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The Wartime Book Club by Kate Thompson #Review

  The Wartime Book Club is a marvellous historical novel set on Jersey in World War Two. Written by Kate Thompson , it was published by Hodder $ Stoughton on February 13th. Jersey, 1943. Once a warm and neighbourly community, now German soldiers patrol the cobbled streets, imposing a harsh rule on the people of the island. Grace La Mottée, the island's only librarian, is ordered to destroy books which threaten the new regime. Instead, she hides the stories away in secret. Along with her headstrong best friend, postwoman Bea Rose, she wants to fight back. So she forms the wartime book club: a lifeline, offering fearful islanders the joy and escapism of reading. But as the occupation drags on, the women's quiet acts of bravery become more perilous - and more important - than ever before. And, when tensions turn to violence, they are forced to face the true, terrible cost of resistance . . . Based on astonishing real events, The Wartime Book Club is a love letter

The Second Love of my Life by Victoria Walters

In The Second Love of my Life, Victoria Walters tells a tale about a fairly recently bereaved young widow, Rose, and her thoughts and feelings as she tries to move on with her life. It starts with her having lost her childhood sweetheart to a drunk driver and she is still gripped by the grief and shock at that traumatic event. An artist, she is finding her creative urge to have stalled.

    Rose has always lived in the town of Talting, a fictional place set in Cornwall. The setting is always present throughout the book and you are always aware of the inhabitants who are so supportive of her. Robert Green, a stranger to the town, appears in the story and unsettles Rose.  Of course there is more to him than meets the eye but he is very interested in her art and is encouraging her to start painting again. A large part of the book centres on Rose being able to articulate her feelings through her art

    The Second Love of my Life is described as women's fiction. Although it is not the genre I have read a lot of, I did find it a very enjoyable read. The pace of the story was well controlled and the plot was believable. As a character, Rose is well drawn and you learn about her through her friendships and relationships with the other characters. You can follow her working through her issues and living with the loss she feels for Lucas, her husband. This is Victoria Walker's debut novel and I would like to read any subsequent books she writes.

In short: A bitter sweet portrayal- a great holiday read.  

Thanks to Frances Gough at the publishers, Headline Review for a copy of the book. 


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