Saturday 19 September 2020

Hist Fic Saturday Blog Tour ~ Our Yanks by Margaret Mayhew


On Hist Fic Saturday I am delighted to host today's Blog Tour stop

Let's go back to ...1943

Transworld Publishers
Published 2011 Reissue : 2020

My thanks to the publishers and Random Things Tours for my copy of this book
and the opportunity to be part of the blog tour

August 1943. A fighter group of US airmen descends upon the quiet and sleepy village of King’s Thorpe in Northamptonshire. The village has never seen the like of them before: they are glamorous, rich, exciting and full of bravado.

While some of the older residents are dismayed, many of the younger ones cannot help but be won over by their charms.

And for many – including young Sally Barnet from the bakery, Agnes Dawe – the Rector’s daughter, and newly-widowed Lady Beauchamp, they will have a long lasting impact.

It will be a summer many will never forget…

What did I think about it..

I live about twelve miles or so from the site of a US WW2 airfield which over recent years has been changed to an industrial site, but thirty years ago the remnants of the camp were still pretty much visible, especially the large aircraft hangers and living quarters. I once had relatives who visited the camp for social evenings, and, in fact, my husband's two aunts met and later married their GI husbands.

Our Yanks is the lovely story of how a group of US airmen, drafted in to help maintain morale, took over the small fictional village of King's Thorpe, where with their swagger and general bon homie they had their work cut out in trying to persuade some of the villagers that they were in the war for the long haul. From the poorest villagers, to the more well to do,  it was fascinating to see how their prejudices and natural reticence were gradually overcome as general compassion and friendship for the airmen began to have an effect.

It was especially interesting to see tentative relationships become a little more personal, some would succeed, others not so fortunate but throughout the story the way the author brought everything to life in such a gentle and well respected way made the story all the more rewarding to read. I genuinely cared for the characters, some made me smile, especially the antics of young Tom and his brother Alfie, who filled their pockets with all the candies and chewing gum the airmen threw their way, and yet, there was such a poignant reason for Tom's lively entrepreneurial skills, that I always wanted him to win the day. 

I think that it is such a lovely idea of the publishers to reissue the historical fiction written by this author twenty or so years ago. Her books deserve to be read by a new audience and I am sure that Our Yanks will continue to delight fans of the WW2 saga genre.

Margaret Mayhew was born in London and her earliest childhood memories were of the London Blitz. She began writing in her mid-thirties and had her first novel published in 1976. She is married to American aviation author, Philip Kaplan, and lives in Gloucestershire.

Twitter #MargaretMayhew




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