Sunday, 9 December 2018

Review: Sadie's Wars by Rosemary Noble

Sadie’s Wars By Rosemary Noble

An astonishing tale, spanning continents, where truth is stranger than fiction. This historical saga of an extraordinary Australian pioneer family continues into a new generation.

Sadie is brought-up amongst the vineyards of the Yarra Valley while her work-obsessed father reaps riches from the boom years before the Great War.

With post-war depression looming, Sadie's only option is to flee from her disastrous marriage, seeking refuge in Cleethorpes, a small seaside town in northern England.

Years later, when her sons are in RAF Bomber Command, she receives a letter from her long-lost brother which forces her to confront the past and her part in her family’s downfall.

Can old wounds be healed?
Will she find new love?
Will this second war destroy everyone she saved?

A fascinating historical family saga spanning Australia and England. Sadie's Wars is the third book in the Currency Girls series and a standalone novel.

Many times when I get around to reading a review copy of a novel, I've usually forgotten why I chose to read a particular one, and as I don't usually refresh my mind by reading the blurb, I dive in blind. Sadie's War was such a novel and I love how I found out the reason within the first pages; Cleethorpes and Grimsby, towns not so far from where I grew up but familiar enough to trigger nostalgic feelings. Coincidentally, the third chapter is set in Cannington, Western Australia, a place I've visited too, although a vastly different to how the town would have been in 1902. As a reader, I loved the surprise and familiarity of delving into how life was in times gone by in places I can relate to.

Alternating between Australia after the turn of the twentieth century, including the time during and after WW1 where Sadie grew up and England during and after WW11 each part focusing on significant aspects of Sadie's life during what were intensive times in world history. I particularly enjoyed the portrayal of daily life during war times realising some household names I recognise have been around much longer than I thought. Ms Noble captured the mood of the two eras with her descriptions and inclusions of atrocious events happening in the news at the time.

Sadie's life is colourful enough but the struggle of living during war times intensify the traumas and problems she faced. She's portrayed as a strong woman who always manages to handle what life throws at her, yet she survives with vulnerability and sadness while coping with the stress and tragedy. Thankfully she has people around her who make her see and believe she deserves to be happy too.

An intriguing page-turner, the writing flows fluidly as Sadie's life and events are documented. The scenes are informative and believable as are the emotions expressed; defeat, sadness and hope.

My favourite books read in 2018 have been historical novels based on true stories and Sadie's War definitely makes the list.

***arc received courtesy of the publisher***

I worked as a librarian, mostly with young people, so books have been my life, ever since I first stepped into a library and found a magical treasure trove. My other love is social history. Retirement gave me the opportunity to travel to Australia where I discovered stories that deserved to be written. I found a new career as an author which gives me immense pleasure. I write for myself but am delighted that others enjoy my books.