What I’ve just read..

I love books. I don’t read as much as I used to though (I’m just too busy yo!) , and I still haven’t invested in a kindle (partly because I feel bad for the books) but there’s nothing I enjoy more than getting lost in a can’t-put-it-down story. So, I thought I’d share with you my most recent great read.

Before the Fall

I usually spend around an hour or so browsing Waterstones for a bunch of books before I go on holiday. But, Little Miss M was having none of that. So, this year I ended up in the airport’s WH Smith with about five mins to spare before take-off, grabbing the first book that caught my eye and a pile of mags. You’re obviously not supposed to judge a book by its cover but sometimes I do it for fun and, so far I’ve not been disappointed…

This is West’s debut novel and it’s a great read – Hanna Loxwood’s voice and story hooked me in from page one. It’s a moving and heartbreaking tale of a great love affair set against the backdrop of World War One. Here’s a brief summary for you.

When Hannah’s husband makes the decision, against her wishes, to go off to war, she is left with their two children to live with her sister and sleazy brother-in-law. Needing additional income she takes a job in a nearby café, where she gets a taste of freedom from her stressful, mundane life. Then, while serving the teas, she meets thoughtful, captivating Daniel – a meeting which brings the ultimate temptation, changing her life forever.

As the war makes its mark on the East End of London and its people, everyone’s future begins to look more and more uncertain. This plays its part in Hannah risking everything for love, which brings devastating consequences.

I loved this book. I was completely enthralled throughout. I also think it really captures what life was like for married women during the war, who were expected to behave in a certain way while their husbands were away.

As a (secret) romantic, my sympathies were with Hanna throughout. I couldn’t help but want her to seize the moment, to follow her heart, to risk it all…for LOVE. But, the reality of this risk is heartbreaking and Hannah, and her story has stayed with me since. So, maybe I was wrong to egg her on.

Have you read the book? Let me know what you think? Should Hannah have risked everything for Daniel? Would Hannah and Daniel be treated differently today?

Any other book recommendations? I’d love to hear!

NadineStyle says: 4 stars. A passionate and poignant book that draws you in right from the start.

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