Format: Paperback 416 pages
Publication date 13 Aug 2015
Publisher Cornerstone/ Imprint ARROW BOOKS LTD
Publication City/Country: London United Kingdom
This is the gripping new Second World War novel from Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling author of While We're Apart.
After the death of her parents in a bombing raid, Mary Jones discovers a secret in the pages of father’s diaries. Her search for the truth brings her to Cliffehaven on the south coast.
Here, she finds work at the Kodak factory, sifting through the Airgraphs which are being sent from all over the world by the men and women in the armed forces, and by their loved ones. All the while she longs for news of her own sweetheart, fighting in Europe.
With the help of Peggy Reilly and her family at Beach View Boarding House Mary starts to build a new life for herself.
But events that happened eighteen years before still echo, and should a promise Peggy made then be broken, it will have a devastating affect not only on Mary, but them all…
My Thoughts:This was my first encounter with the Beach View Boarding House series by British author, Ellie Dean and I absolutely loved it! Set within England during the tumultuous period of WW II, Ellie Dean has created an emotionally gripping story with endearing characters that quickly captured my heart. As an American reader new to this particular genre of British sagas, I was immediately drawn into the daily impacts of WWII; Black Outs, Air Raids and personal Gas Masks quickly became a way of life during this period, as well as food rations and everyone serving the war efforts in anyway possible. Peggy Reilly's Beach View Boarding House quickly becomes a refuge for those being evacuated from the bombings of London and serves as the heart of this series. In this particular installment young Mary Jones arrives in Cliffehaven in search of a long hidden truth revealed within the pages of her father's diary. Filled with unexpected twists and turns throughout, I found myself unable to put this book down and found myself wanting more! Ellie Dean is a wonderfully talented story teller and one that had me reaching for the box of tissue on more than one occasion. As an American reader, I must admit some of the wartime acronyms were unfamiliar to me but didn't affect the overall story in anyway, in fact, I found myself googling and researching a bit and learning a great deal. And although this is the ninth installment in this series, it reads quite well as a stand alone novel but if you're like me you'll certainly want to read the remaining books in this endearing series. I highly recommend this with FIVE stars!
Disclaimer: In accordance with current FTC Guidelines, please let it be known this book was received from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
For US readers, only titles 1-8 are currently available in Kindle format as well as paperback from Amazon, however, this particular novel in the series can be purchased in paperback format through the Book Depository. (Personally, I would recommend beginning with the first in this series, There'll Be Blue Skies, although book 5, Always In My Heart is currently on sale for $1.99). If you're interested in the paperback formats for any of these titles, I highly recommend looking at The Book Depository. Since they're based in the UK, often times their prices are cheaper and they offer free shipping worldwide as well.
These titles are also available as Audiobooks from Audible.com. I listened to a couple of samples and I'm quite tempted to try a couple of these in audio format as well. (I'm quite smitten with the accents of the British narrators which only bring these novels to life even more!)