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1943, England: On a foggy night during the blackout, twenty-five-year-old May Robinson’s mother is tragically killed. Heartbroken, May isn’t sure she has the strength to harbour the secret she has kept for so many years – a secret her mother devoted her life to hiding, that would tear their broken family even further apart.
Vowing to make her mother proud, May trains to be a nurse at Edgemoor General hospital in South Shields, against a backdrop of wailing air-raid sirens and the eternal drone of enemy planes. Tending to wounded, ashen-faced soldiers, fighting to save lives, May is immediately drawn to kind-hearted Richard Bentley, who works tirelessly alongside her. He has sparkling brown eyes, and makes her laugh.
In the darkest of days, amongst death and despair, May and Richard are beacons of hope for one another. But why isn’t he fighting in the war like thousands of other brave young men?
May knows how she longs to escape her own past, and her mother’s. In this perilous time of such uncertainty, she finds herself asking – how well do they really know each other? And when the shocking truth of May’s secret comes to light, just as the war comes too close to home, can their love survive the impossible?
It’s lovely to read a good historical story and this one is superb and beautifully written.
May is such a relatable and likeable character. It’s been so difficult for her with her mother’s death, family secrets, and her father’s indifference. She’s really an admirable person though, as she follows her dreams to train as a nurse.
The account of her days working as a nurse is fascinating and insightful. She meets Richard, a hospital porter, and is instantly drawn to him. He’s a kind and gentle character and the love grows between them in spite of May’s reservations. But of course, in wartime nothing is straightforward, and there are difficult times ahead.
I really enjoyed this book and was sorry to say goodbye to the characters when it finished. I have, however, bought the prequel to it, which tells the story of her friend Etty, so I can look forward to another wonderful book.
Highly recommended for anyone who loves a story of love and life in wartime. It’s a book that will completely draw you in and not let go until the last page.
MY RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
She lives under the big skies of Northumberland with her husband, family and lucky black cat.
She wrote her first short story at the age of ten for a magazine competition. She didn’t win but was hooked on writing for a lifetime.
For many years she wrote poetry and short stories and got many rejection slips.
Shirley decided to get serious about writing novels when she retired.
She signed with Bookouture in 2018 for a two-book deal. She has written two stirring World War Two historical novels.
Shirley says she is a prime example of ‘never give up on your dream.’
Follow Shirley on her Facebook ‘Shirley Dickson Author’ page.