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Lavender Road Hardcover – Large Print, 1 Aug 1997
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Beginning in 1939, Lavender Road follows the entwined lives of the women who live in one South London st reet during the first year of the Second World War. '
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her mother a hard working women trying to make ends meet, while the father is in & out of Prison, & her brother Michael is always into trouble. It is the start of WW11, & children are being evacuated to the the country side, & at the same time there are troubles in Ireland with the I R A.
Jenny becomes very friendly with Sean Byrne who can charm anyone. Then there is the Handsome Ward Frazer, nephew of the Miss Taylor's, who says he is in the R A F. or is there more to that then he is willing to say? A great story, a different aspect of the things that went on during The second world war.
From the Carters to the Rutherford's and the many residents in-between, the author has shown what life was really like during the Second World War and no-one was immune to the pain and anguish which Hitler dealt upon London. The book first opens in 1939 when war has been declared and the residents are slowly becoming accustomed to the restrictions which war has forced upon them. The main characters of this book are Joyce Carter dealing with her husband being in prison for robbery, not that she minds as when he is in prison she does not have to fear his fist, her daughter Jen we follow her as she slowly realises her dream of being on stage but it will not be the easy road she first dreamed of. My favourite was Katy Parsons, an asthmatic who has been protected by her parents all her life to such a degree she feels stifled by all their constant attention as they are so terrified of losing her to illness but she has growing up to do and only she can do that if she ever wants to realise her own dream of being a nurse. Louise Rutherford was a spoiled madam and as she experiences heartache for the first time in her life she will learn to realise that not everyone has her best interests at heart and her naivety will be her own downfall when she falls for the words of an older man who clearly does not have her best interests at heart. There are so many other characters which as a reader you will be introduced to and as I got to know each of the characters the book became a read which I could not put down as I once again got involved in the many lives of each of them while their lives will change forever in the most unexpected ways.
I loved this book from start to finish as it was really interesting how the author brought the many lives together and we watched how friendships developed even including women who would never have passed the time of day until war was declared and then it was truly the case of helping each other out in times of need.
Lavender Road by Helen Carey is a brilliant read which I would recommend to anyone who likes a good read which will not only transport you to another era through great writing and a brilliant storyline which had me captivated from page one.
I am straight unto number two in the series Some Sunny Day (Lavender Road). The third book in this terrific series is On a Wing and a Prayer (Lavender Road)
It more than lived up to my hopes, and brought back vivid memories of Clapham Common, Clapham Junction, Arding and Hobbs, all landmarks of my childhood.
Most of all it was the characters that I really enjoyed, and the way that war changed them and their lives. Social barriers fell, new friendships were born and kindness and support came from unlikely people as the people of south London united against the common enemy - Hitler.
There's tragedy, humour, romance, fear, pride, lessons in life to be learned.
A thoroughly good read, which needs to carry a warning: once you finish it, you'll want to read the sequels straight away. I'm going to!
The plot too is very credible and is just that bit different from other novels with a 1940 background because it deals with the day-to-day lives of people whose everyday existence is seriously disrupted by the war not by falling bombs but by absent fathers, shortages and changes to the patterns of day-to-day living brought about the war.
Lavender Road is a top drawer addition to this particular genre and I thoroughly recommend it.
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