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Pocketful of Dreams: A heart-warming East End saga Kindle Edition
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Father Daniel McCree has arrived in London to assist Father Mahon in serving the parish of St. Bridget and St. Brendan. The young priest has a spring in his step and a twinkle in his eye, which got me thinking about the Thorn Birds. But is he all that he seems?
Christopher Joliffe is a pro-Nazi fascist; networking on the streets of London, he is making connections to help Hitler's proposed invasion of Britain. He meets Mattie Brogan whilst signing up as an Auxiliary Police Constable. She has just taken on a role of an Air-Raid Warden, whilst studying for her Higher Certificate of education. Christopher is attracted by her brains and beauty and asks her out.
In the months of the ‘phoney war’, Mattie is flattered by Christopher’s attentions, but it is Father McCree who haunts her dreams. One night on patrol, Mattie becomes suspicious that her brother-in-law, Stan, is lying about his involvement in the Briton’s For Peace Union, and turns to Father McCree for advice; soon, her life takes on a new direction.
I liked the way the author took this book down a darker side compared with many home front war stories. The hostility in London towards Jews and Italians was shocking and believable. I was also interested in the thoughts behind those who supported Hitler, however unpalatable the story. Alas, I felt that the ending was wrapped up a little too neatly.
Father McCree was one of my favourite characters; I did wonder where the author was taking his story at the beginning, but it soon became apparent and I became a firm supporter of his role. I loved the outrageous Queenie; did she have the ‘sight’, or was she just very observant? I enjoyed the illegal gambling bets she took and the glimpses of her past life.
Recommended for readers who enjoy family sagas set in the war years of London; soaked in nostalgia of the times, it mixes romance with a sprinkle of the darker aspects of the early war years.
The Brogan family of Mafeking Terrace are East Enders through and through, and their indomitable spirit shines throughout this story which focuses on Mattie, the eldest Brogan girl, and her relationship with a mysterious young man who has arrived in the area.
The author has really brought to life the camaraderie and close knit community of the East End and shows what life could have been like for those who made their home in this area. There's some wonderful Brogan family moments, particularly at the wedding which opens the novel and also in the glorious character of the family matriarch , Granny Queenie, who rules the roost in her own unique style.
I enjoyed the many twists and turns in the novel and the inclusion of the unsettling and rather frightening actions of a handful of Nazi war sympathisers, who terrorised the area, added some darkly realistic moments, and which highlighted just what a dangerous time this was for those who just wanted to live their lives in peace. Her characters are filled with oodles of personality, and whilst some are not likeable, there is one in particular who you hope will get his comeuppance, the majority of the people are filled with genuine East End charm, making the story such an enjoyable and fascinating read.
Pocketful of Dreams starts a new series of historical fiction by this author. Readers may well be aware of her previous historical series which have been set in the East End. Turning to World War Two history gives the author scope to show another side of this area and she does so with great aplomb and fine eye for detail. With warmth and wit she brings the place and it's people to vibrant life.
I really enjoyed getting to know the Brogan family and am already looking forward to seeing where the next book in the series will take us.
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Most recent customer reviews
Full drama danger family and romance.
Great characters a real page turner can't wait to the next one.
Pocketful of dreams is one of the most compelling and gripping books I have ever read.Read more