Sandy Taylor is on the blog today with the third in her Brighton Girls Trilogy, this a story of love and sacrifice in war-time Britain. Please read on for my review of
When We Danced at the End of the Pier
Maureen knew at a young age that Jack, the neighbor boy, will be hers forever. Soon, with his friend Nelson and her friend Monica the four are inseparable through all the childhood trials and tribulations, knowing that they have a bond far too strong to break. When you add in Maureen’s little sister Brenda – the moments that sparkle over their childhood, along with the trials for both Jack and Monica due to parents who are less than optimal, is stunning. The acceptance, caring and worries shared in this little group show the innate strength that Maureen possesses, even as things get scary and confusing. For that will happen – as war will come to threaten and disrupt their lives once again.
What we all know is that war is difficult, and there aren’t only casualties on the battlefields. Maureen’s father is a veteran of the first World War, and has never quite been the same man, or even a whole man, since his return. From lives that were poor but mostly happy in the getting by to a whole new set of struggles, friends leaving and in danger, the threat of bombs and death a very real possibility, the story winds through struggles and trials, coming together for support, family and friendship, and the sorrows when it all seems to explode into nothing but loss. Bittersweet yes, but so ultimately engaging and evocative of the time, the characters come alive in ways unexpected with plenty of moments to laugh in spite of the darkness (or even using that darkness) around them.
A completely unexpected story that feels as if it tells the true stoeis of those at home and at war, and the changes, sacrifices and little moments that prove the desire and determination to move on and keep going aren’t wasted. Taylor has brought these characters to life with a gentle touch, in showing the innocence and surprisingly astute views of the characters as children, then allowing them to develop into adults in the most difficult of times, experiencing loves, losses and little victories, the story reads like one of a life, or lives, lived to the fullest allowed in spite of the obstacles facing them. I’ve not read the others in this trilogy, a situation I intend to remedy immediately,
Title: When We Danced at the End of the Pier
Author: Sandy Taylor
Series: Brighton Girls Trilogy #3
Genre: Family Saga, Historical Romance, Setting: Britain
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 31 March, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 1 min
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible
Brighton 1930: Maureen O'Connell is a carefree girl, but her family is on the brink of tragedy, war is looming and life will never be the same again.
Jack and Nelson have always been dear friends to Maureen. Despite their different backgrounds, they've seen each other through thick and thin.
As Maureen blossoms from a little girl into a young woman, the candle she's always held for Jack burns bright. But just as she's found love, war wrenches them apart. The man she cherishes with all her heart is leaving.
When the bombs start to fall, Maureen and her family find themselves living in the most dangerous of times. With Jack no longer by her side and Nelson at war, Maureen has never felt more alone. Can she look to a brighter future? And will she find the true happiness she's dreamt of?
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: