I’m pleased to be sharing my review for the second book set in Dorcalon in Rhymney Valley, Wales by Frances Capaldi. Thank you to Sarah Hardy from Book on the Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to join the blog tour and to Hera Books for a digital copy via NetGalley. My thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.
WW1 marches on, but Violet faces her own battle at home
July 1916. Young mother, Violet Jones, lives a tough life in the Rhymney Valley, caring for 4-year-old Clarice and baby Benjy on her own while soldier husband Charlie fights on the Front Line. But when tragedy strikes, Violet’s life becomes even harder.
While they may be far from the battlefields, the effects of WW1 take their toll on the small mining community of Dorcalon, with food becoming scarce and more and more of their young men losing their lives.
With very little money coming in, and two babies to care for, Violet takes in a relative to help make ends meet. But far from easing her burden, it might turn out to be the worst decision she’s made.
As the Great War takes its toll on the nation, Violet faces her own battle. All alone in the world, can she protect her children, and herself? And will she ever find joy out of the depths of despair?
A captivating, emotional saga set in WW1 – will tug on your heart-strings and bring a tear to your eye. If you like Nadine Dorries, Rosie Goodwin or Sheila Newbury you will adore this beautiful Welsh saga.
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Back in June 2020, I shared my review for the debut novel by Francesca Capaldi, Heartbreak in the Valley (https://mentoringmumof2bookreviews.home.blog/2020/06/13/blog-tour-for-heartbreak-in-the-valley-by-frances-capaldi/). War in the Valleys takes us back to Dorcalon in Rhymney Valley, starting a couple of months later.
I enjoyed returning to meet the characters, to find out what had happened after the explosion in the mine and the police investigation into racketeering. The primary focus of the first book was Anwen, in this book we find out more about Violet, one of her best friends.
Violet has to deal with loss and a lack of money. Sadly, someone who claims to be ready to help her, is actually trying to undermine her and is making her life more difficult. Violet needs her friends more than ever, but they are also busy dealing with an unexpected addition to the family and working long shifts in a munitions factory.
The losses of local men on the battlefields and down the mine, the lack of food and the poverty could make this a depressing read, but the story is full of community spirit and some humorous moments. I must admit that this is my favourite book of the series, possibly because I knew the characters better this time.
As the granddaughter of a miner, I’m enjoying the series. Thank you Francesca for another well written journey back in time.
Several years ago, Francesca Capaldi pursued a childhood dream and joined a creative writing class. Lots of published short stories, a serial, and four pocket novels later, she’s now explored her mother’s ancestral history for a series of novels set in a Welsh colliery village. A history graduate and former teacher, she hails from the Sussex coast but now lives in Kent with her family and a cat called Lando Calrissian.