This review is spoiler free.
“Life, I’m afraid, happens to us all.”
Published: 2018, by Zaffre Publishing.
Genre: Historical, Historical Fiction, War, World War II, European Literature, British Literature, Women’s
Contains: Cheating, Affairs, Death, War, Domestic Abuse, Abuse, Arson, Violence, Murder
Set after the events of the television show, ‘Keep the Home Fires Burning’ tells the story of Frances Barden, Sarah Collingborne, Pat Simms, Miriam Brindsley, and the women of the Great Paxford Women’s Institute as they strive to protect the Home Front and prove that they can do anything if they work together.
I was unaware that this book was the continuation of a discontinued two season television show, but I managed to piece together the missing information nevertheless and found it incredibly enjoyable.
Although, this book has quite a slow start, the pace gradually picks up and makes for an interesting read. The change between what would’ve been a script format into a novel is fairly obvious, as a lot of the narrative consists of what is happening in the characters minds, yet the challenge was well-worth it after the second half; it just takes motivation to read on and reach that point. There’s a fairly large selection of characters to keep track of, but you quickly adjust, and fall in love with the empowering message of the women of the second world war. A personal favourite of mine was Pat and her relationship with Marek, The story-line was the most interesting, as the narrative takes on a new form to witness a relationship bloom in letters. The narrative itself is strict and concise, making for a direct but entertaining read. As mentioned before, a lot of the narrative is simply the inner thoughts of the characters heads with third person observations, yet with the original form being difficult, I understand the author’s challenge to switch to a more descriptive form; however, with added actions and dialogue, I feel as if this book would’ve been a five star read.
Overall, event thought I had no knowledge of Home Fires prior to this novel, I certainly do now, and I’m looking forward to watching and understanding more about the lovable characters.