Pam Evans - Dance Your Troubles Away
Another great read from this author of sagas, this time set in London towards the end of World War II. Marian is manager of a dance hall, The Cherry. Her niece Polly works there part-time, which is an escape from her daily grind in an office and her responsibilities as sole parent to her young daughter. Polly is still mourning her husband, George, who was lost at Dunkirk. But the lights and music of the dance hall brighten her life and bring her into contact with James, a Canadian soldier, with the promise of new love. However, the tragedy of war, parting, and family ties all pull at Polly. Then the war ends and her life is turned upside down by an unexpected turn of events. Sensitively written, with strong, sympathetic characters which envelop the reader in their world.
Lindsay Jane Ashford - Whisper of the Moon Moth
This was a new author for me, and I shall certainly be looking for more of her books. The novel is based around the real life story of Hollywood actress, Merle Oberon. Encompassing the time when she's striving to realise her dream of becoming a movie star, the novel follows her from India to England, and then to America. We see her love affairs and her passion for acting. Famous names such as David Niven and Laurence Olivier pepper the pages. The actress faces heartache, and gives up much that is dear to her as she faces the prejudice and rules of 1930s Hollywood. She must conceal her Indian heritage if she is to succeed in the profession of her choice. The author confesses to using some artistic licence, but she keeps to the main truth of Merle Oberon's life story, and has woven a vivid and fascinating tale of the early years of talking pictures.
Victoria Connelly - Love in an English Garden
A charming read, enhanced by the author's clear love of gardens, whether for flowers or kitchen produce. Set in a struggling Sussex house, Orley Court, we find widowed Vanessa faced with selling part of the property she lives in with her mother-in-law Dolly, and her two grown-up daughters, Tilda and Jassy. This brings into their lives a London accountant, Laurence, and his father, who both have an influence on the family. Into this mix steps Jonathan and his team of young gardeners doing community service. Life is stirred up for the household of women, past troubles are faced, and love is in the air for more than one of them.