About the author
Author Bio – Born and bred in East London Jean was a District Nurse by trade and ended her thirty-year career in health care as a senior lecture in Health and Nursing Studies in London Southbank University. She had published twenty sagas all set in East London with both Orion and Atlantic the most recent of which is the highly successful Ration Book series. She has also recently released her autobiography A Child of the East End.
A Stepney Girl's Secret by Jean Fullerton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 3 days (as able)
Pages - 451
Publisher - Corvus
Source - Review book
Blurb from Goodreads
East London, 1940. Prue Carmichael never dreamed that she'd end up working at a railway yard. But when her reverend father is called up to Stepney, she and her family are uprooted from their country home for a new life in the turbulent city.
Determined to help with the war effort, Prue signs up for work and soon becomes intrigued by handsome train engineer Jack Quinn. But as the spark between them grows apparent, so does his troubled past - a past that Prue's mother would certainly not approve of.
In between cleaning train carriages and helping to shelter Jewish refugees, Prue manages to stay busy. But she has more than one admirer, and when Jack is recruited into Churchill's secret army, a very different suitor begins to pursue her.
As air raid sirens sound overhead, Prue Carmichael is facing her own battle - the fight between her heart and her head . . .
Amidst the ruins of war, will Prue and Jack's love find a way?
Meet Prue, daughter of a reverend who has been uprooted to Stepney with her family from the small quiet countryside to London (east end). The time is the 1940s and war is afoot. Prue immediately steps up, whilst her mother likes to play the part of doing good Prue is the real deal. She is the first to help out and signs up to do her part, as the men are being called up to fight more and more women are stepping up to do the jobs they would normally do. Whilst Prue's mother is more interesting in matchmaking Prue to the local priest Prue is determined to help out her community and catches the eye of a fellow worker whose reputation is less than pristine!
Whilst the threat of war is around we get to know more about the characters, the priest has his eye on Prue, Prue and one of her co workers have a spark and he is by no means acceptable or what Prue's mother would consider on their level, she is pushing for the priest.
The book tackles different issues, classism - I really wasn't a fan of her mum, the priests wife who gave a face for the public but wasn't actually the nicest or as selfless as her public portrayal. This added to how real and selfless Prue was. When an author does this and captures it well you absorb into the characters and their lives, love them or hate them. Relationships - family and the effects of war.
I have read Fullerton before and will read again, she has a way of creating and capturing an authenticity with time and place and the characters who grace us through the stories. From the shady, heart felt and genuine characters we have a whole mixed bag, 4/5 for me.
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