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    Crumbs of life

    What a remarkable community in Bournemouth. Although this is obviously fiction it has been written with love. Audrey Barton and the Barton family bakery are at the centre of this story and around them swirl the desperate times, rationing and despair of war, coupled with glimpses of happiness and moments of deep tragedy reflecting the way individuals and whole communities were affected by war.
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    Second book in Wartime Bakery series

    Wartime Brides and Wedding Cakes by Amy Miller is the second book in Wartime Bakery series. Audrey Barton wakes up one morning in January 1941 to find that her husband, Charlie left for his deployment without letting her give him a proper send off. Charlie and Audrey Barton own the Barton Bakery in Bournemouth, England and have been married for seven years. Audrey must now keep the bakery running while taking care of her family. The bakery is the central hub in their area and many of the families rely on the bread they produce. Thankfully, Uncle John has given up his retirement to take Charlie’s place in the bakery, but Audrey is worried about his persistent cough. Mary is the eight-year-old evacuee that the Barton’s have taken in. Her mother has passed away and Mary’s father is overseas fighting. Mary is coming out of her shell, and Audrey loves the little girl more each day. What will happen to Mary, though, when the inevitable happens to her father? Lily and her illegitimate daughter, Joy live with Audrey. The man she trusted betrayed her and her parents are ashamed. One day Joy’s biological father shows up at the bakery with an offer for Lily. She must now make a difficult decision. William Barton has returned home with severe injuries. Elsie, his fiancé, is grateful William is alive, and she is looking forward to marrying the man she loves. But the man she fell in love with is not the same man who returned home to her. Will there be wedding bells in their future? Maggie, Audrey’s sales clerk, has fallen in love with George Meadows. But she has not told George the truth about her home life. Will he change his mind about her when he discovers the truth and what Maggie did to keep her secret? One night an explosion rocks the area and tragedy strikes the Barton Bakery. Will they recover from this disaster? Come along to Bournemouth to spend with Audrey along with her family and friends in Wartime Brides and Wedding Cakes. Wartime Brides and Wedding Cakes is a captivating story. It is realistic in its portrayal of life during World War II. How people at home work to survive the war with the men off fighting, rationing in effect and new items added frequently, bombs hitting the area, spending nights in air raid or Anderson shelters, quick weddings, the worry, the sacrifices, their perseverance and people in the community banding together to help each out. Amy Miller definitely captured the locale and time period. I thought Wartime Brides and Wedding Cakes was well-written with a nice pace. The transitions were fluid between sections. I love the characters in this story. They are genuine, and you can feel their emotions. Audrey is a strong woman who is the mother figure for many as well as a confidant and pillar of strength. She has backbone, grit, strong moral character and a loving heart. Each character is different with a story of their own. I hope we see more of Arthur, the conscientious objector, in future books. He adds another perspective. While Wartime Brides and Wedding Cakes is the second book in Wartime Bakery series, it can be read alone. However, I highly recommend Heartaches and Christmas Cakes. You can see where the story started and get additional background on the characters. Plus, it is just plain good. Wartime Brides and Wedding Cakes is an emotional novel. Readers can feel the characters emotions (love, worry, sadness, grief, heartache) and it is amazing how they help each other through these trying times (the community spirit). They look for a bright spot (happiness) despite the adversity. Wartime Brides and Wedding Cakes is a heartwarming, emotional story with a delightful ending.
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