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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

When We Danced at the End of the Pier by Sandy Taylor #bookreview

About When We Danced at the End of the Pier

Brighton 1930: Maureen O’Connell is a carefree girl, but her family is on the brink of tragedy, war is looming and life will never be the same again.

Jack and Nelson have always been dear friends to Maureen. Despite their different backgrounds, they’ve seen each other through thick and thin.

As Maureen blossoms from a little girl into a young woman, the candle she’s always held for Jack burns bright. But just as she’s found love, war wrenches them apart. The man she cherishes with all her heart is leaving.

When the bombs start to fall, Maureen and her family find themselves living in the most dangerous of times. With Jack no longer by her side and Nelson at war, Maureen has never felt more alone. Can she look to a brighter future? And will she find the true happiness she’s dreamt of?

My review of When We Danced at the End of the Pier

I shall admit, that I was initially drawn to this book by its beautiful cover and then by the description of the blossoming wartime love story. I thought to myself, what's not to love? I was right, this is such a treat of a book, I loved it from the very beginning. I must also add that I didn't realise that it was the third book in a trilogy, but having said that, this book works very well as a stand alone novel, I never thought that I had missed out on some vital piece of background information.

This book transported me back to Brighton during the 1930s and the unsettled and frightening time of war. Maureen and her wonderful family are the backbone of the story, and show incredible endurance and strength during such a difficult time. They are a tightknit family, who love and care for each other very much. They are a strong family unit and this was needed for the story to work. What is truly magical about this story though is the love story between Maureen and her younger sister, Brenda. This I feel is just as important as the blossoming love story between Maureen and Jack, a love story that begins as children, when she is only eight-years-old. I loved the beginning of the story, as she spies him playing in the garden next door, as she makes a silent vow that he is the boy she will marry. I loved this aspect of the story, that feeling of childhood love that grows and morphs into something else, that of new beginnings.

Maureen is the protagonist of the story, and I really felt like I was by her side during her epic journey and road to adulthood.  Together with Jack, and his best friend Nelson, they are practically inseparable until war beckons and Maureen is left alone while the two men go off to fight. What I loved anbout Maureen, was that she was a strong wiled and opinionated child, then woman, who was not afraid to speak her mind. She knew exactly what she wanted in life, even from a very young age, and she trived to get it.

When We Danced at the End of the Pier is full of emotion, and one that that most definitely pulls at the heart strings. It is a book about the importance of family and friendship, and of love during times of war. If you love family dramas, with nostalgia thrown in for good measure, as well as a real old fashioned love story, then  When We Danced at the End of the Pier is the book for you. Grab a blanket, tissues, and a warm drink and then settle down to be thoroughly transported back in time.
My thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for an Advanced Raeder Copy.

When We Danced at the End of the Pier is published by Bookouture, 31 Mar. 2017. The book is available to buy from Amazon here.

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