This book was sent to me free of charge by Head of Zeus in exchange for an honest review
Publish Date Hardcover 4th May 2017
The war is over, but trouble is brewing…
Wynsdown, 1949. In the small Somerset village of Wynsdown, Charlotte Shepherd is happily married to farmer Billy. She arrived from Germany on the Kindertransport as a child during the war and now feels settled in her adopted home.
Meanwhile, the squire’s fighter pilot son, Felix, has returned to the village with a fiancée in tow. Daphne is beautiful, charming… and harbouring secrets. After meeting during the war, Felix knows some of Daphne’s past, but she has worked hard to conceal that which could unravel her carefully built life.
For Charlotte, too, a dangerous past is coming back in the shape of fellow refugee, bad boy Harry Black. Forever bound by their childhoods, Charlotte will always care for him, but Harry’s return disrupts the village quiet and it’s not long before gossip spreads.
The war may have ended, but for these girls, trouble is only just beginning.
In this follow up to The Girl with no Name, we continue to follow the life of Charlotte a German refugee, through the highs and lows of life in a small Post War Somerset town, beautifully written the character of Charlotte suffers another great tragedy only to find security and happiness again.
I have heard that this is not a stand-alone book and that you need to read The Girl with No Name in order to understand the direction of the story, this is not true, as I have not read the first book, but found that Costeloe has revealed all the back story required for you to understand the characters and their lives.
All the characters are beautifully written and believable some are characters that you would love to meet and have a chat and a cuppa or a beer with, even the gangsters have their redeeming qualities, and there are others that you just want to shake, and while that character is portrayed as cold and selfish we are given the reasons for this and this gives a great understanding to that character.
The side story featuring Harry Black and his underworld friends is brilliantly done and shows the underside of London, without resorting to graphic violence.
Costeloe easily evokes a time long past, yet still within living memory and I know my Mother will definitely enjoy this book especially the parts set in Bristol as this is where she grew up, she explores the differences in living in the city post war and that of the countryside. One character, visiting the village from London is amazed at the abundance of eggs, and the description of her first ever task of chicken is poignant and yet in this modern time when we have so much seemingly unbelievable.
This book has a bit of everything, love, loss, death, birth, forbidden love and above all else for Charlotte a happy ending which brought tears to my eyes.