Rosie Clarke comes to the blog today with the fourth in her Mulberry Lane series, a neighborhood in London’s East End in the midst of World War II.
New Arrivals at Mulberry Lane
Struggling with loss, friendships, choices and fear, the people of the little neighborhood of Mulberry Lane in London’s East End. A major target because of the docks and warehouses, they’ve had relative calm in the ongoing years, if one doesn’t count the relationships and struggles of the people of the area. And Rosie Clark has created a hopeful story full of challenges and community as the “Lanes” band together to share, support, survive and struggle together through the hardships and uncertainties of war, one that seems never-ending.
The women left behind, are making the best of the hardships they are facing: and managing to make decisions, choices, friendships and loss with a strength and sense of community that seems all the more palpable because of the shared struggles. Using deft characterization and issues that pull at the heart, there is a clear sense of a common purpose: getting through the war in the best way possible, with friends and family working with and around the shortages, sharing their worries and joys, building a family out of neighbors and friends – one that cares comes together to help and support one another. There are several characters in this story, and bits of their backstories are shared as this one progresses, but what comes through, above and beyond the ‘what happened to get us here’ is the solid community sense: the friendships that truly provide comfort and understanding, and the fierce determination that these women show in their ability to make the best and most of the resources available to them.
Wonderful for the characters and the resilience shown during the struggles, the ‘homefront’ stories are often more centered on the “land girls’ or those working as spies and codebreakers – but it’s the ordinary people who held the country together through the years with pure determination, despite fears, loss and challenges. Clarke has brought those stories to light with characters that you can’t help but cheer on, empathize with and hope for an easier time. Most of us are unaware of the years of struggle that accompanied the war, during and after, and finding a new respect and understanding of the ways that people came together in times of difficulty and could serve as a model for us all.
Title: New Arrivals at Mulberry Lane:
Author: Rosie Clarke
Genre: Family Saga, Friendship, Historic Woman's Fiction, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain, World War II
Published by: Aria
Published on: 4 December, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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Mulberry Lane, London.
In the midst of another bleak winter, life is hard for the residents of The Lane.
When Rose Merchant arrives at Mulberry Lane, she is carrying a secret that haunts her. How can she tell her landlady and the Lanes' matriarch Peggy Ashley that she is the daughter of a murderer?
As Rose learns that she is amongst friends she gradually learns to trust and even to love. But when Peggy's estranged husband Laurie returns home for good, both Rose and Peggy's lives are once again turned upside down.
Can they both find their way through the heartache to find happiness?
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: