disclosure: we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review
I love a good family saga, and the sixth novel in the Ration Book series of books hasn’t disappointed me. A Ration Book Daughter by Jean Fullerton was published last month through Corvus and it’s another cracker of a read.
In A Ration Book Daughter, we are back in the East End of London with the Brogan family and World War Two has been raging for three years.
Cathy Wheeler (nee Brogan) and her young son Peter are living with her vile mother in law Violet, while her brutish husband, Stanley, has been sent off to fight. Even three years on from her wedding she’s reeling from the discovery that her husband is actually a violent thug who was involved in the fascist movement. He stands for everything that she hates and she’s trapped in a marriage full of disillusionment. She is a volunteer at the local WVS rest centre and looks after the secondhand clothing section. Cathy returns home, there’s a knock at the door and she’s handed a letter telling her that her husband is missing in action. Whilst her mother in law is distraught, Cathy begins to hope and pray that her freedom is within grasp. If there is no sign of Stanley then in six months time she will be officially classed as a widow and will be able to put Stanley, Violet and everything they stand for behind her. The countdown begins.
We also meet Sergeant Archie McIntosh, a Scottish soldier working in the Royal Engineers Bomb Disposal Squad. Archie is a widower with a young daughter Kirsty who is living with his mother back in Glasgow. Archie is a good man, his team of men respect him and his judgement, the same can’t be said for Lieutenant Monkman, who is the officer in overall charge of the Unit D Squad of the North East London Bomp Disposal. He’s an officer who turns up at the last minute, makes rash decisions and likes to take the glory for the risky work that his team completes.
A chance meeting with Cathy when Archie stops little Peter from running out into a road will change all of their lives as the story of a Ration Book Daughter unfolds.
The novel is beautifully written and you want to invest time in the characters and each of their stories as the various plots develop. As with all of this series, A Ration Book Daughter stands up well on its own, but I’m also already looking forward to the release of the next chapter in the lives of the Brody clan.
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