Amy Miller returns to the blog today with the third in her Wartime Bakery Series, all about the ones left on the homefront and their lives in wartime in
Telegrams and Teacakes
At this point, 1942: everyone is tired of the war: shortages, rationing, air-raids, silence or long-delayed letters from the front, and the never-ending refrains about doing your part, keeping calm and carrying on and the never-ending worry that will overwhelm if you let it. Audrey is busily working to keep her little ‘bakery family’ safe and fed – but things are wearing. Her assistant has moved on to live near her new husband’s family, little Mary is thriving and the adoption is in process, Lily’s daughter Joy is thriving and everything is ticking along – even baking the ‘national loaf’ and keeping all the records required isn’t more than usual. What is bothering her is that Charlie, away at war, hasn’t responded to the three letters she’s sent – informing him that, even in wartime, they have their own little miracle – she’s pregnant, something they both thought impossible. But a young woman in a threadbare dress and obviously desperate arrives with the advertisement for a shop assistant clutched in her hand and an aura of fear, and Audrey, known for ‘taking in strays and those in need’ brings her on.
Betty is twenty three, married, and possessing a huge secret. Things with her husband Rickard haven’t been what she hoped: no kids, no real time together, and his frequent disappearances have raised suspicions. A bit of covert following and questions and she discovers that her husband has another wife and three children a few blocks over. Taking the savings, the clothes on her back and her need to leave – she hops a train and lands in Bournemouth, the advert for a shop assistant at Barton Bakery.
These aren’t small, contained stories just as Audrey’s life isn’t small and contained: she’s built a little family in her small home: nurturing and caring and sharing burdens, from little Mary who’s thriving and settling in from her own traumas, her brother and his wife as he recovers from his injuries and ptsd, Lily and her little daughter Joy, even taking Betty under her wing and giving her a place to thrive and feel safe, even as she’s still stinging from her husband’s duplicity. When things press even harder, and Audrey won’t slow down despite being heavily pregnant and worrying about her husband off at war, Betty’s husband appears on the doorstep with this three children and then disappears – as always, Audrey reorganizes everything and the three tots are brought into the home. The keep on and move forward determination is striking, and the heart of Audrey- a lovely character full of the heart, strength and compassion and above all love.
Miller’s exhaustive research is evident in these stories: from actually feeling the stressors and pressures of daily life dealing with shortages, rationing and making ends meet through the long-term exhaustion from the constant interruptions from air raids, the never-ending worries about men away and the what next in the ups and downs of wartime. Eminently readable, easily engaging and utterly heartwarming because
Title: Telegrams and Teacakes
Author: Amy Miller
Series: Wartime Bakery #3
Also in this series: Wartime Brides and Wedding Cakes
Genre: British, Family Saga, Historic Woman's Fiction, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain, World War II
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 3 August, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google
‘There was no denying it, being cheerful was a challenge. You just had to be grateful for small mercies: a sunny day, a night without an air raid, an extra rasher of bacon from the butcher.’
England, 1942: 23-year-old Betty runs away from Bristol to make a new life for herself. Betrayed by her husband, Betty flees to the seaside town of Bournemouth, where she has fond memories of childhood holidays. There, she finds a small family bakery, in desperate need of a new shop girl…
At the Barton Bakery, Betty finds a sanctuary with shopkeeper Audrey Barton, but Audrey is fighting battles of her own. Her husband is at war and in grave danger, she is heavily pregnant, and her customers are horrified by the demands imposed by rationing.
Audrey’s stepsister Lily receives a letter from a man she once loved very much, a man she thought was lost to her forever. He offers her a new future with him, but one that will mean sacrificing so many of her hopes and dreams…
As Winston Churchill tells the country to ‘never give in’, the women of the Barton Bakery struggle on to keep their families, homes and loved ones safe in a time of turmoil.
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.