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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • Love, Loss and Hope

    Set in WWII England, the story is about love, loss, resilience and hope. Ambitious East End girl Nancy Evans has earned the two stripes sewn on her sleeve, has taken the cook and butcher course and is a leading aircraft woman. She cooks and cleans and sneaks any available time to visit her fiance. However, war is brutal and one heroic action changes everything forever. Nancy discovers she is pregnant and on her own and feels she must resign from her position. She finds work keeping house for kind Dr. David Denny. They become fast friends and the friendship blooms into much more and their pasts become memories. The book focuses on the war but more so on the characters at the forefront. Nancy discovers a passion and compassion for others as she does her part in the war effort. Others' views on and reactions to a pregnant single girl are shown which also reveal Nancy's character. I like that she grows throughout and works hard with a great attitude. The perspective is an interesting one and I enjoyed the book overall. What lacks a bit for me is convincing depth, a little lighter than expected. However, sometimes light is what we need. My sincere thank you to Aria & Aries and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this fascinating eARC.

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  • An Enjoyable, Engaging Read!

    What a lovely second instalment, and a worthy sequel to the first! Nancy Evans feels at home in the WAAF; she is gaining experience and promotions and, to top it all, she has her Tommy and their wedding is looming. Until one night of heavy and calamitous bombing changes everything. Finding herself pregnant and alone, Nancy leaves the service and looks for work elsewhere, ending up as a housekeeper to David Denny, local doctor and handsome with it. Although she tries to cope with her problems alone, it's not long until David becomes a trusted friend and support. While Nancy is very happy with the rural life she is carving out for herself, it's not long before the wagging tongues of a small village get gossiping but David doesn't care about that - or does he? I really enjoyed the first in this series where the main focus of three friends was Jane; this time around it is Nancy's turn - and what a story she has to tell! It's a stark reminder of how the class system affected ordinary folk and how the second world war changed things. Nancy is a beautifully drawn character, full of goodness and gumption. Both main characters are damaged souls who are doing their best with the hand life has dealt them and I was silently cheering for them all the way through. This is a packed tale, with lots going on and plenty of twists and turns along the way. An enjoyable, engaging read and I'm already looking forward to the next one. Fenella J Miller never disappoints and this is a novel I'm happy to recommend to all lovers of wartime sagas. 4.5*

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  • Very enjoyable historical Fiction about WW2

    World War 2 is brought to life in The East End Girl in Blue. No longer having to rely on dry history books, the reader gets an idea of how horrific it was for those on the ground during the bombings. I realize the story is fiction but it is riddled with facts, true locations, and the struggles incurred by the citizens of England. Many young women, like Nancy Evans, served in the WAAF. They did their part for many reasons. Nancy escaped Poplar to serve and to fall in love. Grasping moments of happiness leaves her pregnant and her fiancee dead. Like my own aunt, she was left without a job, without a husband but will all the struggles. The East End Girl in Blue touches on some of those struggles, some of the challenges, some of the views they were subjected to every day. Nancy is lucky enough to find safety in a small village posing as an expectant resent widow. Dr. David Denny is lost after the loss of his wife. He goes day to day caring for the villagers, taking any payment they can make. HIs life is shook up when Nancy Evans (Mrs. Smith) comes to stay with the local vicar. Dr. Denny struggles with his sense of duty, his sense of station, his sense of worth. Doing his bit helps but also hurts. He finds himself. He looses himself. He finds love, a very complicated love. The East End Girl in Blue is full of side stories allowing the reader a deeper understanding of wartime England. Evacuating families out of dangerous areas was not easy. Children were abandoned. Parents struggled mentally. People were opinionated, lacking compassion. For many the class divide was to deep that they fell into the cracks. The citizens of England struggled to survive as lands are destroyed, buildings crumbled and food became scarce. Reading about the characters within the story gave a better understanding of all the struggles. I have a new respect for my family that struggled to survive, hid in the bomb shelters, went to bed hungry not knowing it they would survive another day.

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  • An engaging historical novel

    The East End Girl in Blue by Fenella J. Miller is the 2nd book in The Girls in Blue series. I believe it is best to read the series in order. I thought this historical novel captured the time period and the feelings as well as the attitudes of the people. Women were strong during World War II. I am amazed at their can-do attitude and their ability to create meals from limited resources. Nancy Evans is a resilient woman whose whole life is changed in an instant. She had planned to work her way up in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. Instead, Nancy finds her fiancé dead just before their wedding and she finds herself in the family way. She has no choice but to make a new plan. We experience what life is like in England during World War II. There are frequent bombings, evacuees, and rationing (food, petrol, clothing). Your home could be bombed at any minute which is a frightening thought. Doctors and other essential personal worked long hours. They would get little rest or time off. The author captured the experiences of the people in Great Britain during World War II. The East End Girl in Blue also talks about the struggles of evacuating families, the toll the war can take on a single mother, narrow minded people, and rampant gossip. I thought this book was well-written with realistic characters. I stayed up quite late to finish this historical tale. I like that we get to catch up with Charlotte and Jane. Jane’s story is told in The Girls in Blue and we will get Charlotte’s story later in 2021 in The Officer in Blue. I wish the author had provided a better introduction of our characters in the beginning. While I had read The Girls in Blue, I was confused in the beginning (it had been several months, and I have read over a hundred books since then). The story does contain British slang (most of the words can be discerned from the context) and some foul language. The East End Girl in Blue is an absorbing historical novel with an abundance of bombs, foodstuff scarcities, evacuated children, war rationing, a dashing doctor, fine friends, and an enrapturing romance.

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  • Believable Characters, Strong Friendships

    Anticipating your wedding vows especially when your wedding is only two weeks off is usually not a big deal, but when it’s wartime anything can happen. Nancy Evans is devastated when her fiancé who is a mechanic and you would think relatively safe from the bombs, that’s not what killed him. She is distraught and ends up with her friends in-laws and meets Dr.David Denny. Even though Nancy falls in love with him she feels she isn’t good enough. How does a person get over there concerns about class stations? The author tackles quite a few issues that still happen today that will affect young couples or even older people as well. It’s all about perception and the author does such a remarkable job about portraying it in the book that makes the characters believable. I received a free advanced copy from NetGalley and these are my willingly given thoughts and opinions.

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