I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
The much-awaited sequel to Girls on the Home Front by Annie Clarke released last weekend and I received my review copy on the same day. Needless to say, I dropped all my current reads like hot potatoes and switched to this one instead!
December 1941, North East England: It takes courage to risk your life every day.
Despite the recent loss of her father, Sarah is settling well into her new role at the munitions factory. Her blossoming romance with pitman Stan is a welcome distraction from the dangerous working conditions. But a shocking revelation is about to put everything on the line.
Meanwhile Fran is desperately missing her sweetheart Davey, who has been conscripted to work at Bletchley Park. Beth is longing for someone too – and it’s not her husband on the front line…
As the factory girls face hardship on the home front, they will discover that the heroes they need are already by their side.
Heroes on the Home Front picks up where the previous book left off, with the Massingham community dealing with the aftermath of the death of two of their own. Fran, Sarah, and Beth now have to be stronger than ever, and how they–along with their mothers and the rest of the co-op women–tackle the day-to-day wartime issues that crop up form the rest of the story.
Annie Clarke has done it again! I just wasn’t able to put this book down and it once even led me to question if I really needed my day job because I had to pause my reading and head to work. Only for a minute though, because I need them monies to buy more books. 😀
Heroes on the Home Front shows how heroes needed to exist not just on the war front but also on the home front, with everyone pitching in for the war effort. Fran, Sarah, and Beth continue their work in the munitions factory, their work getting dangerous by the day and also leading to health problems. While their business savvy and strength only scratched the surface in the previous book, in this one, the co-op women show how they’re each worth a thousand pillars of support. While Stan, Davey, and the whelp, Ralph, also get their own POVs in this novel, it was the women I enjoyed reading about the most.
I find books about women in the industrial workforce in wartime absolutely riveting to read. These books are always about badass women, strong not only in the nature of their wartime work, but also of heart. The women in this book were no different. This book is a testament to how back in the days, people banded together in times of adversity. The people–especially the women–of the Massingham community have got each others’ back and can never let down one of their own.
The antagonist from the previous novel, Ralph, gets his redemption arc in this novel. You have to give it to Clarke’s writing chops–I detested Ralph in the first book and somehow I was rooting for him in this one? The book doesn’t dwell much on how he turned a new leaf, and yet it manages to convince the reader that he did. Therein lies the beauty of this novel.
The main antagonist in this novel is the fascist Tim Swinton and it was some of his bits that I found a little unbelievable. Honestly, I don’t think a fascist is going to care very much about ruining someone’s singing chance in a pub when his goal is to ruin the war effort. It’s explained away as a personal vendetta, but I didn’t find it very convincing. Other than this storyline, everything else about this novel is enthralling.
In all, Heroes on the Home Front is a well-written, heartwarming read about a close-knit community of women banding together to lift each other up. The Factory Girls series is one I’ll continue returning to for as long as Annie Clarke keeps it running, because it’s that riveting!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5