Monday, August 28, 2017

Goodnight from London by Jennifer Robson

This wasn't a fantastic novel, but it held my attention and was an easy read.  I found the story a bit too  predictable.  It did appear to be, however, a well researched account of both life for a female journalist in the all male environment of the 1940s and living in London during the Blitz.

Ruby Sutton was working as a magazine writer in New York City in 1940 when her boss asked if she was willing to be seconded to a weekly in London.  Despite reservations about getting a passport (we learn the reasons much later though they are hinted at throughout) she agrees to go.  First, she has no family connections keeping her in New York, and second, she realizes it will be very beneficial from a professional point of view.

After a difficult crossing she is met at the train station by a friend of her editor's, Captain Bennett.  It is clear from this first meeting that he will become her love interest though there are years of back and forth.  It is also fairly clear from his behaviour that he works as a British spy, but it takes Ruby a rather long time to figure that out.

Ruby is welcomed at the magazine by her editor Kaz and a photographer, Mary.  The other members of the team are a little more wary of her.  When she loses everything in a bombing one night she moves from a temporary rooming house to the home of Bennett's godmother, Vanessa, who becomes a surrogate mother.  She is also warmly welcomed by Vanessa's daughters.

The book describes Ruby's difficulties establishing herself in the "man's world"; how she and others must cope with the Blitz; the repercussions when the truth of her past is revealed; her relationship with Bennett and eventually the end of the war.

If you're looking for a reasonably interesting diversion, the book is fine, but it's not great literature.

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