Molly's Christmas Orphans
I Started 2018 with a good old wartime family saga and what a corker it was!
Molly lives in the East End and is trying to run the local grocery shop with her Dad after the tragic loss of her beloved husband Ted during the war. Things are not easy with constant air raids and lack of supplies, but she does her best. When her Dad is very badly injured during a raid and breaks his leg very badly, she finds herself having a long wait in the hospital waiting for news of his surgery.
Meanwhile, in the same hospital, two small children by the names of Mark and Evie are grieving the loss of their mother along with their father Andy. This brings back precious memories of her beloved daughter Emily and what could have been. Molly doesn’t know quite how she manages it, but she ends up offering to look after the children temporarily and also meets a lady called Cissy. They strike up a friendship and Cissy is more than happy to help look after the children and Molly offers her a roof over her head and a job in her shop. Is Molly being naive? and can Cissy be trusted? And is Cissy who she says she is at all?
The children’s father, Andy, is a merchant seaman and is often away for many months at a time and has asked Molly to look for a couple who often looked after the children call The Denhams. They were members of the Salvation Army and they would no doubt keep the children safe if Molly were unable to care for them. This search is proving a difficult task with people being evacuated left, right and centre. Would the children be better off in the country with strangers, or with people who cared for them but in the centre of London town with nightly air raids and bombings all around?
Molly’s Dad is packed off to recuperate with her sister Lyn in Sidcup, Kent (which happens to be where I live!!!). It is nice and quiet there and her Dad can get his strength back before coming back to the East End to his roots. But will Lyn have her way and keep her Dad there rather than return him to where he was happiest?
Cissy is a super character. She is fiery on the outside, but very vulnerable on the inside and has been treated very badly in the past. She has lots of skeletons in her closet and has therefore not mentioned her past to Molly and this comes back and bites her on the bum with a vengeance! When a local gangster comes looking for Cissy, a local man they call Spot offers to keep an eye out for her and Molly and along with his dog Nibbles, they keep a night time vigil at the shop. Spot has an ulterior motive as he has a very soft spot for Cissy, but will she fall for his charms or will she keep him at arms length, because as far as she is concerned, her past history with men leaves a lot to be desired!
I devoured this book in a few days as I just loved all the characters and the attention to detail in the author’s explanation of wartime accounts is brilliant and fascinating. It wasn’t until the very end when there is a scene involving Spot and a local gangster, that I had a vision of a fabulous tv programme I have watched from the beginning and that’s Peaky Blinders. I can’t give anymore away, but I gasped out loud!
Thank you, thank you, thank you Carol Rivers for yet another fantastic read. The ending to this book leaves it wide open for a sequel as far as I’m concerned and I would jump with joy if there was!
If you are a fan of wartime/family sagas then this is right up your street and as I am a huge fan of these books, this one is up there with my all time top 10!
Keep up the great work Carol, I for one, love your books.
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