I’m delighted to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for poignant novel A Ration Book Childhood by Fiona Fullerton. Thank you to Rachel Gilbey and Corvus Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this lovely book.
About the book:
In the darkest days of the Blitz, family is more important than ever.
With her family struggling amidst the nightly bombing raids in London’s East End, Ida Brogan is doing her very best to keep their spirits up. The Blitz has hit the Brogans hard, and rationing is more challenging than ever, but they are doing all they can to help the war effort.
When Ida’s oldest friend Ellen returns to town, sick and in dire need of help, it is to Ida that she turns. But Ellen carries a secret, one that threatens not only Ida’s marriage, but the entire foundation of the Brogan family. Can Ida let go of the past and see a way to forgive her friend? And can she overcome her sadness to find a place in her heart for a little boy, one who will need a mother more than ever in these dark times?
About the author:
Jean Fullerton is the author of twelve novels all set in East London where she was born. She is also a retired district nurse and university lecturer. She won the Harry Bowling prise in 2006 and after initially signing for two East London historical series with Orion she moved to Corvus, part of Atlantic Publishing and is half way through her WW2 East London series featuring the Brogan family.
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A Ration Book Childhood by Jean Fullerton is historical fiction at its very best. It depicts the dark and scary days of the Blitz during World War 2, an era of history that I’ve always been fascinated by. It tells the story of those ordinary women, men and children and the extraordinary times they found themselves living in. It tells of how they somehow managed to find the courage in the face of such adversity to continue living their day to day lives, never knowing if they would survive to see another day as the bombs continued to fall relentlessly night after night.
This book focuses on the Brogan family as they try to cope with food shortages and rationing, all while still doing everything they can to help the war effort. I haven’t read the previous books in this series, but don’t feel that impacted on my enjoyment of this story at all. I warmed to the Brogan family from the outset, they came across as the kind of strong and supportive people who were prevalent at this time in history. At a time when family and friends were so important, this book gives an insight into a family caught up in wartime London and how they supported each other through this darkest of times.
A Ration Book Childhood is full of the poignant moments that leave you feeling moved and full of admiration, the strength and resilience of the wonderful Brogan family shining through as you get caught up in the events of their lives. It’s a story of life, love, loss and everything in between, but most of all it shows how families like the Brogan’s, as scared as they were, somehow managed to hold on to the belief that no matter how bad it got they would somehow make it through as long as they had each other. London during the Blitz is brought so vividly to life I almost felt like I was there, the fear palpable as the bombs continued to fall.
This may have been my first foray into Jean Fullerton’s historical fiction, but now I’ve met and fallen in love with the Brogan family, it most definitely won’t be my last. Rich in characterisation and full of warmth and love, A Ration Book Childhood is a beautifully written, moving and poignant look at life during the Blitz in wartime Britain. Highly recommended.
A Ration Book Childhood by Jean Fullerton is available to buy now.
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