BLOG TOUR WRAP UP: Martha’s Revenge (Chronicles of the Coleman Family #3) by Joanna Larum. #bookreview #newrelease #historicalfiction @jolarum

Joanna Larum and I would like to say a massive THANK YOU to the wonderful Bloggers who helped with the launch and promotion of MARTHA’S REVENGE.  Your help is very much appreciated.  Jill & Jo x

What the bloggers thought:

Penny Buxton

This was an amazing read I had eagerly awaited the next part and was not disappointed with the outcome, it had me turning page after page and the way the characters developed was great, it has some turns in it that shocked me into “wow I did not see that coming!” Read more here

Black Books Blog

I really loved how the book is setup and the extremes that Martha is willing to go to in order to get her fix for murder as she really thrives off the adrenaline of it all. As I neared the end of the book I flew through it to find out what was going to happen as it was so engrossing and riveting.  Read more here

On the Shelf Reviews

#GuestPost Q&A with Joanna Larum

Daisy White’s Wicked Words

Turn the Page Blog

This is historical fiction set in Middlesbrough at the time of WW1.  It is a gripping story that takes the reader back to the difficulties of life in that period.  An enjoyable read.  Read more here

Ginger Book Geek


Martha’s Revenge (Chronicles of the Coleman Family #3) by Joanna Larum

Available from AMAZON

Martha’s Revenge begins where Martha is pretending to have lost her memory after Dolly attacked her. She is finding playing the ‘angelic younger sister’ a strain but this is compensated by the adrenaline rush that she gets when she murders her next victim, Mrs Browne. This is so addictive she looks out for another victim and settles on Mr Gray, the inoffensive but rather weak printer who made such a mess of her advertising leaflets.

Martha and Daniel’s mother, Edith, falls ill as she pays for all the years she spent working in the damp laundry in the cold and wet. She dies and her husband Bob is devastated, as is Daniel. Martha doesn’t feel anything at the loss of her mother other than irritation at her failure to protect her children from the cruelty of their grandparents.

Georgie hero worships Daniel who rescued him from the work house and has been almost a father figure to him since he came to live in York Street with them. Dolly, a fat and unattractive older woman, was also taken in by Daniel and she adores him for being so kind to her. Her head is stuffed with Irish folk tales which she learnt from her Irish grandmother, as well as the conviction that she can see the kindness or cruelty in other people’s auras. Daniel is the innocent in this, as he believes that Martha has reformed and is the delightful sister he always hoped she was.

Both Georgie and Dolly want to protect Daniel as they know he would be devastated by proof of Martha’s wickedness and they both know that he won’t help them to trap her. When the printer dies, strangled during the night by an ‘unknown’ killer, they realise that they could be next on her list and start to plan how they are going to trap her.

Daniel finds Frank Jackson, a twelve-year-old boy who has an alcoholic mother and younger siblings and has lost his father to the War, who is taken on as a shop boy to help Martha. Frank initially thinks that Martha is a wonderful person but, the more he sees of her behaviour in the shop, the more he realises how wicked and cruel she actually is. He mentions his concerns over Martha’s behaviour to Dolly and she recruits him as a spy in the shop. Martha moves on to another victim, murdering old Mrs Jessop in her own kitchen. Frank is now frightened of Martha and glad that he took his concerns to Dolly.

Lucy Renwick, who Martha blackmailed over her affair with the married David Dundas, has sunk very low in the world. Jobless and living in one room which she can’t afford, she spends her days looking for work, walking up to Normanby every day and then home again, still jobless. Mr Wilfred Chambers owns the manor house which faces Normanby Road and he watches Lucy every day. He has been invalided out of the Army and he wants to open a market garden on the land which surrounds his house, so that he can provide work and wages for those soldiers who have lost limbs to the War, or to the families of those soldiers who gave their lives in service to their country. He goes to the Baptist Chapel one Sunday morning and sees Lucy and offers her the job of housekeeper and overseer of the garden. He has admired the way that she has never given in or up, despite losing everything and wearing out her shoes walking the streets looking for work. She accepts the job and moves into the manor house where she loses her high-handed attitude and is genuinely loved by the garden workers and their families and the staff of the manor house.

Martha writes a letter to Lucy, admitting to being the person who tried to have her framed for burglary in the pawnbroker’s shop. Lucy comes to the shop to see Martha and they make friends – genuine on Lucy’s part but false on Martha’s part. Frank is told to go home but he is frightened of Martha’s mood and reports to Georgie and Dolly. They decide to keep watch on Martha, even if that means taking turns at staying awake all night in order to see what she does.
Martha has been invited to a garden party at the manor house where she decides to make a play for Mr Chambers, but he has eyes only for Lucy.

Meanwhile, Daniel has fallen in love with Bob Prosser’s daughter and is devastated to learn that Bob is also his father. Their relationship is forbidden which plunges Daniel into a deep depression which worries Georgie and Dolly even more. Daniel is oblivious of all that is happening around him as he is so concerned about his love for Grace.

While at the garden party, Martha took the opportunity of taking an impression of the back door key in order to have it copied. Frank, Dolly and Georgie are convinced by Martha’s behaviour that she has planned on killing Lucy as retribution for the times that Lucy was rude to her in Reed’s shop. That night, when Martha sets off to storm the manor house, Georgie and Dolly follow her, unaware that Frank is following all three of them. Martha is also unaware that Mr Chambers has proposed to Lucy, although Lucy has to decline his offer as she is still married to her husband, the one who threw her out when he learnt of her adultery.

Martha reaches Lucy’s bedroom but doesn’t find Lucy as she is in her parlour next door to her bedroom, reliving Mr Chamber’s proposal. A storm arrives and lightning hits the barns which house the tender plants as well as one of them being a dormitory for the workers. Chaos ensues as they all try to extinguish the fires which result from the lightning strike but the water in the pump runs dry and Lucy goes to try and find an old well at the bottom of the manor’s garden. Martha accosts her there, away from anyone else and attempts to strangle her. SPOILER ALERT – Frank pushes Martha down the well and saves Lucy’s life.

Once the fire has been extinguished, Frank explains everything that happened and produces Martha’s suitcase which she had hidden in the garden. She intended killing Lucy and then escaping to London. She has a letter in the suitcase, stamped and addressed to Daniel which Georgie opens. It contains her confession of Lucy’s (and other) murders and explains she is going to move to a city. She has taken all the money she amassed with her blackmailing.

Lucy, Mr Chambers, Georgie and Dolly decide to use the money to rebuild the barns and extend the garden. They tip the detritus from the fires down the well and then seal it, so Martha’s body is never discovered and they all keep the secret of who killed Martha. The rest of the world, including Daniel, believes that Martha has moved to a big city, so no-one misses her.

Also by Joanna Larum:

Chronicles of the Coleman Family

Book 1 – Something Wicked This Way Comes:  Read more here

Book 2 – Martha’s Secrets: Read more here

Book 3 – Martha’s Revenge: Read more here


My Review


Author Bio

I only went to school to learn to read. At age 6, I decided I COULD read and promptly left, by the school gate, the same gate which my mother marched me back through 10 minutes later. So I had to spend the next 12 years at school, learning lots of different things, none of which lived up to the excitement of reading. Wanting to be a writer was a natural progression, because there is nothing as exciting as inventing the story yourself. But it’s taken over 50 years before I dared to present my stories for other people to read. So, here they are! I’ll just creep behind the sofa.

BLOG TOUR: Martha’s Revenge (Chronicles of the Coleman Family #3) by Joanna Larum. #guestpost #bookreview #newrelease #historicalfiction @jolarum

Today it is my pleasure to close off the Blog Tour for MARTHA’S REVENGE by Joanna Larum. I am sharing with you a Guest Review by Penny Buxton.

Martha’s Revenge (Chronicles of the Coleman Family #3) by Joanna Larum

Available from AMAZON

Martha’s Revenge begins where Martha is pretending to have lost her memory after Dolly attacked her. She is finding playing the ‘angelic younger sister’ a strain but this is compensated by the adrenaline rush that she gets when she murders her next victim, Mrs Browne. This is so addictive she looks out for another victim and settles on Mr Gray, the inoffensive but rather weak printer who made such a mess of her advertising leaflets.

Martha and Daniel’s mother, Edith, falls ill as she pays for all the years she spent working in the damp laundry in the cold and wet. She dies and her husband Bob is devastated, as is Daniel. Martha doesn’t feel anything at the loss of her mother other than irritation at her failure to protect her children from the cruelty of their grandparents.

Georgie hero worships Daniel who rescued him from the work house and has been almost a father figure to him since he came to live in York Street with them. Dolly, a fat and unattractive older woman, was also taken in by Daniel and she adores him for being so kind to her. Her head is stuffed with Irish folk tales which she learnt from her Irish grandmother, as well as the conviction that she can see the kindness or cruelty in other people’s auras. Daniel is the innocent in this, as he believes that Martha has reformed and is the delightful sister he always hoped she was.

Both Georgie and Dolly want to protect Daniel as they know he would be devastated by proof of Martha’s wickedness and they both know that he won’t help them to trap her. When the printer dies, strangled during the night by an ‘unknown’ killer, they realise that they could be next on her list and start to plan how they are going to trap her.

Daniel finds Frank Jackson, a twelve-year-old boy who has an alcoholic mother and younger siblings and has lost his father to the War, who is taken on as a shop boy to help Martha. Frank initially thinks that Martha is a wonderful person but, the more he sees of her behaviour in the shop, the more he realises how wicked and cruel she actually is. He mentions his concerns over Martha’s behaviour to Dolly and she recruits him as a spy in the shop. Martha moves on to another victim, murdering old Mrs Jessop in her own kitchen. Frank is now frightened of Martha and glad that he took his concerns to Dolly.

Lucy Renwick, who Martha blackmailed over her affair with the married David Dundas, has sunk very low in the world. Jobless and living in one room which she can’t afford, she spends her days looking for work, walking up to Normanby every day and then home again, still jobless. Mr Wilfred Chambers owns the manor house which faces Normanby Road and he watches Lucy every day. He has been invalided out of the Army and he wants to open a market garden on the land which surrounds his house, so that he can provide work and wages for those soldiers who have lost limbs to the War, or to the families of those soldiers who gave their lives in service to their country. He goes to the Baptist Chapel one Sunday morning and sees Lucy and offers her the job of housekeeper and overseer of the garden. He has admired the way that she has never given in or up, despite losing everything and wearing out her shoes walking the streets looking for work. She accepts the job and moves into the manor house where she loses her high-handed attitude and is genuinely loved by the garden workers and their families and the staff of the manor house.

Martha writes a letter to Lucy, admitting to being the person who tried to have her framed for burglary in the pawnbroker’s shop. Lucy comes to the shop to see Martha and they make friends – genuine on Lucy’s part but false on Martha’s part. Frank is told to go home but he is frightened of Martha’s mood and reports to Georgie and Dolly. They decide to keep watch on Martha, even if that means taking turns at staying awake all night in order to see what she does.
Martha has been invited to a garden party at the manor house where she decides to make a play for Mr Chambers, but he has eyes only for Lucy.

Meanwhile, Daniel has fallen in love with Bob Prosser’s daughter and is devastated to learn that Bob is also his father. Their relationship is forbidden which plunges Daniel into a deep depression which worries Georgie and Dolly even more. Daniel is oblivious of all that is happening around him as he is so concerned about his love for Grace.

While at the garden party, Martha took the opportunity of taking an impression of the back door key in order to have it copied. Frank, Dolly and Georgie are convinced by Martha’s behaviour that she has planned on killing Lucy as retribution for the times that Lucy was rude to her in Reed’s shop. That night, when Martha sets off to storm the manor house, Georgie and Dolly follow her, unaware that Frank is following all three of them. Martha is also unaware that Mr Chambers has proposed to Lucy, although Lucy has to decline his offer as she is still married to her husband, the one who threw her out when he learnt of her adultery.

Martha reaches Lucy’s bedroom but doesn’t find Lucy as she is in her parlour next door to her bedroom, reliving Mr Chamber’s proposal. A storm arrives and lightning hits the barns which house the tender plants as well as one of them being a dormitory for the workers. Chaos ensues as they all try to extinguish the fires which result from the lightning strike but the water in the pump runs dry and Lucy goes to try and find an old well at the bottom of the manor’s garden. Martha accosts her there, away from anyone else and attempts to strangle her. SPOILER ALERT – Frank pushes Martha down the well and saves Lucy’s life.

Once the fire has been extinguished, Frank explains everything that happened and produces Martha’s suitcase which she had hidden in the garden. She intended killing Lucy and then escaping to London. She has a letter in the suitcase, stamped and addressed to Daniel which Georgie opens. It contains her confession of Lucy’s (and other) murders and explains she is going to move to a city. She has taken all the money she amassed with her blackmailing.

Lucy, Mr Chambers, Georgie and Dolly decide to use the money to rebuild the barns and extend the garden. They tip the detritus from the fires down the well and then seal it, so Martha’s body is never discovered and they all keep the secret of who killed Martha. The rest of the world, including Daniel, believes that Martha has moved to a big city, so no-one misses her.

Also by Joanna Larum:

Chronicles of the Coleman Family

Book 1 – Something Wicked This Way Comes:  Read more here

Book 2 – Martha’s Secrets: Read more here

Book 3 – Martha’s Revenge: Read more here


Guest Review by Penny Buxton

This book is the last in the series after something wicked this way comes & marthas Secrets, it picks up after the end of the 2nd book, Dolly and Georgie grow suspicious of martha’s behaviour as she is pretending to have lost her memory, and Daniel is quite taken in by her innocent appearance on the outside glad that she has changed her ways, as the story progresses you learn more of Martha’s dark side, as with Marthas secrets it sees blackmail and murder, she cannot forget the way she was treated as a child by her abusive grandparents, the story progresses and sees the introduction of Frankie who is rescued by Daniel and without spoiling the story it all comes to a very good ending for the series!

This was an amazing read I had eagerly awaited the next part and was not disappointed with the outcome, it had me turning page after page and the way the characters developed was great, it has some turns in it that shocked me into “wow I did not see that coming!” and came to a head with a brilliant twist, all I will say is it is well worth the wait and is an amazing read. Be aware if you read this it will have you gripped from start to finish, absolutely brilliant!

Penny Buxton


Author Bio

I only went to school to learn to read. At age 6, I decided I COULD read and promptly left, by the school gate, the same gate which my mother marched me back through 10 minutes later. So I had to spend the next 12 years at school, learning lots of different things, none of which lived up to the excitement of reading. Wanting to be a writer was a natural progression, because there is nothing as exciting as inventing the story yourself. But it’s taken over 50 years before I dared to present my stories for other people to read. So, here they are! I’ll just creep behind the sofa.

BLOG TOUR: Martha’s Revenge (Chronicles of the Coleman Family #3) by Joanna Larum. #newrelease #historicalfiction @jolarum

I hope you are having a good weekend. Whatever you are doing you need to stop and read this ha ha. Seriously, many years ago I read historical fiction swapping books with my siblings and Mum. At some point I changed to Crime Fiction. Then, somehow, I linked up with Joanna Larum and read Something Wicked This Way Comes. It was at a time when my life was in a bad place and I needed something different. I was gripped from the first page and have been eagerly awaiting the next book. It was a bitter/sweet moment to pick up the final book in such a gripping trilogy but I devoured every page. So now the book is live and I have everything crossed that others will read my post and want to read it.


Martha’s Revenge (Chronicles of the Coleman Family #3) by Joanna Larum

Available from AMAZON

Martha’s Revenge begins where Martha is pretending to have lost her memory after Dolly attacked her. She is finding playing the ‘angelic younger sister’ a strain but this is compensated by the adrenaline rush that she gets when she murders her next victim, Mrs Browne. This is so addictive she looks out for another victim and settles on Mr Gray, the inoffensive but rather weak printer who made such a mess of her advertising leaflets.

Martha and Daniel’s mother, Edith, falls ill as she pays for all the years she spent working in the damp laundry in the cold and wet. She dies and her husband Bob is devastated, as is Daniel. Martha doesn’t feel anything at the loss of her mother other than irritation at her failure to protect her children from the cruelty of their grandparents.

Georgie hero worships Daniel who rescued him from the work house and has been almost a father figure to him since he came to live in York Street with them. Dolly, a fat and unattractive older woman, was also taken in by Daniel and she adores him for being so kind to her. Her head is stuffed with Irish folk tales which she learnt from her Irish grandmother, as well as the conviction that she can see the kindness or cruelty in other people’s auras. Daniel is the innocent in this, as he believes that Martha has reformed and is the delightful sister he always hoped she was.

Both Georgie and Dolly want to protect Daniel as they know he would be devastated by proof of Martha’s wickedness and they both know that he won’t help them to trap her. When the printer dies, strangled during the night by an ‘unknown’ killer, they realise that they could be next on her list and start to plan how they are going to trap her.

Daniel finds Frank Jackson, a twelve-year-old boy who has an alcoholic mother and younger siblings and has lost his father to the War, who is taken on as a shop boy to help Martha. Frank initially thinks that Martha is a wonderful person but, the more he sees of her behaviour in the shop, the more he realises how wicked and cruel she actually is. He mentions his concerns over Martha’s behaviour to Dolly and she recruits him as a spy in the shop. Martha moves on to another victim, murdering old Mrs Jessop in her own kitchen. Frank is now frightened of Martha and glad that he took his concerns to Dolly.

Lucy Renwick, who Martha blackmailed over her affair with the married David Dundas, has sunk very low in the world. Jobless and living in one room which she can’t afford, she spends her days looking for work, walking up to Normanby every day and then home again, still jobless. Mr Wilfred Chambers owns the manor house which faces Normanby Road and he watches Lucy every day. He has been invalided out of the Army and he wants to open a market garden on the land which surrounds his house, so that he can provide work and wages for those soldiers who have lost limbs to the War, or to the families of those soldiers who gave their lives in service to their country. He goes to the Baptist Chapel one Sunday morning and sees Lucy and offers her the job of housekeeper and overseer of the garden. He has admired the way that she has never given in or up, despite losing everything and wearing out her shoes walking the streets looking for work. She accepts the job and moves into the manor house where she loses her high-handed attitude and is genuinely loved by the garden workers and their families and the staff of the manor house.

Martha writes a letter to Lucy, admitting to being the person who tried to have her framed for burglary in the pawnbroker’s shop. Lucy comes to the shop to see Martha and they make friends – genuine on Lucy’s part but false on Martha’s part. Frank is told to go home but he is frightened of Martha’s mood and reports to Georgie and Dolly. They decide to keep watch on Martha, even if that means taking turns at staying awake all night in order to see what she does.
Martha has been invited to a garden party at the manor house where she decides to make a play for Mr Chambers, but he has eyes only for Lucy.

Meanwhile, Daniel has fallen in love with Bob Prosser’s daughter and is devastated to learn that Bob is also his father. Their relationship is forbidden which plunges Daniel into a deep depression which worries Georgie and Dolly even more. Daniel is oblivious of all that is happening around him as he is so concerned about his love for Grace.

While at the garden party, Martha took the opportunity of taking an impression of the back door key in order to have it copied. Frank, Dolly and Georgie are convinced by Martha’s behaviour that she has planned on killing Lucy as retribution for the times that Lucy was rude to her in Reed’s shop. That night, when Martha sets off to storm the manor house, Georgie and Dolly follow her, unaware that Frank is following all three of them. Martha is also unaware that Mr Chambers has proposed to Lucy, although Lucy has to decline his offer as she is still married to her husband, the one who threw her out when he learnt of her adultery.

Martha reaches Lucy’s bedroom but doesn’t find Lucy as she is in her parlour next door to her bedroom, reliving Mr Chamber’s proposal. A storm arrives and lightning hits the barns which house the tender plants as well as one of them being a dormitory for the workers. Chaos ensues as they all try to extinguish the fires which result from the lightning strike but the water in the pump runs dry and Lucy goes to try and find an old well at the bottom of the manor’s garden. Martha accosts her there, away from anyone else and attempts to strangle her. SPOILER ALERT – Frank pushes Martha down the well and saves Lucy’s life.

Once the fire has been extinguished, Frank explains everything that happened and produces Martha’s suitcase which she had hidden in the garden. She intended killing Lucy and then escaping to London. She has a letter in the suitcase, stamped and addressed to Daniel which Georgie opens. It contains her confession of Lucy’s (and other) murders and explains she is going to move to a city. She has taken all the money she amassed with her blackmailing.

Lucy, Mr Chambers, Georgie and Dolly decide to use the money to rebuild the barns and extend the garden. They tip the detritus from the fires down the well and then seal it, so Martha’s body is never discovered and they all keep the secret of who killed Martha. The rest of the world, including Daniel, believes that Martha has moved to a big city, so no-one misses her.

Also by Joanna Larum:

Chronicles of the Coleman Family

Book 1 – Something Wicked This Way Comes:  Read more here

Book 2 – Martha’s Secrets: Read more here


My Review

This is book 3 in The Coleman Family Chronicles trilogy and while it works very well as stand-alone your enjoyment would be greater if you read them in sequence.

The book is set in WW1 with most of the men absent fighting the war. The location is Middlesborough and the author describes the scene excellently enabling the reader to imagine life in that period accurately. The book picks up from book 2 when Martha has been blackmailing the locals and has amassed a large amount of money that Daniel has hidden. This book picks up with Martha, again, managing to convince Daniel she is a changed woman while Dolly and Georgie know very well she hasn’t changed a bit.

Martha is the result of incest. Edith’s father raped her and Martha was the result. She has evilness inherited from her father and we learned of this in the earlier books. She is angelic looking which she uses to its full advantage. In book 2 Martha fell and banged her head and managed to convince others around her that she had lost her memory Georgie and Dolly were not quite so easily fooled and immediately worked out what Martha was up to. What they didn’t realise was that the evilness within was about to reach a whole new level.

Daniel is Martha’s brother and where she is evil he is good. So good he is incapable of seeing bad in people and tends to look only for the good. Martha plays on this goodness and uses it to underpin her fake personality. Unable to avoid subscription Daniel sets off to fight WW1 but doesn’t make it very far before he is invalided out with trenchfoot.

This is where Dolly comes in. She joins the family to nurse Daniel back to health and stays on as housekeeper. With an Irish background Dolly is a homely person and cares very much for Daniel and Georgie so she is on her guard watching Martha to spot where her evilness will strike next.

Georgie is an orphan Daniel rescued and is a skilled, intelligent young man indebted to Daniel who is his hero and Georgie will stop at nothing to protect Daniel and Dolly.

Frankie is a new addition, another waif that Daniel saves. Frankie is little more than a child and is begging for work when Daniel finds him and seeing the potential in the youngster he puts him to work in Martha’s shop. Frankie is very astute and while he begins looking to Martha as his guardian angel he soon realises that she is more devil than angel and sets out to keep an eye on her.

Although this is Historical Fiction it does have a thriller aspect to it that really appealed to me. I have thoroughly enjoyed this book and series. The characters are realistic and fit well in that era. The suspense builds gradually through the book as we follow Martha’s Revenge.

An excellent read I will be reading more from Joanna Larum.


Author Bio

I only went to school to learn to read. At age 6, I decided I COULD read and promptly left, by the school gate, the same gate which my mother marched me back through 10 minutes later. So I had to spend the next 12 years at school, learning lots of different things, none of which lived up to the excitement of reading. Wanting to be a writer was a natural progression, because there is nothing as exciting as inventing the story yourself. But it’s taken over 50 years before I dared to present my stories for other people to read. So, here they are! I’ll just creep behind the sofa.

BLOG TOUR WRAP UP – The Aro Street Girls by Lyndsay Campbell

Lyndsay, Junction Publishing and I would like to say a very big THANK YOU to the brilliant bloggers who helped with this Blog Tour. At such a busy time of year we really appreciate you taking the time to read, blog and share the book love. xx

Black Books Blog

Overall this was a very well written book, which kept me hooked and made me realise how hard it was for the women left behind all the way on the other side of the world as they waited for news from their loved ones. Read more here

Joanna Larum’s Reviews

Lyndsay Campbell writes a really good story and I will look out for more of her books in the future.  Read more here

Ginger Book Geek

In short, I loved reading this atmospheric tale set mostly during the First World War and I certainly feel as though I have learned something from it. I would definitely recommend it to other readers. Read more here

Beth in a Box

This book really tugged at my heart strings and the fact that we’ve just observed the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One was really poignant for me. Read more here

Jen Meds Book Reviews

If you love historical fiction then you really should pick up this book and find out for yourself what life was like for families in times of war. Read more here

The Haphazardous Hippo

Lyndsay Campbell took me on an emotional roller coaster with this book and I’ll be keeping a watchful eye out for more books from her. Read more here

Mystery Thriller Week

MotherGeek

Life in Rose Tinted Glasses


The Aro Street Girls by Lyndsay Campbell

Available from AMAZON

Kathy’s world is torn apart when her fiancé, Freddie enlists with NZ Forces to fight in World War One. When their father dies. she and her siblings, Belle and Walter, are forced to grow up fast and Kathy’s dream to become a teacher is thrown into question by family needs.

Kathy and Freddie’s romance continues via touching letters to and from the Front, but her devotion is challenged when Pacifist Lay Pastor, Arthur Tremaine appears on the scene.

This charming tale is set against the harsh realities of life in a small British colony a century ago. Feminist ideals are woven throughout as the cast of strong women and engaging men meet the challenges and tragedies they are faced with.

The reader is taken across the globe to Europe and post-war Britain where the Spanish flu has taken hold. The disease follows returning New Zealand soldiers’ with devastating consequences.

Will Freddie survive the war to claim his love?

Will Kathy fulfil her dream to become a teacher, or has the war changed everything they once knew to be true?

The Aro Street Girls is awash with romance, mystery and excitement; a vivid portrayal of wartime life in New Zealand.


My Review

I have recently rediscovered my love of Historical Fiction and recently read a few books set in WWI Britain. So I was very interested in reading The Aro Street Girls as it is set in the same era but in New Zealand.

This is a steadily moving story that I love.  It follows a family from the start to the end of the War, and covers all the issues encountered during that difficult time.

Love, laughter and tears all combine together to make a brilliant read with well rounded, realistic characters.  The family members are all completely different but the family dynamics work perfectly.

I won’t spoil the enjoyment by going into any details, but I will say I really enjoyed reading this and look forward to more from this author.


Author Bio

Writing has always been an integral part of my life. From factual articles for newspapers and news stories for a local radio station, interviewing offenders as a probation officer and writing their pre-sentence court reports for New Zealand’s District Courts, as well as amassing a small collection of poetry.

My historical fiction is inspired by the stories of my Scottish and Irish ancestors who crossed the seas in sailing ships in the mid 1800s to find a new life in Aotearoa New Zealand. This, combined with years spent working in the field of counselling and social work after my family had grown, has given me an interest in the lives of our ancestors more than a century ago and in writing about what makes people act the way they do. I love to create believable characters who find themselves in challenging situations.

I am a natural gypsy and while I love to travel internationally, more recently my husband and I have enjoyed motor homing around New Zealand. Walking the beaches and bush tracks and meeting people who also enjoy the mobile life is lots of fun. The wonderful thing about writing is its portability. I am happy with my laptop on my knee in our mobile home, or at a proper desk. Living on the shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua where steaming mud and thermally heated pools are the norm is quite a blessing and I am sometimes to be found writing in one of Rotorua’s lovely cafes.

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