Pam Weaver comes to the blog with a story of family and challenges in post-World War II Britain with
At Home by the Sea
Overhearing a fight between their parents, Izzy and Linda, just 13 and 10 respectively, are scared and worried: more so when their mother disappeared into the cold night with little but a nightdress and coat. When she was discovered near death in a shed down the street, the girls thought she’d soon be home: but that was not to be. Now living with their rather harsh tempered father who’d been gone some 6 years during the war, the girls are grief stricken and confused. After a couple of years with their grandparents providing security and safety, the girls are returned to their father’s care: Izzy is now old enough to earn her keep, and Linda will continue school.
Frustrated with the unequal treatment and taking on the role of mother and provider, Izzy makes plans to leave – to do something away from her father, while questions about her mother mount, and her sister Linda becomes increasingly difficult to manage. Spoilt and left to her own devices by her father, Linda is heading down a bad road, while Izzy, doing the right thing is right to feel misused and overworked. Fortunately for her, she’s been able to find work that both strengthens her confidence and provides her with options. Unfortunately, being a companion for the elderly woman was a time-limited job, and when the woman died, Izzy’s struggles just began. Although not without the upsides, she had found her mother, learned more of why she left, and discovered that her father was imprisoned for black market trading that led to the death of a young boy and the illnesses of many.
There is so much happening, including the disparity of treatment of women and girls during the time, the importance of “reputation’ for a girl, the struggles with a young sister with a need to have everything now and an eye for unsuitable boys, and the kindness of a café owner who, despite the age difference finds Isobelle (as he calls her) a singularly unique creature and one that he’s falling in love with. Plenty of drama, the struggles of post-war Britain, the ambitions of a young girl determined to move beyond the circumstances she’s living in and a family secret and history all revealed, the story is gripping and engaging well worth the read if for no other reason to see the changes from a mere 50 years earlier in attitude and custom.
Title: At Home by the Sea
Author: Pam Weaver
Genre: Historic Woman's Fiction, British, Family Saga, Friendship, Grief, Historic Elements, Post World War II, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Britain
Published by: Avon
Published on: 8 July, 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 32 minutes
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Can a second chance heal their broken family?
Since their mother walked out on them as children, Izzie’s taken responsibility for her younger sister, Linda. And when their father’s temper flares up, Izzie knows the girls are better off on their own.
But when a handsome Italian chef moves to Worthing and offers Izzie a job in his cafe, she is forced to choose between her responsibilities and her desires. Then her mother resurfaces, and Izzie discovers there’s more to her abandonment than meets the eye.
Will Izzie be able to come to terms with the past in order to pursue the future she deserves?
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.