Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT BITTERSWEET FLIGHT by @AnneLHarvey1 #wwwblogs #FamilySaga

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry has been reading Bittersweet Flight by Anne Harvey

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Bittersweet Flight by Anne Harvey

3.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

This is the sequel to A Suitable Young Man, and the two thread together well; it could possibly be read as a standalone. It starts in 1956, when Sally Simcox has run away from her home in Horwich, Lancs to Blackpool, because she is pregnant.   The father is Nick, with whom she had a one night stand after having liked him for a long time; he offered to marry her out of duty, but Sally knew he loved another, so pretended she’d had a miscarriage to let him off the hook.

Once in Blackpool she meets Phil, who is in the RAF, and he helps her find a job and somewhere to live; there is an immediate attraction between them. Alas, Phil is unaware that Sally has a connection to his family—and he already has a girlfriend, Pam, who is in love with him and hopes they will marry.

It being the late 1950s, Sally has to go into a mother and baby home. I thought this bit was very interesting, mostly because it shows the difference in attitudes between then and now. When I was in my teens, having a baby out of wedlock was still seen as a fairly shameful thing, but this is the generation before, when to be an unmarried mother could ruin a girl’s life.

Running alongside the main story is that of Joyce, Phil’s young sister, which is connected to Sally’s situation.

The book is very readable, certainly enough to keep me turning the pages because I wanted to know what happened, although I found it information heavy in parts; at times the dialogue was a little unrealistic. Near the end there is a revelation of sexual deviance which examined the darker side of working class life in those days, and an explicit sex scene, the latter of which I found incompatible with the otherwise ‘clean read’ tone of the book; it kind of jumped out and made me go ‘woah, what happened there?’ Aside from this, though, I would say that the many readers of nostalgia/family dramas will enjoy this book, as it’s a basically good story, and well plotted. Sally is real and likeable, and Phil’s dilemma very believable (though I thought Pam’s character and reactions could have been developed more).   There is plenty of day to day detail about life during the 1950s, too, that will appeal to this market.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

A SUITABLE YOUNG MAN by @annelharvey1 1950’s #HistFic #WeekendBlogHop #Bookreview

A Suitable Young ManA Suitable Young Man by Anne L. Harvey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Suitable Young Man is a historical family drama/ romance, set in the 1950’s in the English Lancashire town of Horwich. Kathy Armstrong is an only child and currently works as a typist for the Bolton Evening News. Attacked one evening by a group of lads she is rescued by school friend Nick Roberts.

There is a spark of interest between them, but they lead different lives, Nick is a Teddy boy, he drinks hard, plays hard and gets into trouble. But underneath is a different side to Nick, not long out of National Service, he wants to be a mechanic, but doors are closed to him without civvy street qualifications. So Nick attends night-school to get his certificates.

Kathy enjoys dancing and parties, she meets John Talbot, an educated young man who is an accountant and they begin dating, her parents see him as a very suitable young man, but Kathy keeps bumping into Nick and he ignites flames in her which John doesn’t.

Ann Harvey brings lots of nostalgia and plenty of details from Britain in the 1950’s to this piece of work which make the characters feel very real, a little twist at the end leaves the door open for a second book.

This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by the author.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

10000 threshold

Have spent the morning on the new book and broke through the 10000 word count barrier. Nothing to some Authors, but a benchmark for me!

Loved an article in the Dailey Telegraph, yesterday by Xanthe Clay about a care home near Bristol which has set up a project in the garden of the care home to help dementia patients. A model size 1950’s village street called “Memory Lane” hosts a post office, pub, shop and phone box to give the residents a purpose to their movements. Chris Taylor, the senior Manager at the Grove Care nursing home was being interviewed by Sky news, Jeremy Vine, BBC Bristol, Radio Five Live, BBC Wales and has a booking with BBC Breakfast on Friday. The idea behind the project is to give the patients “stimulation and a catalyst for conversation”

Memory Lane patients and guests can wonder in and around the shop and pub, there is original packaging to handle and replica newspapers to read. There are displays of ration books and telegrams, plus old stamps and other memorabilia. it gets the patients talking and jogging memories is key to getting into the world of the dementia patient. Taylor plans to expand the village into a whole village with a village green.

This isn’t the first; Hogeweg Nursing home in Amsterdam has a self-contained village for its 152 dementia patients and a new home near Bern in Switzerland is due to open in 2017 with a recreation of a 1950’s town.

There are always critics, but the project sounds great to me.