Thank you to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to join the blog tour for the latest book in the Ration Book series by Jean Fullerton. I’m pleased to be sharing my thoughts about this book, the third I’ve read in the series. Thank you to Corvus and Atlantic Books for a digital review copy to read and review via NetGalley.
Cathy was a happy, blushing bride when Britain went to war with Germany three years ago. But her youthful dreams were crushed by her violent husband Stanley’s involvement with the fascist black-shirts, and even when he’s conscripted to fight she knows it’s only a brief respite – divorce is not an option. Cathy’s only solace is her little son Peter.
When a telegram arrives declaring that her husband is missing in action, Cathy can finally allow herself to hope – she only has to wait 6 months before she is legally a widow and can move on with her life. But in the meantime she has to keep Peter safe and fed. So she advertises for a lodger, and Sergeant Archie McIntosh of the Royal Engineers’ Bomb Disposal Squad turns up. Kind, clever and thoughtful, their mutual attraction is instant. But with Stanley’s fate still unclear, and the Blitz still raging in London’s East End, will Cathy ever have the love she deserves?
As I said above, this is the third book in the series I’ve read. I enjoyed being back with the Brogan family, to catch up on how the family are coping with living in London in the 1940’s as Hitler sends bombers to try to crush the British spirit and force them to surrender.
The main character in this story is Cathy, who is stuck living with her horrible mother-in-law whilst her violent husband is overseas with the Army. However we meet most of the family during the book, as they help each other cope with food shortages, caring for the children and helping their local community.
These books look at how the ordinary people of London dealt with the extraordinary circumstances of the regular bombings, sleeping in Underground stations and queuing for food. The stories about the bomb disposal team were fascinating but also heartbreaking.
Cathy’s life changes when she is notified that her violent husband is missing in action and she has to find a lodger to help pay the rent. But what will happen if the husband is found to still be alive?
Another excellent book in this series, a mix of humour and heartbreak, community spirit and the importance of family. As usual, the characters who are unkind may find that life has a way of making them regret their actions.
Born and bred in East London Jean is a District Nurse by trade and has worked as a NHS manager and as a senior lecture in Health and Nursing Studies. She left her day job to become a full-time writer in 2015 and has never looked back.
In 2006 she won the Harry Bowling Prize and now has seventeen sagas published over three series with both Orion and Atlantic all of which are set in East London.
She is an experienced public speaker with hundreds of WI and women’s club talks under her belt, plus for the past fifteen years she has sailed all over the world as an enrichment speaker and writing workshop leader on cruise ships.
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