Nov 18, 2014

Proud of You by Mary Wood

Three women's struggle against hardship and heartache during the Second World War
Alice, an upper-class Londoner, is recruited into the Special Operations Executive and sent to Paris where she meets Gertrude, an ex-prostitute working for the Resistance Movement. Together they discover that they have a connection to the same man, Ralph D'Olivier, and vow to unravel the mystery of his death.
After narrowly escaping capture by the Germans, Alice is lifted out of France and taken to a hospital for wounded officers where she meets Lil, a working-class northern girl, working as a nurse. Though worlds apart, Alice and Lil form a friendship, and Alice discovers Lil is also linked to Ralph D'Olivier.
Soon, the war irrevocably changes each of these women and they are thrust into a world of heartache and strife beyond anything they have had to endure before. Can they clear Ralph's name and find a lasting love and happiness for themselves?

Amazon

Alice, Lil and Gertrude all have a difficult past. Alice has grown up in luxury, but her childhood was filled with terror. Lil has married her childhood sweetheart who's changed into someone she doesn't recognize anymore. Gertrude was forced to leave her home when she was a teenager and she worked as a prostitute to keep herself alive. War has taken a lot from these women, but they've got one thing in common, they have strength. Alice and Gertrude meet in France and discover that they have a connection. They become friends while they are both working for the French resistance. Alice is a special agent and Gertrude works for a German family as an undercover language teacher. When Alice gets hurt she has to go back to the UK where she meets Lil. They become friends and discover that they also have a connection. Because of the war all of the women suffer and they have to endure things that are unbearable to think of. Are they going to survive and find the love they truly deserve or will the war ruin their lives and destroy everyone who's close to them?
Proud of You isn't a light read. Even before the war these three women had a tough life. Alice is the bravest heroine I've ever read about. Lil is a kind women who wants to make things all right for everyone. She has to live with a lot of guilt and she manages to turn it into something productive to help others. Gertrude's loyalty comes before love which in her case is an enormous achievement. It isn't easy to read about all the horrors that have happened in the Second World War, but it's good to be reminded. Mary Wood doesn't sugar coat things, she writes about the horrors in an honest way. She also writes about the good things, friendship and love in a beautiful way. Sometimes I had to swallow back tears and other times I was being kept on the edge of my seat for quite some time, because I had to know what would happen next in the lives of these three women. They've all become very dear to me. The same goes for this book, it's the best novel I've read this year.

14 comments:

  1. This is a book I would enjoy. Fantastic review.

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  2. Thank you so much. All the hard work and dedication that went into creating this book, from the research, and the many tears shed over what I discovered about what our women ancestors did in the war - to those shed for my characters - to the many discarded pieces that weren't quite right - to the edit, brilliantly done by my editor, Louise Buckley, which was very difficult for me, but so worth it in the end - to the book tour that was grueling, but enjoyable, has now come together, in your appreciation of the novel. It means so much to me. And, as Tanya Phillips says below, it is a fantastic review. Thank you again. Much love, Mary Wood x

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  3. Thank you for the great review. I love books set during the Second World War and this one sounds amazing.

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  4. It is an amazing book, written with so much insight, love, compassion and empathy, I give it 10*

    I really recommend it.

    Love Anna xxx

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  5. I completely agree with you, it's fabulous and there aren't enough words to describe how good it is...

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  6. I want to thank you again for the wonderful book, I keep thinking about the story and the brave women. It's really good and I hope for my Dutch friends and family that it will be translated :).

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  7. Thank you so much, Anna, Much love, Mary xxx

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  8. I am overwhelmed, thank you so much, much lovexxx

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  9. Thank you, Sue, much love xxx

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  10. Oh, I so wished it could be. It is a matter of one of your publishing companies buying the Dutch foreign rights, and I don't know if that will happen. It would be wonderful if it did. Thank you again. I am so happy that the characters have stayed with you. Much love, Mary x

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  11. Thank you, it is an amazing review I am so happy to receive it, much love, Mary xxx

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  12. I totally agree with you - I never have the words deep enough to describe Mary's books

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