Tuesday 23 July 2013

Home Front Girls by Rosie Goodwin


Annabelle Smythe, the only child of wealthy Richard and Miranda Smythe, has been indulged all her life. She's never had to work and with a cook and cleaning lady taking care of the house and family, all Annabelle has to worry about is what to wear to the next dance or party. But Britain is now at war and everyone is forced to tighten their belts, including Richard Smythe, whose business is suffering. He can no longer afford to keep up Annabelle's allowance and, to Annabelle's disgust, he expects his daughter to get a job.

Lucy Ford has a young sister to take care of but she too must go out to work when her brother, Joel is sent away to fight in the war. She applies for a position at department store, Owen Owen, and meets Annabelle while attending an interview.

Dorothy Kent - usually known as Dotty - has been working at Owen Owen for a few weeks but, as a timid, plain girl, has yet to make any friends. But when she meets Annabelle and Lucy, the three girls quickly strike up a friendship.

The three girls are all very different but each has a secret from their past, which begin to surface as the war rages on. Nights are interrupted by air raids and their town crumbles around them but Annabelle, Lucy and Dotty must get on with life as best as they can but by the end of the war, everyone will have been affected by death and destruction in one way or another.

Over the course of the book, the girls change, most notably Annabelle who starts off as a spoilt, petulant young woman who thinks working is beneath her. But the others change too. Dotty starts to come out of her shell and grows in confidence while Lucy's closeness to Dotty and Annabelle allows her to finally part with her darkest secrets.

While I enjoyed the book, it did come across a bit like a text book at times for me, dropping an awful lot of information at once and while I would usually find these facts fascinating, they didn't always feel natural within the story. I also thought the emotions could have run a little deeper because although many terrible things happen due to the blitz, they come across rather factual so I didn't feel as though I were connecting to the characters as much as I could have as I wasn't really feeling their sorrow and loss.

Overall, I found Home Front Girls to be an enjoyable and informative book and I enjoyed the personal growth of the characters most of all as well as the bond between the the three girls.

Thank you to Canvas for sending me a copy to review.

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