My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1 day
Pages - 404
Publisher - Orion books
Source - Bought
Blurb from Goodreads
Can she choose between her husband and her family? London, 1944. With bombs raining over London, keeping the Battersea Tavern open is no easy feat for owner Winnie Berry - but the community need the warmth and familiarity of the pub more than ever. After marriage, Maureen Fanning had moved out to Wandsworth with her bad-tempered husband Brancher. But when he loses both his job and their lodgings, the only people who will take them in are her kindly grandparents, Len and Renee. Getting a cleaning job at the Battersea Tavern is the least she can do to pay them back. It would all be fine... if it weren't for Brancher. Winnie is determined to take timid Maureen under her wing. But when tragedy strikes, it will be up to Maureen to find the strength she didn't know she possessed...Praise for A WIFE'S COURAGE'A fantastic emotional book to the end' 'What a lovely read once again from Kitty Neale.'
This is listed on FantasticFiction as a standalone however there are characters in this from previous books so I think I will need to go back and buy the others. To be fair I do have a few of hers on my tbrm and read a few anyway. Set in 1940s, world war two is under way and bombs are dropping quite often without warning. Winnie and her pub are still there, offering support where needed within their small community. Maureen I don't remember from the books I have read but she is married to Brancher, ugh he is an utter scumbag. We know early on he is a bully to Maureen, eroding her self confidence and even sense of self but you have no idea just how bad he is.
In this one we see some familiar faces, some new ones and how the community is coping with their own issues/families/dramas and the ever present threat of death from the bombs. It has been a while since I sank a book in a day and Neale takes you to a place where you can just log out of reality and lose yourself in the community that is Battersea.
The book has friendship, love, loss, abuse (emotional/violent/threats of violence), death, racism, attitudes and values of the times. Maureen's character really got under my skin, I think when you have lived with or loved someone who has been in a coercive relationship and seen just how badly they can be made to be and worthless to feel, it is enraging.
This is the latest release from Neale and I look forward to her next, I have many from her back catalogue I haven't read so will be getting them. This was a bargain buy and I got another copy for the BDWB's for my workies as I knew it would be a good one, 4.5/5 for me.