As you all know, I read The Girls of Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke recently and I loved it, so jumped at the chance to read A Wedding at Mulberry Lane and be a part of this blog tour! WWII fiction, particularly focused on the plight of women at that time, is a personal favourite of mine. It really highlights the strength of women in times of adversity.
Love, marriage, birth, death and betrayal in the East End of London make up life in Mulberry Lane. Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Cathy Sharp and Donna Douglas.
Maureen Jackson knew life as a trainee nurse wouldn’t be easy, but she didn’t expect her hospital to be badly bombed on her first shift. Plus Maureen still has her family and friends in Mulberry Lane to keep her busy – she’s needed as much there as she is by her patients.
Running the pub on the corner of Mulberry Lane, Peggy Ashley is used to taking in all sorts of waifs and strays. But the arrival of a dashing American captain has got tongues wagging about Mulberry Lane’s favourite landlady…
Janet Ashley’s husband is back from the frontline. Which is more than so many of the wives of Mulberry Lane. But her beloved Mike is a completely different man from the one she fell in love with – and what’s more he doesn’t remember her, or their young daughter. How do you cope when your darling husband is a virtual stranger?
As WW2 continues around them, the women of Mulberry Lane know that community spirit and friendship is the key to surviving the Blitz. (Thanks Netgalley)
A Wedding at Mulberry Lane is the second in the Mulberry Lane series by Rosie Clarke, and it really was lovely to catch up with Maureen, Peggy, and Janet again. When I read The Girls of Mulberry Lane I had been disappointed about the way it ended due to the number of loose ends it left – thankfully Rosie put me right on Twitter and let me know that the next book in the series would be out on the 1st December!
So back to the book in question…A Wedding at Mulberry Lane see’s us return to London to find out how Peggy, her daughter Janet and their friend Maureen are coping with what life, love and war are throwing at them.
Maureen has left Mulberry Lane (and her ungrateful father) behind her as she starts her nurse training. She is determined to assist in the war effort by caring for those injured in the war whilst fighting for love – the love of her childhood sweetheart Rory, but also the love of her friends as the bombs continue to rain down across England, putting everyone she loves in harms way.
Peggy loves her life as landlady of the Pig & Whistle in Mulberry Lane. Despite shortages and rations, her pub remain the hub of the lane, a place where the local residents feel safe but also a place where celebrations happen – celebrations of love and life. Whilst caring for her customers, Peggy is left dealing with her own demons…the discovery of her husbands secrets, but also the arrival of a rather handsome American soldier.
Janet is delighted to have her beloved husband Mike home from the war, but what she discovers is that war can really change a man. Along with their young daughter, Janet finds herself fighting for a man who doesn’t remember either of them, whilst he struggles to deal with his injuries.
I am a big fan of the characters in these Mulberry Lane novels. Peggy, Janet and Maureen are all strong females who are forced to fight for love and life at a time when death and destruction were so prevalent. Whilst the three of them are fictional characters, the setting they find themselves in is anything but fictional. London during the Blitz was a dark and dangerous place to be, where death could find you even if you weren’t a soldier fighting at the front. Despite the nightly air raids, the unexploded hidden bombs and the total destruction of homes and livelihoods, Londoners were forced to go on, day in and day out as they waited for news of their loved ones, ever hopeful that their friends and family would make it home safely. The role of women during this time was so important as they held together their families and worked hard to keep businesses afloat. Rosie Clarke captures all of this within these novels, and I cannot wait for the third instalment in this series to find out where the war takes these strong, hard-working women.
Thank you to Rosie Clarke, Aria and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my review, and for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour.
Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖
Rosie Clarke was born in Swindon, but moved to Ely in Cambridgeshire at the age of nine. She started writing in 1976, combining this with helping her husband run his antiques shop. In 2004, Rosie was the well-deserved winner of the RNA Romance Award and the Betty Neels Trophy. Rosie also writes as Anne Herries and Cathy Sharp. Find out more at her website: http://www.rosieclarke.co.uk
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