THE CASTLE is a heart-wrenching and hopeful novel of secrets and survival, a reckoning, and the astonishing power of forgiveness. Perfect for fans of THE READER, THE DARK ROOM and THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS

Publication Date 18th May 2017

Amazon UK

MY REVIEW

This is an astonishingly powerful story that follows 3 women – Benita, Marianne and Ania – and how their lives are affected before, during and after the 2nd World War in Germany. All of the women face their own personal battles and the author captures brilliantly the position that they are put in, as those around them disappear and new ways of life are forced upon them.

This book captures the strength of these women through the most troubling times as they fight to maintain a certain sense of normality for the children. Some of the most powerful times come after the war as they start to learn more of what their families were involved in and how their actions were justified – it is always amazing to see how people adapt to their surroundings and for these women their lives changed so much.

Before the war we hear of how life was in Germany and how many saw the actions of Hitler as only doing the best for his country, until they started to hear the rumours of how he was treating the Jewish people of the community.

During the war, the book tells of how the women were forced to live, what was expected of them and how they helped others who had travelled many miles to escape the worst.

And then after the war, this book looks at how the women and the communities came together to rebuild, but the ghosts from the past and choices that they made during the war are still there to haunt them.

For me this book lacked the emotional impact that a book like The Nightingale (by Kristin Hannah) had on me as a reader, but it was still so well written and an important and absorbing story set around one of the most horrific times in history. Highly recommended.

Thank you to Readers First for my advanced copy in return for a fair and honest review.