Victory for the East End Angels
by Rosie Hendry
The war is almost over – and it’s up to the East End Angels to keep the home fires burning!
Frankie‘s fiance, a doctor, is away looking after the troops in Europe – will he return safely home?
Bella is intrigued by her new friend, a Polish airman.
As the war ends and victory is in sight, what next for the girls of Station 75?
A gorgeously uplifting saga for fans of Ellie Dean and Donna Douglas
Rosie Hendry lives by the sea in Norfolk with her husband, two children, chickens and a snake. She’s worked in a variety of jobs from fruit picking, waitressing, teaching and as a research scientist but has always loving reading and writing. Starting off writing short stories for women’s magazines, her stories have gradually become longer as her children have grown bigger.
Listening to her father’s tales of life during the Second World War sparked Rosie’s interest in this period and she’s especially intrigued by how women’s lives changed during the war years. She loves researching further, searching out gems of real-life events which inspire her writing.
When she’s not working, Rosie enjoys walking along the beach, reading and is grateful for the fact that her husband is a much better cook than her.
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As per usual, I’m late to the party having jumped into this war-time series with the final book! Nonetheless, this was still such a great read, the author made it very easy to follow. I only wish I’d got involved sooner to experience the lives of Winnie, Frankie and Bella from the very beginning. I may just have to go back to the start just to satisfy my own curiosity.
It’s clear, as I meet these ladies for the first time, that they have formed an incredible bond, having faced many challenges together through their work at ambulance station 75. As peace beckons, there is – naturally – concern for their loved ones who are serving overseas; yet, there is also time to consider their future when the war finally ends.
Together, these young women have overcome the blitz, only for another wave of even greater terror to hit London in the form of the doodlebugs and the V2 rockets. And while they continue to help others, their own personal stories are told. These tales enrich the book since they reflect the very human aspect of real life, whether there’s a war going on or not. Clearly, their lives are in danger, their loved ones abroad are in constant peril, yet life has to go on.
Frankie still has to put up with her odious step-grandmother, Ivy, and never stops thinking of the day when evacuated Stanley can return home. Winnie continues to ignore her own parents – and for good reason – and bears a secret that she worries will force her to give up her job at the station. And Bella’s writing goes from strength to strength as she builds barrier to prevent being hurt again. For Rose, a later addition to the group (or so I gather), the search for her family carries on, but news is thin on the ground while she hopes for the best but fears the worst.
Meanwhile, back at station 75, there are a myriad of wonderful characters: the strict – yet understanding – Station Officer Violet Steele; Sparky, the news junkie and the wonderful Mrs Connelly who serves up such fantastic meals to the appreciate crew.
It’d be remiss of me not to mention Trixie, Winnie’s little pooch, who travels in the ambulance with her and who has been as much a member of the team as her human counterparts.
This is a heartwarming story, with the perfect mixture of joy and sadness, yet it is never without hope. I loved how at the end, each of their lives – despite having changed so dramatically – had been enriched by their experience. It was good to see Winnie telling her overbearing mother that she would make her own decisions about the birth of her child. For Frankie and her husband to go on to further help others who had lost everything was a lovely touch, and so very typical of them both. To see Bella get swept off her feet by her Polish airman and embrace love again was the best Happy Ever After we as readers could wish for her.
Rosie Hendry has created a fabulous WWII saga, with friendship and love at its core. Despite conflicts on the home front with errant family members, and conflicts caused by the war itself, these ladies showed the true spirit of the blitz – they weren’t always calm, but they certainly carried on with their job, with their lives and with their commitment to each other.
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