Victory Bells for the Harpers Girls
Can the Harpers Girls look forward to some happy times as a new dawn rises over London?
Sally Harper is busy juggling running London’s Oxford Street Store Harpers and looking after her beautiful new-born daughter, whilst husband Ben is overseas on another dangerous mission, this time to rescue a friend in need.
Young Becky Stockbridge finds herself in a difficult situation which could bring shame to her and her family. Will Becky, with the help of her friends find her happy ever after and keep her secret?
Marion Jackson is blessed with a son as she eagerly awaits the return of her husband Reggie. But all is not right when Reggie returns. Is Marion strong enough to save her family from yet another crisis?
As the war clouds retreat and the victory bells ring, tears and joy mingle with those of sadness as the world counts the true toll of war and celebrates peace.
Another great addition to a fabulous family saga written by Rosie Clarke!
Victory Bells is the sixth book in the series set in the times of the First World War. While it is possible to read and enjoy the book as a standalone, it is better to read the series from the beginning to appreciate the complexity of the plotlines and the wonderful job Rosie Clarke does with the character development. There are quite a few characters whose lives we follow in this saga and it might be overwhelming for a new reader to get introduced to all of them at once.
The Harper Emporium store remains the connecting feature for our protagonists. Sally and Ben Harper are expecting their second child, but Ben might still be required to add to the war effort by going on a special mission. Their love is blossoming and it was lovely to read about how much he appreciated the way Sally managed the Harpers, despite the war hardships, not least of which the staff being called up for the army and a general difficulty of replacing the stock. With so many women doing jobs that used to be done by men and having difficulty taking care of their young children, Sally’s idea of opening a creche is surely appreciated by the staff.
Sadie is also worried about her husband Marco who hasn’t been in touch for an unusually long time. Marion also has her own share of anxiety over her husband Reggie’s fate. Seventeen-year-old Becky is expecting a child and these weren’t easy times to have a secret pregnancy. All these stories, equally fascinating and gripping in its own are intertwined to show how our Harper girls did their duty and showed strength and kindness in equal measure. There are some sadder events and war consequences addressed too, including the PTSD or ‘shell-shock’ so many returning soldiers were suffering from. The Spanish Flu pandemic with its devastating death toll of fifty million lives also makes its appearance in the book, and, unfortunately, not all our beloved characters are going to have their happily-ever-after-(war).
A wonderful journey back in time, recommended to everyone who loves women’s fiction and stories about life’s twists and turns, new beginnings and endings, as well as love and friendship.
Thank you to NetGalley, Boldwood Books, and Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for the review copy , provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Shop Girls of Harpers and The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire.
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