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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Where the Sky Begins by Rhys Bowen

1940 London - Josie Banks is an out and out city girl. She wouldn't know what to do in the countryside. The quiet and silence of it would drive her nuts. Surrounded by people and noise she finds it alien but this is going to be her life after being evacuated from London and all that she is familiar with. First her husband Stan gets called up. Not the most loving of relationships, he was anyway her choice but then he goes. She finds employment with a Russian Jew who has opened a tea room and helps her out, bwfriending her as well. That gets bombed and the old lady dies. She then moves on but she gets bombed out of her own house, with literally not a stitch of clothing. Thats how the evacuation to the countryside starts. It was usually children who get evacuated so when they find themselves with a grown woman without a stitch to her name, the authorities scramble to find a place for her. Miss. Harcourt and her servant Kathleen are not welcoming. They are suspicious and supercilious and Josie is not made to feel welcome. Little by little Josie overcomes the obstacles facing them all, settles in and makes a life for herself and the family as best as she could. Josie has a good heart, is willing to see beyond the arrogance of Miss Harcourt and see the loneliness and heartbreak that has madeher what she is. Kathleen is a different kettle of fish - blowing hot and cold alternately. Josie's sojourn during the war is very beautifully documented - the travails of wartime rationing, how people made do and this adds to so much apart from the story of how Josie gets involved in sussing out a spy in their midst. This will eventually lead to Josie's future working at Bletchley Park but that I hope will be another good story. This was historical fiction very well told, documenting the daily life of Britons as well as the overall aspect of WWII Sent by General Fiction (Adult) Women's Fiction for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.


  1. I like the homefront stories from WWII so this will go on my TBR list. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I've enjoyed many of Rhys Bowen's historical novels. Nice review and synopsis.

  3. Josie sounds like a very interesting and likable character. :)