*BLOG TOUR* War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm by Rosie Clarke

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm by Rosie Clarke as part of her fabulous blog tour!

Cambridgeshire – March 1939

As the clouds of war begin to gather in Europe, the Talbot family of rural Blackberry Farm will be torn apart, just as so many families all over the world will be. Life will never be the same again.

Whilst in London, the Salmons family will feel the pain of parting and loss.

Brought together by war, the two families become intertwined and, as the outlook looks bleak, they must draw on each other’s strength to fight through the hard times.

Lizzie Johnson and Tom were sweethearts until a mistake caused a terrible rift. Lizzie takes herself off to London to heal the pain in a glamorous new job but she still loves Tom. His pride has been hurt – but deep down inside Tom still cares. Can they find happiness before their chance is gone and the whole word is swept into the terrible madness of war?

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you will know that I am a huge fan of Rosie Clarke’s Mulberry Lane series so when I was offered the opportunity to read War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm, the first in a new saga series, I jumped at the chance! I am pleased to confirm that I was not disappointed – Rosie Clarke knows how to write a good saga series!

In this first novel we are introduced to Lizzie and Tom, childhood sweethearts who are living under the cloud of a looming war. When a shocking incident occurs, Lizzie finds herself fleeing her home and heading for London where she aims to throw herself into her hairdressing. She has always wanted to compete with her hairdressing, and when she finds herself safe lodgings and a good salon, she finds herself attempting to heal, despite pining for her lost love with Tom.

Tom is hot headed and sometimes struggles to contain his anger. But he knows he would never hurt Lizzie, and he finds himself caring for her, despite what has happened in the past. As war becomes inevitable, Tom finds himself longing to bring Lizzie back home, away from the city in order to keep her safe.

I really liked both Tom and Lizzie’s characters – their thoughts and actions are very fitting for the time period but it was nice to see Lizzie’s ambitions shining through, despite what has happened to her. Rosie Clarke’s real success in her storytelling is her characterisation, and War Clouds Over Blackberry Farm is no exception. The themes of family, love and loss run strongly through her novels and they are clear to see here. The love and support within the Talbot family is beautifully described which left me keen to know more about other family members. It was also nice to see the clear contrast between rural and city life in 1939. With the Mulberry Lane series being set in London, I actually really enjoyed reading more about rural life in Britain as war started to become a certainty for all.

I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you all – I personally can’t wait for the release of the next in this historical saga series!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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

Purchase Link

Amazon UK

Author Bio

Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Shop Girls of Harpers and The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is an RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire.

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*BLOG TOUR* Stormy Days on Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke

Today it is my pleasure to bring you my review of Stormy Days on Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke, as part of her wonderful blog tour.

London 1950

Peggy Ronoscki is happily settling into life running her guesthouse on Mulberry Lane, surrounded by close friends and family. Life just seems too good…

But then disaster strikes.

Pip, her beloved son is left in a coma following a devastating car crash and a young girl collapses in the market leaving Peggy no option but to nurse her back to health.

As things begin to go awry, Peggy worries she has brought trouble to her doorstep?

Can her life ever return to normal? Or has Peggy’s good nature led her astray?

If you are a regular follower of my blog, you will know what a fan I am of the Mulberry Lane series – if you’re new then please check out my other reviews below;

The Girls of Mulberry Lane

A Wedding at Mulberry Lane

Mulberry Lane Babies

New Arrivals at Mulberry Lane

The Women of Mulberry Lane

A Reunion at Mulberry Lane

Stormy Days on Mulberry Lane is the seventh book in this wonderful series, and once again it focuses on our heroine Peggy Ronoscki. She has finally returned to the lanes, both for herself and for the opportunities that it provides her children. She is once again surrounded by her beloved friends and family and she is content with her life. The war is over, rationing has eased and she loves to look after those that stay at her guesthouse. But when Peggy finds a collapsed girl in the marketplace, her good nature pushes her to take her in and care for her. Her son Pip is also involved in an awful car accident, leaving Peggy to hold together everything in the lanes so that her daughter and daughter-in-law can rush to be by his side. Peggy’s good nature may finally come back to bite her, as trouble starts to follow in her wake!

Whilst Stormy Days on Mulberry Lane can definitely be read as a standalone novel, I would not recommend it because you’d be missing out on the wonderful, colourful stories that bring you to this point in the lanes. Peggy Ronoscki is such a central character in the Mulberry Lane series, that it would be a shame to miss out on understanding her story and how she came to be at this point in her life. She is such a kind and caring character, who clearly suffered during WWII, but it made her stronger. Her strength of character is a delight to read, and her husband Able compliments her so beautifully that they are really a pleasure to read about. Maureen and her daughter Shirley are also favourite characters of mine, and I’ve really enjoyed watching them grow and evolve as characters throughout this series. Shirley in particular really comes into her own in this novel,.

So whilst we have left WWII behind us in this novel (and I am a big fan of fiction set during WWII, particularly when its following the strength of women), I continue to love this series as it shows us how that period in time continues to have an effect on all those who made it through. I love revisiting characters, and continuing to watch them evolve and grow, and the Mulberry Lane series is no exception to this. I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you (along with the other 6 in the series!). If you haven’t get discovered the ladies of Mulberry Lane, a snowy, lockdown day like today is the perfect opportunity! So grab yourself a hot chocolate and blanket, and curl up with the women of Mulberry Lane!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to Rosie Clarke and 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

Amazon UK

Author Bio

Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Mulberry Lane series.  She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner.  She lives in Cambridgeshire.

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Website

Twitter

BookBub