Wednesday 15 February 2023

πŸ“– Book Review ~ The Lumberjills : Stronger Together by Joanna Foat


Merry Downs Press

My thanks to the author and Cameron Publicity for my copy of this book

When war breaks out, three spirited women must set aside their differences to help Britain win the war. Fighting from the forests, they find new depths of courage, strength and love. But – when war threatens everything – would you risk your life to save a friend?

When feisty, bohemian Keeva signs up for war work in the forest, she’s already learnt the hard way that people can’t be trusted. For Rosie, a factory girl from London’s East End, the forest is an escape – but she can’t stop her big mouth getting her into trouble. And Beatrice, a wealthy debutante, wants to use her brain, not ruin her fine hands felling trees. Meanwhile, Lady Denman, director of the Women’s Land Army, battles with bureaucrats in Whitehall to defend the Lumberjills.

As these strong women struggle to survive in a tough men's world, it seems they really may succeed in their dangerous war work… when a terrible disaster strikes and threatens everything they have achieved.

The Lumberjills Stronger Together is inspired by the incredible and heroic true stories of the Women’s Timber Corps, a branch of the Women’s Land Army. Author Joanna Foat researched and interviewed sixty women who served as Lumberjills in World War II. These first-hand accounts, and her own passion for adventure in wild landscapes, bring a rugged authenticity to this emotionally rousing novel of female courage, strength and determination.

πŸ“– My Review..

It's hard for us to imagine just how adventurous these women were during WW2 who were so determined to do their bit for the war effort that they volunteered to join the Women's Land Army. 

This is the fictional account of three spirited women who left their homes and families to join a group of women assigned to working in the forests under the auspices of The Timber Corps.  Although I had an aunt who was in The Land Army, I must admit to not knowing anything about The Timber Corps or indeed of what was expected of them but this historical story certainly brings the time, place and people alive so that I followed Keeva, Rosie and Beatrice's story with interest. All three women are from very different social backgrounds and this makes for an interesting dynamic and shows just how leveling this was back breaking work was and how hard these young women worked. Friendships were forged in these exceptional circumstances which certainly helped to make the unbearable bearable and yet there were also times when the pressure of working together caused tempers to fray.

The author writes well and her considerable knowledge of this period in history adds an authenticity to the narrative as well as describing the vital work that went on in the British woodlands. Felling, chopping and loading timber for the war effort was no easy task for these women but they did so with huge determination and for that we owe them a debt of gratitude.

About the Author

Joanna Foat is the author of the Lumberjills: Britain's Forgotten Army, the definitive history of the Women's Timber Corps in WWII, published in 2019. The Lumberjills: Stronger Together is the first in a series of historical novels.

Twitter @JoFoat #TheLumberjills


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