Monday 29 October 2018

Blog Tour ~ A Ration Book Christmas by Jean Fullerton

✨Jaffareadstoo is delighted to host today's stop on A Ration Book Christmas Blog Tour✨

11 October 2018

My thanks to the author,publishers and Rachel at Random Resources for my invitation to be part of the tour
and for my copy of the book

With Christmas approaching, the Brogan family of London's East End are braving the horrors of the Blitz. With the men away fighting for King and Country and the ever-present dangers of the German Luftwaffe's nightly reign of death and destruction, the family must do all they can to keep a stiff upper lip. 

For Jo, the youngest of the Brogan sisters, the perils of war also offer a new-found freedom. Jo falls in love with Tommy, a man known for his dangerous reputation as much as his charm. But as the falling bombs devastate their neighbourhood and rationing begins to bite, will the Brogans manage to pull together a traditional family Christmas? And will Jo find the love and security she seeks in a time of such grave peril?

My thoughts about it..

London, during the Blitz of 1940, is not a safe place to be, and and yet, for the Brogan family, East Enders to the very marrow of their bones, there really is no place like home, and not even the Luftwaffe's deadly campaign will make them feel otherwise.

A Ration Book Christmas concentrates on the story of Jo, the younger of the Brogan daughters, who, with characteristic Brogan stoicism, decides that it is time for her to do her bit for the war effort, this allows the story to focus on the fascinating work of those rescue teams who scurried around London as bombs were falling.

It's a real joy to return to this feisty London family, you may remember that we first met them in, Pocketful of Dreams, which is the first book of the series. In this continuation we are only a little further on in time and yet, lots have happened to the family. It was interesting to see just how some of the stories continued, particularly around, Mattie, who we followed in Pocketful of Dreams. As always, with this author's writing, there's a real sense of both family and community, and the details of living through the horror of the Blitz really comes alive, the constant sense of danger and undeniable grief is interspersed with characteristic humour, especially from Queenie, the Brogan family matriarch who is determined to fight Hitler in her indomitable way.

Time and place is captured quite perfectly and there is never a time when the story doesn't place you back in the London of 1940, a time when food rationing meant real hardship, and making ends meet was never more important. However, despite the constant threat of danger life goes on, and Jo is about to find out, to her cost, just what fate has in store. Her association with the notorious Sweete brothers, and Tommy in particular, will test her resolve more than ever.

A Ration Book Christmas is a wonderful war-time saga, written with all the warmth and skill we have come to expect from this talented author, whose fine attention to detail and meticulous research brings the East End of London to life in a quite a special way.

There are some interesting wartime recipes at the back of the book - I think I'm going to try the Christmas cake recipe, it sounds delicious.

© J Barton

Jean Fullerton is the author of eleven novels all set in East London where she was born. She also a retired district nurse and university lecturer. She won the Harry Bowling prise in 2006 and after initially signing for two East London historical series with Orion she moved to Corvus, part of Atlantic Publishing and is half way through her WW2 East London series featuring the Brogan family.

Twitter @JeanFullerton

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