Rosie Clarke comes to the blog with another installment in her Mulberry Lane, a small patch of family and neighbors in London’s East End during the war
Mulberry Lane Babies
It’s 1941 and the war has already ravaged London and the ladies left behind to guard the homefront while the men are at war. With Janet’s husband back home after being severely wounded, both Peggy and Maureen pregnant, and young Tom’s father released from prison and heading to join up- everyone is adjusting and struggling with restrictions and rationing and worry. Unfortunately, as happens in wartime, there are conflicts and dangers not obvious from the outside, and we’ve got plenty of those as well. With Tom’s younger brother digging in bombed out homes recovering stolen merchandise to pawn later and his ultimate death, there are ‘things’ he found that he didn’t turn over to the ‘head’ of the crew- and now that man is looking for the items, and isn’t afraid of breaking in, threats or physical intimidation. With Tom only just recovering from an injury to his shoulder and now running the house by himself with his father away, he’s in need of work, and Maureen hires him to work in the local shop – despite her father’s and stepmother’s objections. Her father has had a massive stroke, and isn’t up to the daily operations, and Maureen is more determined to keep working as a nurse as long as she can, until her pregnancy becomes apparent.
So we’ve got danger from the German bombs, rationing and limited resources and a small neighborhood that looks out for its own – even when people are obviously dancing with danger. Waiting for mail from the front, hoping that their men will return quickly and the war will be over soon, these women are making decisions, joining together, and generally expanding their concerns and family circles into one large group. With Peggy always willing to open her house to anyone in need, and the whole Lane keeping a careful eye out for both Tom and Ellie – the youngest ‘adults’ on the street, there is plenty of worry for those in the immediate sphere to worry for. With Ellie’s acting out early on, and her assault and then a husband who is more controlling and dangerous than she thought, there are plenty of harrowing moments to come for her as well.
I adore this series: with its heartfelt friendships, concerns, challenges and the whole “get stuck in” attitude of the residents. It truly feels like they are holding the fort, some better than others, until the war ends – and while most of these women are finding a new purpose and surety in their ability to keep their homes ticking forward, there is a sense of an enlightenment coming to them all. Clarke carefully describes the neighborhood, the emotions and the struggles in ways that are easy to grasp and understand, and while the story is told in multiple perspectives, it is easy to follow along with the action, as voices are clear and easy to imagine. A lovely series for that “taste” of wartime Britain.
Title: Mulberry Lane Babies
Author: Rosie Clarke
Series: Mulberry Lane #3
Genre: British, Family Saga, Friendship, Historic Woman's Fiction, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain, World War II
Published by: Aria
Published on: 1 June, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 9 Hours: 27 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google ♦Audible
1941 Mulberry Lane, London. War rages but new life brings new hope. Perfect for fans of Katie Flynn and Cathy Sharp.
Times are hard for all on Mulberry Lane as the war rages into yet another year.
Desperate times push people into dangerous situations, and the residents of Mulberry Lane are not exempt.
Menacing shadows lurk on dark street corners, threatening the safety of those who are alone and vulnerable.
When Peggy's twins are born early Maureen and Nellie are there to lend a helping hand.
The mothers of Mulberry Lane stick together despite the grim conditions of war torn London and a shadowy fear that stalks their lives.
Neighbours and friends look out for each other and new life brings hope and joy to the Lane.
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.