Christmas with the East End Angels by Rosie Hendry ** Blog Tour Review**
I am pleased to welcome you to my stop on the blog tour to celebrate Rosie Hendry's Christmas with the East End Angels. This is the third novel in the series, but it can be read as a standalone.
Rosie Hendry lives by the sea in Norfolk with her husband, two children, chickens and a snake. She's worked in a variety of jobs from fruit picking, waitressing, teaching and as a research scientist but has always loving reading and writing. Starting off writing short stories for women's magazines, her stories have gradually become longer as her children have grown bigger.
It's the most wonderful time of the year - and the East End Angels are working hard to keep Londoners safe.
Frankie is trying hard to keep everything together. She can count on the support of the East End Angels, even in the face of family trouble.
Winnie's beloved husband, Mac, is putting himself at risk every day in the bomb disposal unit and she's finding it hard while he's away.
Bella is growing in confidence and happiness. Her friendship with Winnie's brother, James, is getting closer all the time.
Christmas on the Home Front is a hard time with loved ones far away - but the women of the Auxiliary Ambulance service are making do and mending.
A gorgeously uplifting saga for fans of Ellie Dean and Donna Douglas
It has seemed very appropriate to be reading Christmas with the East End Angels, this week, in the run-up to Armistice Day on November 11th. This book concentrates on life in the middle years of the Second World War. The days of the London Blitz have passed and, in this story, we see the day to day grind of a city at war. It is full of the detail of the girls' routine and the relentless timetable of the Auxiliary Ambulance service. It is striking how the girls have to 'make do and mend' and carry on with their daily work, even though the danger their friends and relatives are facing is always in the background.
You can sense that a lot of research has gone into the preparation of the book. I particularly liked the sections where they harvested the allotments at the Tower of London. In a week when the moat there is being lit, nightly, with thousands of lights to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War, these sections seemed especially poignant.
Bella, Winnie and Frankie are all bound together through their friendship and understand each other's concerns and anguish at being separated. I especially liked the feisty Frankie and her run-ins with her step-grandmother, the awful Ivy. It gives you a glimpse into her mettle and how she is managing to deal with the difficult situations. You also get to see something of the girls' aspirations for after the war. This is a gently paced and uplifting novel, with interesting backstories, well drawn characters and a great deal of period detail.
In short: The Home Front shows its strength through the lives of everyday people.
About the Author
Listening to her father's tales of life during the Second World War sparked Rosie's interest in this period and she's especially intrigued by how women’s lives changed during the war years. She loves researching further, searching out gems of real-life events which inspire her writing.
When she's not working, Rosie enjoys walking along the beach, reading and is grateful for the fact that her husband is a much better cook than her.
Thanks to Rosie Hendry and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.
Follow the rest of the tour!