On Hist Fic Saturday
Let's go back to... 1915
My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book
A heartwarming World War I saga of family, secrets and royalty.
It's 1915 and Ada, Jessie and Beatrice Saward live in a small Norfolk village with their parents. Their father, Harry, is the station master at Wolferton, the local stop for the Sandringham Estate. With members of the royal family and their guests passing through the train station on their way to Sandringham, the Saward family have a unique position within their small community.
But despite the privileged position the village and the family is in, and the excitement a visit from the royals always brings, it's World War I and the community is suffering. The men are away fighting, rationing is hard and they all need to work together to get through the tough times.
When the Saward sisters' destitute cousin Maria arrives in Wolferton, everything is turned on its head. Young Maria Saward and her siblings have never enjoyed the comforts of family life. As products of Willie Saward's second marriage to a much younger woman, they were shunned by their extended family, and left in poverty after Willie's death. Will the Saward family be able to help Maria and her siblings and what could this do to the balance of their happy family life?
In this first book of a proposed historical trilogy we meet the Saward family who live in the Station Master's house at Wolferton railway station. This is no ordinary place to live and the station master's daughters, Ada, Jessie and Beatrice are well used to seeing members of the royal family alight at the tiny station on their way to their country home at Sandringham.
The girls live something of a genteel life, their place in the village is comfortable, and their mother and father are well respected. However, in the summer of 1915, their lives are about to be changed when an unwelcome guest arrives to disturb this settled way of life. Add into the mix the continuation of the First World War and the catastrophic effect this will have on the local community and you have all the right ingredients for an interesting historical saga. I enjoyed getting to know the villagers who make the hamlet of Wolferton their home, some are more likeable than others, which adds an interesting dynamic.
The Royal Station Master's Daughters is a lovely start to the trilogy and brings both time and place alive so that anyone who enjoys this genre of historical fiction will have great pleasure in learning about the way of life in Wolferton in 1915. Parts of the story are based on the real life Saward family who lived in the Station Master's house and although the events in this story are fictional by using the details of those who actually lived during this time in history helps to create a good sense of authenticity.
Best read with...One of Betty Fitch's Rock Buns and a nice cup of Rosie Lee
About the Author
Ellee Seymour is a journalist and PR professional living near Cambridge. The Royal Station Master's Daughters is her debut novel. Ellee was inspired to write it after meeting Brian Heath, the great grandson of Harry Saward, who was the royal station master at Wolferton for forty years from 1884 to 1924 and who the novel is based on.
The second book in the series The Station Master's Daughters at War will be published later in 2022.