Wednesday 9 October 2019

Blog Tour ~ A Ration Book Childhood by Jean Fullerton

Delighted to host today's Blog Tour stop

3 October 2019
East End Ration#3

My thanks to the publishers and to Rachel's Random Resources for my copy of the book
and the invitation to the blog tour

In the darkest days of the Blitz, family is more important than ever.

With her family struggling amidst the nightly bombing raids in London's East End, Ida Brogan is doing her very best to keep their spirits up. The Blitz has hit the Brogans hard, and rationing is more challenging than ever, but they are doing all they can to help the war effort. 

When Ida's oldest friend Ellen returns to town, sick and in dire need of help, it is to Ida that she turns. But Ellen carries a secret, one that threatens not only Ida's marriage, but the entire foundation of the Brogan family. Can Ida let go of the past and see a way to forgive her friend? And can she overcome her sadness to find a place in her heart for a little boy, one who will need a mother more than ever in these dark times?

What did I think about it..

Set during the troubled years of WW2 the Brogan family live and work in the East End of London. They're a tight knit group, always looking out for each other and helping the community by doing their bit for the war effort. Jerimiah and Ida Brogan have a long and happy marriage and have brought up their family with good old fashioned East End values, they both work their hardest to ensure the family stays together and when times are tough they all pull together. However, when Ida's oldest friend, Ellen, returns to live in the area, her arrival opens up a devastating secret which threatens, not just Ida and Jerimiah's marriage, but also the stability of the entire Brogan family.

Returning to this family, and this is now the third book in the East End Ration series, is always a real delight because not only are the characters as familiar as friends but also the author writes about their lives with such a realistic edge that they quite literally leap off the page.

So many years after WW2 it's now rather difficult to fully understand what it was like to survive in the East End during the worst of the Blitz years. However, reading of the way the Brogans dealt with having to leave home every night to camp out in underground bomb shelters, their struggle to put food on the table and of the stoicism which allowed them to deal with some horrendous conditions, with bombs dropping on them with alarming regularity, brings the true horror of the darkest days of the Blitz alive in the imagination.

Beautifully written with humour and compassion, and meticulously researched, A Ration Book Childhood, continues the series with the author's usual fine eye for detail, and whilst it is perfectly possible to read this as a standalone story, it is better to read the series from the beginning as that way you get to know the different members of the Brogan family and enjoy the way each character progresses. I hope we get to meet up with the Brogans again soon in another WW2 family saga.

Jean Fullerton is the author of twelve novels all set in East London where she was born. She also a retired district nurse and university lecturer. She won the Harry Bowling prize 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_ #ARationBookChildhood



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