Apr 20, 2015

Welsh Week: Love Me Tender by Anne Bennett - Review and Giveaway

A heartrending tale of love and tragedy during The Birmingham Blitz. Perfect for fans of Katie Flynn and Annie Groves.
For Kathy O’Malley, life has not been easy with her husband, Barry, out of work and with two children to feed. Then when war breaks out in 1939, many of the local men enlist, including Barry, leaving the women to cope as best they can.
The years that follow are full of hardship: rationing, nightly air raids and endless shifts working at the local munitions factory all take their toll on Kathy who longs to feel the strong arms of her husband around her once more.
When she meets Doug, a handsome American GI, she is drawn immediately drawn to him but determined to honour her marriage vows. But after she receives a telegram informing that her husband is missing, presumed dead, she makes a decision that will have consequences, not just for herself, but for the lives of all those she loves too…

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Review

Kathy O'Malley's husband Barry has been out of work for years. The family is poor and they can only clothe and feed their two children with the help of Kathy's parents. When Hitler becomes a greater threat England has to start preparing for war and that is when Barry finally finds a job. Soon he enlists and is being sent away. Kathy has to manage home while she's pregnant again and when the war breaks out Birmingham isn't a safe city to live in. After several bombings Kathy decides to send her two eldest children away, it's with pain in her heart, but it's better for them to be safe. She has to take a job and there are people who need a place to stay, so she's never alone, but that doesn't mean she's not lonely. She misses her husband and children dearly. When she meets a handsome American GI she's instantly drawn to him, which is why she can better avoid the man. Only that isn't very easy.

Meanwhile Lizzy is living in the countryside. She's moved from a back-to-back house to a large country home. The woman who's taken her and her brother in is rich. She can easily afford to have two extra mouths to feed and the children are living a life of luxury. For Lizzy it's a happy time. She lives with kind people, has found a great best friend and the son of the woman she's living with is very handsome. Only when the son shows interest in the young girl trouble is starting.

Love Me Tender is a book about a family that has been torn apart by the war. They're all living somewhere else and times are difficult. Because of the war everyone is more reckless and people are inclined to do things they wouldn't have done otherwise. It greatly impressed me to read about that time and the hard lives a lot of the people were living. I felt so bad for Kathy for everything she has to endure while getting so little sympathy. She's very strong and the same goes for her daughter, they never give up.

What I liked about this book is that the story felt very realistic. It was about a family with family trouble that could have really happened during the war. That made me feel their pain more and also their joy. Love Me Tender is a beautiful story about love in many different ways. It's never black and white. With over 500 pages this isn't a short read, it's a book that needs to be enjoyed slowly. It's a book that deserves time and dedication from the reader. I'm grateful that I've been able to read Love Me Tender as it's a really good book.

Author information

Anne Bennett grew up in Birmingham, but is now living in North Wales. She writes for Harper Collins and Love Me Tender will be republished next month.

Giveaway

The winner of this giveaway will receive a pre-order copy of Love Me Tender via The Bookdepository. Good luck!


I will contact the winner via email. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international.      

21 comments:

  1. I really enjoy books set in this era. I think it's because my nan always wrote short stories set around then.

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  2. I havent read a lot of read books set in this era and would love to!

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  3. I like historical stories and how people cope with the situation during the war time.

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  4. Because I love to read regardless of the book!! :)

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  5. I love to read all books, any genre.

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  6. It sounds good. I'm trying to get more into historical fiction.

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  7. I love well-written family sagas.

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  8. The story is very interesting because historically these things happened to many families. Reading about will give a truer insight of how things really were and what families had to endure.

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  9. It looks good, its the kind of book I would normally read.

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  10. I love reading a well written book, especially anything with a little history in it!!

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  11. I love reading book..like I am that situation..that is my opssesion..thanks for chance

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  12. At 44 I am a new reader of "war time" novels, but loving them all. My own fault but glad I've tried some now.

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  13. I love reading new "voices" and I'm not sure I've had the chance to read many Welsh authors.

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  14. I haven't read anything from a Welsh author and I am very curious about it :)

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  15. I love reading fiction about how 'home' was in the war - this sounds like a great read

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  16. Second World War stories always get me so impressed!

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