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Release Date: 13th February 2020 / Publisher: Bookouture
Elaine was typing out letters from POWs and reminding herself that she would not cry. Poor Sam in Burma doubted whether he would ever see his children again. ‘Tell them they mean the world to me.’ Come on, Sam. Elaine wanted to reach out into the letter, hold his hand. Hang in there. If only he knew that she was half a world away, reading, listening…
London, 1943. German bombs rain down on London, but Elaine Parker knows her job transcribing letters from far-away prisoners of war is more important than her own safety. As she pores over each tearful letter from a soldier to his family far away, she’s not only making sure the notes reach their destinations, but also looking for secret messages hidden between the lines to help the allies win the war.
At home, Elaine’s life isn’t so simple. What the other clerical girls don’t know is that Elaine’s family isn’t respectable, and with her parents long dead, it’s up to Elaine to make ends meet. But with one brother increasingly in trouble with the law, and the other suffering a violent breakdown, it doesn’t leave Elaine much time to consider her own future hopes and dreams.
And then Elaine meets dark-haired and passionate Bobby – a wartime photographer on the dangerous front line – and her world shifts. The uncertainties of war feel more personal than ever. Will Elaine be forced to choose between her difficult family and her growing passion for Bobby? And how do you let yourself love someone with your whole heart when each moment could be their last?
A heartbreaking World War Two novel – emotional and unforgettable. Perfect for fans of Orphan Train, Sold on a Monday and Before We Were Yours.
Buy It Here!
I’ve read a couple of books by this author and have found them to be gripping and emotional historical reads, mainly based during the Second World War. This book is told from two different timeframes, firstly midway through the war years and secondly in present day. Back in the past, the story is based around Elaine who transcribes letters sent from Prisoners of War to their families. In present day, it’s Jen’s story and she is asked to look into the mystery of an old photograph of two little girls.
Obviously the two women are connected in some way, but you aren’t given the reason why until much further into their stories. The book switches backwards and forwards between the two timeframes, but this was done simply without any confusion. I loved Elaine’s story the most, with her character’s employment being fascinating, working within a government department transcribing letters and looking for any hidden codes. Whilst based amongst the frugality of life in the war years, Elaine had a story of love and passion, whilst also hiding what was going on at home with her family. I love wartime stories, and this one showing a government department doing hush hush and dangerous work showed us how brave and courageous people were.
Jen’s story, for me, was a little bit slower and not as exciting. Jen, however, was a lovely character who was obviously going through a lot in her life at that time. The request, by her brother, to look into an old photograph of two little girls was a welcome distraction for her. Jen’s story was just as emotional as Elaine’s was but in different ways. Both stories though were heart-breaking at times and moving at others.
The author keeps you waiting with bated breath to see what the connection is between the two women. The characters really come to life through the pages and this makes you feel like you are there experiencing it with each of them. This isn’t just a work of historical fiction though, as it contains stories based around real life people, which bought that realism to the storyline which you don’t always get in books like this. It not only brought tears to my eyes when the connection between the two women was revealed, but it pulled on my heart-strings all the way through the book. A story of love and loss, family and friendships, this book will keep you gripped until the very last page. Would definitely recommend.
Lizzie loves reading ALL the books and has always loved reading the adventures of women in the past so it seemed natural to her to write historical fiction.
She lives with her family by the sea in South East England. And with her dog. She enjoys traveling and lived in Japan for several years. Lizzie has had lots of different jobs from waitressing and teaching to admin and bingo-calling – but being a writer is her absolute favourite.
She’d love to hear what you think of her books – feel free to send her a message on twitter @LizziePagewrite or on FB or leave a review on amazon.