Saturday 23 September 2017

Hist Fic Saturday ~ Pocketful of Dreams by Jean Fullerton

On Hist Fic Saturday let's go back in time...

to East London, 1939 

August 2017

It's 1939 and the East End of London is facing difficult times. However, the people's stoical spirit and long held notion of always making the best of everything reverberates throughout this war time saga which focuses on the tumultuous first years of the Second World War.

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.

Jean Fullerton is the author of eight historical novels and two novellas She is a qualified District and Queen's nurse who has spent most of her working life in the East End of London, first as a Sister in charge of a team, and then as a District Nurse tutor. She is also a qualified teacher and spent twelve years lecturing on community nursing studies at a London university. She now writes full-time.

More about the author can be found on her website by clicking here
Twitter @JeanFullerton_

My thanks to the author and  to Karen at Corvus for my review copy of A Pocketful of Dreams


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