#Review By Lou of A Mother’s Christmas Wish by Glenda Young @flaming_nora @HeadlineFiction @headlinepg @rararesources #ChristmasReads #Saga #FamilySaga #Christmas #BlogTour

A Mother’s Christmas Wish
By Glenda Young

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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Feeling Christmassy and/or all hopeful yet? This could be the book for you. It isn’t often that I read sagas, but this caught my eye. Today I’m on the blog tour of A Mother’s Christmas Wish, thanks to Rachel Random Resources and the publisher – Headline. Discover the blurb and review below.

Blurb

A Mother’s Christmas Wish

‘I hope this Christmas is better than last year’s.’

Following a scandalous affair, wayward Emma Devaney is sent in disgrace from her home in Ireland to Ryhope, where she will live with her widowed aunt, Bessie Brogan, and help run her pub. Bessie is kind but firm, and at first Emma rebels against her lack of freedom. Struggling to fit in, she turns to the wrong person for comfort, and becomes pregnant.

Accepting she must embrace her new life for the sake of her baby, Emma pours her energy into making the pub thrive and helping heal the fractured relationship between Bessie and her daughters. She catches the attention of Robert, a gruff but sincere farmer, who means to win her heart.

As December approaches, thankful for the home and acceptance she’s found, Emma is determined to bring not just her family, but the whole Ryhope community, together to celebrate – and to make one very special mother’s Christmas dreams come true.

Review

Behold, December 1923, it was quite a year for Emma and her mother, Nuala. The year they left Ireland to start a new start. They head to Ryhope, after sending a letter to Nuala’s sister, Bessie. Emma is sent there to help her aunt with what seems a high-spirited , lively pub with all sorts of village life within. Emma is feisty and rebellious, sometimes I’ll-tempered coupled with rudeness, but that being said, she still has warmth and that mother’s wish grows within too. She is also absolutely determined to give the pub her best shot and make a go of things to ensure it thrives.

 Her aunt Bessie is however, a kindly soul with heart and warmth, providing hope for the pub’s future too as well as hope that family rifts that occurred, can be healed.

What transpires is a look into small village living where people grow reputation, there’s crime, romance and marriage, employment, poverty. Glenda Young shows it all in a multi-layered story that is well-researched about how some people lived at the time, social views and attitudes and what society was like, especially in small places. It, ultimately gives a great look into the 1920’s (but away from the Flapper’s life) with a bit of grit and a good dose of hope that culminates into an uplifting family saga. This is a book that would be great on anyone’s Christmas list.

As an added extra, did you know Glenda Young also writes cosy crime? There is an excerpt of her next cosy crime novel – Murder at the Seaview Hotel. It gets off to a great start, set in Scarborough and something for readers to also look forward to.

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#Review By Lou of – Courage For The Cornish Girls By Betty Walker @AvonBooksUK @CornishGirls #Saga #HistoricalFiction #WW2

Courage For The Cornish Girls
By Betty Walker

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have a review to share of war time set book – Courage For The Cornish Girls. Thanks to Avon Books for a copy and review invite. Discover more in the blurb and my thoughts in my review  below.

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Blurb

April 1942. Enemy gunfire on Penzance beach brings the Cornish Girls rushing to the rescue…

Yearning for adventure, Demelza dreams of one day joining the fire wardens. But before she can do so, gunfire during a trip to the beach provides her with an unexpected opportunity to get stuck in.

On hand to help the wounded beachgoers, Lily draws admiration with her nursing skills and is offered an exciting new position in the hospital in Penzance.

And swayed by her niece, Lily’s Aunt Violet agrees to take in three evacuees rescued on the beach, though they turn out to be more of a handful than she bargained for.

But even as the war rages around them, the biggest challenge facing each woman turns out to be one of the heart. Can the Cornish Girls help one another to open themselves up to love…?

Review

Set in 1942 in Cornwall, the bombs are dropping and war is marching ever onwards with its devastating consequences, but through the bleakness of this, life still continues through its challenges and glimmers of hope shine through here and there.

Life is on the up for these Cornish women!

Demelza, who wants ever so much to be a fire warden and works very hard to catch her dream and gets stuck into opportunities, no matter how unexpected, in an attempt to gain what she wants from life.

Lily is gaining all the attention in her nursing career, she is offered an exciting position in Penzance.

Violet doing her bit for the war effort by taking in refugees.

It’s a book that draws upon, to some extent, women just getting on with the job of attempting to do what they see is necessary to help others in the war effort, whilst also chasing their dreams, even though many challenges and potential obstacles  present themselves.
The three main characters are a heartwarming and determined set of women.

There isn’t only the obvious obstacles, such as the bombing that the women have to figure out how to work around, but also love and the obstacles of themselves, however, they try to face this too and open up to each other about this. It’s quite a multi-layered book of light, shade and darkness, yet on the whole, there is often something uplifting for readers to grasp onto and a sense of desire to cheer them on in the hope they get out of life, what they set out to do.

It’s a heartwarming book with a compelling storyline.

#Review By Lou of -Steel Girls On The Home Front By Michelle Rawlins @Mrawlins1974 @HQstories #Saga #WW2 #BlogTour

The Steel Girls
By Michelle Rawlins

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Steel Girls is uplifting escapism, even through hard and dangerous times of war, when it is set. Find out more in my blurb and  review below.

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Blurb

As the war rages on, can they be there for each other?

Spring 1940
As the war rages on, Vickers steelworks is busier than ever which is proving tough for Nancy as she juggles working long hours and looking after two young children, all while waiting for her husband to return home safely.

Betty is determined to roll up her sleeves and joins the Women’s Voluntary Service to keep busy and stop from fretting about her fiancé.

But Patty is left worrying about someone closer to home. Sweetheart Archie has been keeping a secret from her, and one that puts him in great danger. Will it threaten to pull them apart for good?

And with life at war tougher than ever, can the factory sisters rally together to find a way through?

Review

Set in Sheffield in 1940, war is afoot and the RAF are training up their pilots. It was interesting reading a bit about the RAF connections to the characters, since someone from my own family trained up people in the RAF in World War 2 and fought in the RAF in World War 1, always with that firm belief of coming back, as portrayed in the book.

Even though, war rages on and there is much trepidation and secrets that come to the forefront; there are elements, especially the friendship and the willingness to do what it takes to help, such as in the WVS (Women’s Voluntary  Service) that are heartwarmingly uplifting. It creates much escapism as the characters emerge further and their chatter about what their aspirations were before war broke out and how that enforced some change and also makes them think about whether to return to them when the war ends.

#BookReview By Lou – The Bobby Girls War By Johanna Bell @JoBellAuthor @HodderBooks #BobbyGirlsSeries #WW1 #Saga #TeamBookEnds

The Bobby Girls War
By Johanna Bell

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A series that makes you want to stay with from beginning and each new book that is published. The Bobby Girls War is the latest in the series. Even if this isn’t your normal genre or era to read, I highly recommend giving them a try as there’s so much to them at a fast-pace, and yet they are a good read to relax with in these increasingly colder days. Thanks to Hodder & Staughton for gifting me the book to review. Discover more in the blurb and then my review below.

Blurb

The Bobby Girls War coverCurl up with Book Four in the gorgeous Bobby Girls series now!

1916. Poppy is being transferred to an enormous new munitions complex in Gretna, on the Scottish border. Even though it means moving far away from her best friends Maggie and Annie, she is excited for the challenge.

As a member of the Women’s Police Service, it’s her job to maintain law and order so that the factory workers can safely carry out their vital war work. She soon makes friends, and even starts to open herself up to the possibility of love.

But then she sees something in the dead of night, and suddenly the dangers of the war are no longer far away on distant shores. With the enemy hot on her heels and no idea who to trust, can Poppy save herself – and avert disaster for her country?

 

Review

It is often a delight to read and review from The Bobby Girls series. These are books that are  great for curling up with in the wintry months to find out what the girls are up to next. This one concentrates more on Poppy Davis as she has moved away from being around, her now established, newest friends in London, England, to Gretna, Scotland. There is also still much enjoyment to catch up with her friends Maggie and Annie too, who are also very busy with the Foundling Hospital which is feeling the pressure of increasing intakes of “doorstep” abandoned babies, which Poppy also helps with before she leaves. Maggie and Annie are also busy with the WPS setting up places they can go too.

There are some changes with Alice in munitions and also a new Chief Constable – Chief Constable Jackson, who has a lot to catch up on of what has been happening, particularly in Holborn with continuing work to further reduce prostitutes around the area and abandoned babies.

 The book gives insight to the war through the soldiers and also from what it was like being home, as shown through an emotional, yet beautifully composed letter for Poppy. When Poppy does arrive in Scotland, there’s more to learn than she seems to initially thought from Grace as well as many dangers so many workers face each day, especially with explosive chemicals in the factories where one wrong move could be deadly, which adds some suspense, as does the possibility of a spy…. Once again, the writing is enthralling and as the chapters go on, you just want to know more. There’s more than meets the eye for Poppy to manage, who starts to have her doubts whether she can manage or not, even with Grace’s positivity. Nightshifts bring more dangers, more than she could ever know until there is a highly perilous position with not much time to waste! There are some gaspable moments to say the least and all is riveting.

The book is refreshing as it shows a different side to some males in the force who Poppy meets as it shows that they can (and many were) supportive. This book also shows the developing relationships between the different characters, including one from Christmas, which is so heartwarming. Even though there’s dangers and hardships, there is warmth and some really lovely moments and a bit of romance. She also hasn’t left her London friends completely behind either. It shows that distance doesn’t mean friendships end.

#BookReview by Lou Hope In Liverpool @tracy_traynor @LoveBooksGroup #FamilySaga #HopeInLiverpool #Northerners #RiverMersey #BlogTour

Hope In Liverpool
By T.N. Traynor

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Emotionally charged with courage and hope is what Hope in Liverpool brings to readers eyes and imaginations. FInd out more in the blurb and review below.

Blurb 

Can an alliance of convenience heal two broken hearts?

Liverpool, 1958. Hope Bennett longs to feel safe and wanted. Loyal to an alcoholic mother who gambles away all her hard-earned wages, she’s devastated by the announcement her family is moving and she’s not to follow. But her despondent plan to fling herself off the ferry and succumb to the freezing River Mersey is interrupted by a handsome older man.

John Walker expects to live out the rest of his days drowning in grief, isolated and lonely after the loss of his childhood sweetheart.  When he spots a young woman in distress he is immediately drawn to help her.

Can the fragile dream of a better life out of the slums provide the security and companionship they both crave?

Hope in Liverpool is an emotional foray into historical women’s fiction. If you like compellingly complex characters, light humour woven through heart-wrenching drama, and gripping romantic overtones, then you’ll adore T N Traynor’s poignant story.

Review

Set in Liverpool 1958, Traynor has cut an emotional atmosphere for an involving family drama that unfolds. This could be an utterly depressing story, but Traynor has steered away from this just enough to make it hopeful instead.

Hope’s life is challenging to the max, from practically being abandoned and her mother being an alcoholic who fritters away her wages. Hope however shows courage and a certain amount of resilience through the bleakness and hardships. She also has a certain amount of courage as she allows some romance to enter her life, even though life still seems to have some fragilities within it, which, before romance, had an intention of suicide. This is written in sensitively and isn’t dwelled too much upon, but something some people may be able to relate to. By the end there is hope to be had and nicely shows that even through harrowing and bleak times there can be lightness. Readers can discover through the twists and turns of Hope’s life how that happens.

 

 

#BookReview by Lou – What’s Mine And Yours by Naima Coster @zafatista @eturns_112 @TrapezeBooks #FamilySaga #ContemporaryFiction

What’s Mine And Yours
By Naima Costner

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Powerfully absorbing, moving and full of family ties, love and loss,  in many ways and much more. This is a better book than I expected and is one I recommend to everyone. Discover more in the blurb and my review below.
With thanks to Ellen Turner at Trapeze Books for gifting me a copy to review.

About the Author

Naima Coster is the author of two novels. Her debut, Halsey Street, was a finalist for the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Fiction and recommended as a must-read by People, Essence, Well-Read Black Girl, The Skimm, and the Brooklyn Public Library among others. Naima’s forthcoming novel, What’s Mine and Yours, will be published in March 2021.

Naima’s stories and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Kweli, The Paris Review Daily, The Cut, The Sunday Times, The Rumpus, and elsewhere. In 2020, she received the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” honor. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Whats Mine And Yours

Blurb

When a county initiative in the Piedmont of North Carolina forces the students at a mostly black public school on the east side to move across town to a nearly all-white high school on the west, the community rises in outrage. For two students, quiet and aloof Gee and headstrong Noelle, these divisions will extend far beyond their schooling. As their paths collide and overlap over the course of thirty years, their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that shape the trajectory of their lives.

On one side of the school integration debate is Jade, Gee’s steely, single, black mother, grieving for her murdered partner, and determined for her son to have the best chance at a better life. On the other, is Noelle’s enterprising mother, Lacey May, who refuses to see her half-Latina daughters as anything but white. The choices these mothers make will resound for years to come. And twenty years later, when Lacey’s daughters return home to visit her in hospital, they’re forced to confront the ways their parents’ decisions continue to affect the life they live and the people they love.

WHAT’S MINE AND YOURS is a sweeping, rich tapestry of familial bond and identity, and a sharp, poignant look at the ways race affects even the closest of relationships. With gorgeous prose, Naima Coster explores the unique organism that is every family: what breaks them apart and how they come back together.

Review

Whats Mine And YoursStarting from 1992 and spanning to 2020, this is an intergenerational fictional book with race and family in America at its heart. The families end up in North Carolina and a story that tells of family, loss, gun crime, romance, love, divorce, race and opportunity and lack of, ensues through the years that pass by with many characters. This isn’t just a book for Americans, this is a book for everyone in the world, no matter what race you are.
It would be identifiable to everyone.

It begins with Ray going to a bakery and what a delicious sounding bakery it is. He has fun plans for his son, Gee. This is quite a sad tale as everyone knows about the gun crime in the USA and this is what occurs. A family with their whole amazing plans that anyone on earth would want to be part of, broken because of a gun. The emotion is as heartbreaking as it gets, in the tenderness and the rawness of what it has done to this family, that is then forever haunted and left devastated.

There’s Lacey May and her family and she wants to get back into the workplace and finds it challenging and people show their attitudes that are at times negative, towards this by some employers who don’t realise she has had a good education. She has also got money problems and issues to deal with, with Robbie. She also her other daughter.

This is also a story of Noelle and Gee, growing up and trying to find their way in the world and discovering themselves as they age. It’s interesting to see Noelle’s attitude to the change in school system is very different to her mother’s and it being far removed from what one may expect, which is refreshing in the way some mother’s etc will recognise some of the attitude Lacey has in how she goes about doing certain things. The issues surrounding race is also not quite what one may assume either, when it comes to potential for romance.

It’s a book that delves right into the nucleus and the inner workings of families in a way that, whether they represent how your family is or not, will touch your heart and be relatable in one way or another, through the love and grief displayed as readers watch the families grow up through the years.

Buy Links

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