Book review: Evie’s War by Kitty Danton

Evies War byKitty Danton
Evies War byKitty Danton
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Immerse yourself in the hopes and fears, joys and disasters of an English wartime village in the first of a warm and captivating trilogy from a talented new saga writer.

Evie’s War comes from the pen of Kitty Danton, a born and bred Devon woman whose entertaining Dartmoor Chronicles were inspired by the experiences of her mother June during the long days of the Second World War.

Drawing on the tales of an earlier generation, Danton sweeps us away to an age of blackout, rationing, romance, friendship, tragedy and the community spirit that kept the country and its people afloat.

At the heart of this charming and lively new series is young schoolteacher Evie Yeo whose dreams of working in a big city are scuppered by the onset of hostilities. She fears that life will be dull in her quiet home village but, as she soon discovers, wartime throws up the most unexpected twists and turns.

Evie has landed herself a job at the small primary school in Lymbridge but after recently discovering that her fiancé Timmy Bowes has been less than faithful, Evie is faced with a dilemma.

Ending her engagement to Timmy, who is now serving overseas, would severely hamper her chances of making a ‘good’ marriage as there are not many prospective partners around. Moving on from a first love is never easy anyway and the situation is further complicated by the fact that Timmy’s mother is the headmistress at Evie’s school and won’t hear a bad word against him.

Fortunately, Evie has two sisters, Julia and Pattie, and a close circle of old schoolfriends to help her through the tough times and as the war brings RAF officers, American GIs, evacuees, WRVS girls and wounded servicemen to the once quiet and calm village, Evie soon gets swept up into the busy business of wartime.

And if Evie can cast aside her worries over her future – or lack of it – with Timmy, there may even be a way to mend her broken heart…

Danton’s engaging story comes alive through a charismatic cast of characters, from Evie’s colourful family and the displaced child evacuees who win the hearts of the villagers to the long-suffering vicar, the inevitable local gossips and the hard-working women of the tireless sewing circle.

There is love, jealousy, infidelity, disappointment, discovery, despair and joy, and with plenty of drama yet to unfold, the next chapter featuring life in wartime Lymbridge – Evie’s Allies – will be eagerly anticipated.

(Orion, hardback, £19.99)