From Amazon.com: August 1940
As Autumn approaches, Lady Joanna Harcourt is preparing for new guests at Goodwill House – land girls, Sally, Daphne and Charlie.
Sally, a feisty blonde from the East End, has never seen a cow before, but she’s desperate to escape London and her horrible ex, Dennis. And although the hours are long and the work hard, Sal quickly becomes good friends with the other girls Daphne and Charlie and enjoys life at Goodwill House.
Until Dennis reappears threatening to drag her back to London. Sal fears her life as a land girl is over, just as she finally felt worthy. But Lady Joanna has other ideas and a plan to keep Sal safe and doing the job she loves.”
The Land Girls of Goodwill House (Amazon) is the 4th volume in a series of books about women in Great Britain during World War II. I previously reviewed volume 3, Duty Calls at Goodwill House (Goodwill House #3). The War Girls of Goodwill House (Amazon) and New Recruits at Goodwill House (Free on Amazon Prime Reading) are the previous books in the series.
You don’t have to have read the first three volumes to find a charming story. According to author Fenella J. Miller “My Goodwill House series can be read as stand-alone books or in chronological order. Lady Joanna Harcourt, widowed at Dunkirk, features in every story. However, running alongside her life there is always a romance which, of course, has the essential happy-ever-after ending.” The books themselves are fairly inexpensive, and if you enjoy historical fiction with a little romance, you can’t go wrong.
The book not only centers on Sal, Daphne and Charlie, but on Lady Joanna Harcourt takes center stage as she falls for a man stationed at a nearby base. I do have to say that compared to the other books, this romance seems a little forced and unrealistic. It wasn’t bad, but if you look at the stories over the course of the series, it didn’t make sense. Or maybe it did. War thrust together many people who otherwise would not have been together.
What I like about these books is that they take place during the Blitz in 1940, when every day and night there’s a threat of German bombs. Goodwill House is relatively close to an air base, and the fact that many times during the stories the people need to take shelter makes the horrors of that war come home and make them more real to those of us decades away from that horrendous war. For those of us far away from England because of time or space, it helps us understand the fear one lived with every day during those long years of war.
What I also like is that you actually read about the hard work the land girls are doing for the war effort. In this case, the three ladies highlighted do hard farm work from sun-up to sundown. And of course, there’s talk of rationing and getting around by bicycle or horse and cart because petrol is in short supply. All these little things bring one part of the war effort to life.
I don’t know if there’s a future for the series to continue, although it seems like from the book’s ending that the door is open to more books. I, for one, would enjoy reading more about Goodwill House and hope you will, too.
I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from NetGalley and Boldwood Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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