*BLOG TOUR* A Ration Book Christmas by Jean Fullerton

Today is my stop on the blog tour for Jean Fullerton’s A Ration Book Christmas.

With Christmas approaching, the Brogan family of London’s East End are braving the horrors of the Blitz.  With the men away fighting for King and Country and the ever-present dangers of the German Lutwaffe’s nightly reign of death and destruction, the family must do all they can to keep a stiff upper lip.

For Jo, the youngest of the Brogan sisters, the perils of war also offer a new-found freedom.  Jo falls in love with Tommy, a man known for his dangerous reputation as much as his charm.  But as the falling bombs devastate their neighbourhood and rationing begins to bite, will the Brogans manage to pull together a traditional family Christmas?  And will Jo find the love and security she seeks in a time of such grave peril?

As we near the centenary of the end of First World War, I am finding myself reading more and more historical novels set during war time.  I think it is good to be reminded what our not-too-distant relatives had to live through, and novels such as A Ration Book Christmas work hard to paint a picture of what it was like living through such a perilous time.  I usually read historical novels that are from the view point of frontline nurses or the soldiers that are off fighting, so it was a pleasant change to be able to read something from the perspective of those families that were working hard for some kind of normality back home whilst the men were away fighting.  Despite the bombs dropping on London every night, these families were carrying on with daily life, stepping over the rubble of their homes to try to ensure they could, in this instance, celebrate Christmas.

A Ration Book Christmas really highlights what families went through, embodied by the Brogan’s.  We follow Jo, the youngest Brogan daughter as she seeks her own position in the world whilst bombs literally drop around her.  Like any teenager, she wants freedom, and she wants love.  The war provides her with more freedom, and she is hopeful that Tommy, a local man, will return the love she has for him.

This is a book about the love a family has for each other, about how they work to protect each other, and how in the face of adversity they will work hard to be there for each other.  It is about a young girl becoming a young woman as she fights for the future she so desperately wants.  Ultimately this novel highlights the strength of those men, women and children who endured night after night of bombing to succeed in creating a future despite the German’s persistent attempts to keep them down.

I am more than happy to recommend this novel – I felt that it gave an accurate portrayal of the strength those family in the London’s East End had, enabling them to withstand such a brutal assault.

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase Linkhttps://goo.gl/eZ4TD5

Author Bio

Jean Fullerton is the author of eleven novels all set in East London where she was born.  She is 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.

Social Media Links

Website: http://jeanfullerton.com/


Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanFullerton_

*BLOG TOUR* The Poppy Field by Deborah Carr

It is my pleasure to help kick off the blog tour for The Poppy Field by Deborah Carr on publication day!

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Young nurse, Gemma, is struggling with the traumas she has witnessed through her job in the NHS. Needing to escape from it all, Gemma agrees to help renovate a rundown farmhouse in Doullens, France, a town near the Somme. There, in a boarded-up cupboard, wrapped in old newspapers, is a tin that reveals the secret letters and heartache of Alice Le Breton, a young volunteer nurse who worked in a casualty clearing station near the front line.

Set in the present day and during the horrifying years of the war, both woman discover deep down the strength and courage to carry on in even the most difficult of times. Through Alice’s words and her unfailing love for her sweetheart at the front, Gemma learns to truly live again.

This is a beautifully written epic historical novel that will take your breath away.

It is rather apt that I should be able to read such a book when we are so close to the centenary of the end of the First World War; the war to end all wars, although we now sadly know this not to be true.

The Poppy Field is set in two time periods – both present day and war time – and tells the story of two strong women, both of whom have seen unimaginable things in their roles as nurses.  One works on the frontline, tending injured soldiers whilst the other is a trauma nurse who is seeking to work out what she wants from her life.  Both show tremendous courage in the face of an uncertain future after dealing with trauma and tragedy, both professionally and personally.

The two women are linked across the decades by a series of letters, written by Alice Le Breton from her frontline hospital and discovered by Gemma as she renovates an old farmhouse in France.  Despite the different expectations placed on them by society, both women seek independence, stability, peace and love.  Alice’s letters bring to life a time long since gone by but never to be forgotten as she sees the impact of war on hundreds of young men, some of whom will never again return home.  In present day, Gemma is dealing with her own tragedy and can relate to Alice’s life, despite the fact that they lived almost a century apart.  With the help of Tom, an ex-military man who is assisting her with her renovations, and Alice’s letters, Gemma attempts to create herself the life she never knew she wanted.

The Poppy Field is such a lovely novel – I always enjoy novels set during the war and this is no exception.  I really loved the way that Alice’s letter linked her time with the present – I felt that this was beautifully and seamlessly achieved.  I therefore have no hesitation in recommending this book, which is published today!

Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖

Thank you to Rachel at Rachels Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and to Deborah Carr for writing such a lovely novel!

Purchase Link: http://mybook.to/ThePoppyField


Author Bio

Deborah Carr lives on the island of Jersey in the Channel Islands with her husband, two children and three rescue dogs.  She became interested in books set in WWI when researching her great-grandfather’s time as a cavalryman in the 17th 21st Lancers.  She is part of ‘The Blonde Plotters’ writing group and was Deputy Editor on the online review site, Novelicious.com for seven years.  Her debut historical romance, Broken Faces, is set in WWI and was runner-up in the 2012 Good Housekeeping Novel Writing Competition and given a ‘special commendation’ in the Harry Bowling Prize that year.  The Poppy Field is her second historical novel.