May 28, 2015

Review: War Babies by Annie Murray

Rachel Booker has a difficult start in life. When her father dies, deep in gambling debt, her mother must harden herself to make ends meet, but becomes so hard she has little room left for affection or warmth. Mother and daughter work at the open market in Birmingham, selling second-hand clothes or whatever they can find just to put a little food on the table.

But the market has a silver lining: it's there that Rachel makes her first childhood friend, Danny. As they grow older, the friendship grows into something more and their innocent romance gives Rachel the care and comfort she's always craved. But at just sixteen, as World War II breaks out, Rachel falls pregnant. They marry in haste but it isn't long before Danny is called up.

Left on the homefront with a new baby and little else, Rachel must scrape by with the other residents of Sparkbrook. But if Danny ever makes it home, will he be the same boy she loved so fiercely? And if Rachel can sustain the family until then, will she end up as hard-hearted as her own mother?

War Babies is a moving and insightful novel about hardships on the homefront and how the war changed everybody it touched...

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Rachel's mother doesn't really care much about her. She's never kind and Rachel doesn't feel loved at all. Her father has passed away and left them penniless. Rachel's mother has to work hard and while they're selling things at the rag market Rachel meets Danny. She likes him straight away and slowly they're becoming friends. Until he disappears all of a sudden. Not long afterwards Rachel's mother manages to find a new man to marry. They're no longer poor, but Rachel doesn't like her new home, not at all. She escapes it as much as she can. One of her favorite places to go to is the rag market. Danny's aunt Gladys is still working there and she's always kind to Rachel.

When Danny's finally back at the market Rachel is very happy. Soon they're more than just friends and even though they're really young they know it's true love. Not long afterwards Rachel's pregnant. She's happy living with Danny and Gladys, but it can't last long as there's a war going on. When Danny's eighteen he has to do his duty, which means he has to leave home. Rachel is now alone with one baby and another one on the way. The Second World War has separated Danny and Rachel and she misses him fiercely, but Rachel must keep going as two little children depend on her. With the help of Gladys she can manage. Will she and Danny both survive the war and if so will their relationship still be the same?

War Babies is a beautiful story about a girl who doesn't come from a loving home. She wants to do better than her mother and she tries to give her children as much love as she can. She often cries, but life is going on and Rachel has to be strong. Her mother is no support, so she and Gladys have to get by. It was wonderful to see her grow. Rachel vows to love her children and to show them that she cares. Gladys seems to know how to help very well, but she doesn't have a family of her own. I wanted to know what she was hiding.

It was interesting to read about life in general and what happened to families, at the time of the Second World War. If you like stories set in this time I can definitely recommend this book. I liked the story about true love and was fascinated by it from the start. War Babies is captivating and I absolutely loved it.

1 comment:

  1. Your review itself is so good, I can image how good the story will be. It sounds beautiful and haunting.

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