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 Link – https://goo.gl/eZ4TD5
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.
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