With Christmas approaching, the Brogan family of London's East End are braving the horrors of the Blitz. With the men away fighting for King and Country and the ever-present dangers of the German Luftwaffe's nightly reign of death and destruction, the family must do all they can to keep a stiff upper lip.
For Jo, the youngest of the Brogan sisters, the perils of war also offer a new-found freedom. Jo falls in love with Tommy, a man known for his dangerous reputation as much as his charm. But as the falling bombs devastate their neighbourhood and rationing begins to bite, will the Brogans manage to pull together a traditional family Christmas? And will Jo find the love and security she seeks in a time of such grave peril?
There are books where the prose is the main show. Then there are others like this delightful tale where the prose bows to the side so that the characters and story shine bright.
The story borrows a familiar scene - 1940s England as bombings rage while war consumes every resource. The author does a wonderful job breathing life into this common image. The struggles both inside and outside London are beautifully humanized, giving them a sense of finality and hope that reminds the reader how much joy can be found in even the meanest of circumstances.
The romance between Jo and Tommy is lovely. Although the back cover described him as "dangerous," I simply found him spunky. He's a survivor (at least, I hope he is). His sincere affection for Jo was refreshing, devoid of the darkness that modern love stories feel necessary to inject.
The Christmas sequences gave me all the happy feels - a perfect reminder that simple doesn't mean joy-less. There's a beauty in the basics that can't be undone by war or rationing.
There isn't much wrong with this novel. If you enjoy the historical fiction genre, I think you'll find this a beautiful addition to your Christmas season.
Purchase Link: https://goo.gl/eZ4TD5
Author Bio – Jean Fullerton is the author of eleven novels all set in East London where she
was born. She's also a retired district nurse and university lecturer. She won the Harry Bowling prise in 2006 and after initially signing for two East London historical series with Orion she moved to Corvus, part of Atlantic Publishing and is half way through her WW2 East London series featuring the Brogan family.
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