“In the darkest days of the Blitz, family is more important than ever.
With her family struggling amidst the nightly bombing raids in London’s East End, Ida Brogan is doing her very best to keep their spirits up. The Blitz has hit the Brogans hard, and rationing is more challenging than ever, but they are doing all they can to help the war effort.
When Ida’s oldest friend Ellen returns to town, sick and in dire need of help, it is to Ida that she turns. But Ellen carries a secret, one that threatens not only Ida’s marriage, but the entire foundation of the Brogan family. Can Ida let go of the past and see a way to forgive her friend? And can she overcome her sadness to find a place in her heart for a little boy, one who will need a mother more than ever in these dark times?”
What did I think?
Bringing London to life during the war, A Ration Book Childhood is a treat for anyone who enjoys war time human drama. The story principally follows Ida and Jerimiah Brogan and Ida’s old friend Ellen, but it brings in many other members of the Brogan family, each with their own circumstances and trials of the period. Superbly written, the characterisation is very believable. I found myself engaged with the story as it moved through the realities of Britain in the war to more immediate family relationships, heartache and happiness. The topics raised were dealt with sympathetically, and the finale of the story was perfect. As a reader I felt satisfied even though not all threads reached a conclusion, there was an overarching feeling of resolution and hope through the darkest of days in twentieth century London.
Fullerton’s fluid writing style is delightful and makes this novel both easy to read and a real page turner. The detail included is tangible, bringing to life day to day living conditions. I liked the author’s notes at the end too, giving a little more insight into the background of the novel and demonstrating an understanding of and connection with the period.
If you’re looking for a book to settle down with this autumn, then A Ration Book Childhood needs to be on your reading pile!
Where can you buy a copy?
More about the author:
Jean Fullerton is the author of twelve novels all set in East London where she was born. She also a retired district nurse and university lecturer. She won the Harry Bowling prise 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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N.B. Thank you to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the book tour, and of course huge thanks to Jean Fullerton for gifting me a copy of her book for the purposes of this review. All thoughts are my own. For more information please see my disclosure page.