Sunday, October 28, 2018

The Runaway Children: A Gripping World War II Tale by Sandy Taylor

Greetings!  Overkilt by Katilyn Dunnett along with Lover Come Hack by Diane Vallere, Purls and Poison by Anne Canadeo, Deadly News by Jody Holford, and Yeast of Eden by Sarah Fox will be available on October 30.  Wreath Between the Lines by Daryl Wood Gerber comes out on November 8. I wish there were more hours in the day to devote to reading!

The Runaway Children by Sandy Taylor begins in the spring of 1942.  Nell Paterson is thirteen years old when she and her two siblings are sent away from the East End to escape the Blitz.  Nell’s mother just had a baby boy and her father is in the navy.  Mrs. Patterson refuses to leave despite the baby’s sickly condition.  Tony boards the train with the girls, but then jumps off to return to their mother.  Nell and five year old Olive end up in Wales with a vicar and his wife.  Nell makes a friend in free spirited Lottie Lovejoy and the children are enjoying living in the country with the kindly couple.  Unfortunately, the vicar is reassigned to Cardiff and the girls are relocated to Hacker Farm.  Martha Hacker and her son, Albert are cruel to the girls and the house is filthy.  When Albert is inappropriate with Olive, Nell takes action.  The girls quickly escape and head for London.  Along the way, Nell falls ill and she fears for their safety in her weakened capacity.  Will the girls make it home?  Join Nell and Olive on their journey across England in The Runaway Children. 

The Runaway Children is different from other World War II novels since it is told from a young woman’s perspective   I thought the story was nicely written, but the pacing was a little slow.  Some thoughtful editing would have enhanced the story.  I like that The Runaway Children is told from Nell’s point-of-view.  Hundreds of children are sent out of London for their own safety, but things do not always work out as planned.  There were too many children and not enough people to check up on each home.  The Runaway Children is an emotional story.  The girls go on a journey that will forever change their lives.  Nell and Olive are characters that grow over the course of the book.  My favorite theme in The Runaway Children is the kindness of strangers.  The girls will need help if they are to make it to their destination.  Little Olive is adorable with her endless questions and direct manner.  The book has a happy, though predictable, ending.  I appreciate that we learn what happens to the various characters (epilogue).  I am giving The Runaway Children 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it).  The Runaway Children is what I call a “feel good” book (puts a smile on your face and a good feeling in your heart).  I look forward to reading more books by Sandy Taylor. 

Sandy Taylor's newest release is The Little Orphan Girl (available through Kindle Unlimited on Amazon).  I will feature Due East, Beasts and Campfire Feasts by Erin Johnson tomorrow as part of the Great Escapes Tour.  I hope you have a leisurely day.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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