Christmas on the Home Front (Land Girls #3) by Roland Moore – a #BookReview #historicalfiction

Another that my associate reviewer and I enjoyed, particularly as we binged on the Netflix series.

The Land Girls - Netflix

Book Blurb:

It’s the last Christmas of the war but will things ever be the same again?

Christmas 1944

Despite the food rationing and the bitterly cold weather, the land girls of Pasture Farm, Connie Carter, Joyce Fisher and Esther Reeves, are determined to celebrate this Christmas in style.  The fighting might still be raging, but they all hope this could be the last Christmas of this dreaded war.

But as the day approaches, word spreads in sleepy Helmstead that two German Airmen are on the run.  With everyone on high alert, the mood is tense and the women take no chances.  Until the German airmen find them…

Trapped at Pasture Farm with the enemy, the women are determined to find a way to freedom and overpower the airmen.  But it means risking everything…including their lives.

My Review

In checking out this book as my next possible read, I discovered that the storyline was actually a successful BBC series, The Land Girls. We were able to view on Netflix and were hooked. The novel doesn’t disappoint, and happily, though the series and author were new to me, #3 read just fine as a standalone. And, BONUS, it was fun to put a face (that of the actors in the series) to the characters in the book, Joyce, Connie, Esther, Iris, and Finch.

The Land Girls by Roland MooreWhile the main character is Joyce Fisher, there are a number of well-developed support characters that comprise the Woman’s Land Army stationed at Pasture Farm. It doesn’t take long before you get to know each, their strengths and weaknesses, and the particular position they hold at the farm. The Land Girls have been created to supplement the loss of farm support and help provide food supplies. They have learned to manage with shortages and been creative in continuing the work necessary to aid in the war effort.

This entry to the series has the reader looking at Christmas 1944 and the witness of a German plane shot down not far from the farm. Too close, in fact. Joyce and Esther have been left at the farm during the Christmas countdown, the others scattered, and find themselves face-to-face with two desperate German airmen. The tension ramps up quickly as the men try to connect with sympathizers to collect and get them back home.

The farm is near Lady Hoxley’s Estate, where she is housing an American Army unit and an interim hospital in a branch of her mansion. I believe the farm is on her land, with perhaps Finch providing management, but not completely clear if he doesn’t own the farm. Still, Lady Hoxley keeps tab on the girls and lends support where she can.

The story jumps timelines, backtracking to an appropriately revealing scene with that point of view and then skips back, perhaps with a different character and replaying the scene to bring the two back to the same point in time. It can be just a bit confusing at first but serves to provide a full picture.

I was given this digital download by the publisher through NetGalley and was totally thrilled to have the opportunity to read and review. I thoroughly enjoyed the book (as well as the TV series) and heartily recommend to all who enjoy historical fiction. Whether it’s fiction or not, there is still so much to be learned from the “greatest generation.”

His Review

Christmas on the Home Front by Roland MooreThe scene is World War II and Britain is in its’ darkest hours. Everyone in the country pitches in for the war effort. City girls retreat to the farms to replace young men and boys sent off to war and assist in planting and harvesting.

Mr. Moore develops the characters as delightful, energetic and hard-working farm hands. Add to that the always present small-town gossips and busy-bodies and you have a very entertaining mix. Enemy aviators downed in the English countryside add danger and flavor to this tale.

Collaborators during WW II were present in France as the French underground. English helping the Germans were quite unusual and unexpected. Add foreign troops assisting the British from many different countries and you have a complete montage of love, heartbreak, intrigue and despair wrapped up in a daily struggle.

The young women are very naïve and vulnerable. Mix in lonesome foreign troops and escaping foreign airmen and you have a very volatile mix. Moore continually weaves humanity into his story. One almost had sympathy for the downed enemy airmen. However, their duty to escape and get back to their units made them less than sympathetic characters. Associate Reviewer - C E Williams

These books have been made into a TV series and I enjoyed them. But reading the book gives one a much broader appreciation for the trials suffered by all those involved in the WWII conflict. Set aside time, you will not want to put the book down. 5/5 CE Williams

Book Details:

Genre: 20th Century Historical Romance, Small Town & Rural Fiction, War Fiction, TV Movie & Game Tie-In Fiction, Family Saga
Publisher: One More Chapter

  • ISBN-10:0008204454
  • ISBN-13:978-0008204457

ASIN: B07S47KQNV
Print Length: 273 pages
Publication Date: November 14, 2019
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: Christmas on the Home Front
+Add to Goodreads 

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four of Five Stars 4.5-stars

The Author: Roland Moore is an award-winning series creator and scriptwriter working in a wide range of genres for film and television in the UK, America, and China.

He created the BBC1 returning period drama series, LAND GIRLS and he was recently the Head Writer on HUMANS for Endemol Shine China and Croton Media. HUMANS is the first sci-fi drama for Chinese television. Roland storylined the series (based on the AMC/C4 series), wrote six episodes and managed a team of UK writers through various drafts.

His children’s feature film 2:HRS recently received its theatrical premiere in the UK. He has also been commissioned to write a wartime spy drama for Jack Huston and his dystopian police series, THE LAST COP, has been optioned by Black Box Media.

He has written extensively for Big Finish writing original audio dramas for their DOCTOR WHO and SURVIVORS ranges. Other credits include SUMMER CAN WAIT (feature), RASTAMOUSE, SMACK THE PONY, DOCTORS, MAN STROKE WOMAN and PETER RABBIT. Find Roland Moore at the following links:

Twitter: @RolandMooreTV
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/landgirlstvbook
http://www.rolandmoore.tv

©2019 V Williams V Williams

The Land Girls photo attribute: Netflix

#Author Spotlight – Dean Koontz

author spotlight

Rumored to be worth over $145 million, Dean Ray Koontz is most definitely a successful author. Born in Everett, PA in 1945 (72 years of age), his novels are generally described as suspense thrillers, although he frequently infuses his stories with horror, fantasy, and sci-fi aspects as well.

His official website notes he has sold over 450 million copies of his works, sixteen (paperback) of which were included on the NY Times bestseller list as number one. He used numerous pen names early in his career including Brian Coffey.

His childhood less than standard 50’s Cleavers, Koontz was the product of an abusive alcoholic father and his defiant “physically diminutive mother.” Koontz discovered the Catholic faith and converted while in college. Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton(And btw, he gives a shout out to English writer and Catholic convert G.K. Chesterton who wrote about the fictional Roman Catholic priest and amateur detective Father Brown. Father Brown is a featured English series on NetFlix.) I find this connection fascinating since I innocently wandered into Mayhem & Mass recently and the review brought a comment from fellow blogger, Angela of Books and Opinions, LLC who also noted G. K. Chesterton as being a favorite ol’ English author. (Freaky, huh?)

Graduating in 1967, Koontz went on variously teaching English in high school and working for a federally funded poverty program. It was during this time that he began writing in earnest and in ten years his major breakthrough novel, Whispers, was published in 1980. Of course, since I’m usually late to the party, was just introduced to Koontz through NetGalley with a book I recently read and reviewed called The Whispering Room. It was just released on November 21, 2017 and I still think the newest of his books.

When I mentioned to my son that I was reading a Dean Koontz book, his eyebrows shot up. “I’m surprised you’re reading Koontz, mom, he’s a horror writer.” (Not considered my usual genre. True.) And, perhaps this might be considered that, but more so psychological thriller and suspense. (Also, gripping, thoughtful, and perhaps sci-fi coming true.) After I posted my review, one of our old Navy friends, Kitra, saw the review on Facebook and noted, Just an FYI he grew up in Ted’s little town, donated a lot to the library in honor of his English teacher. Was happy to see that.”

Dean Koontz - author - Happy Holidays photoDean Koontz is currently living in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, and their golden, Ms. Elsa. You’ll have to read her story, which is related in typical humorous Koontz style here.

Mr. Koontz has joined my favorite authors list and I’m looking forward to his next well-crafted novel. Have you looked into his books lately? Which was your favorite? (Info gleaned from Wikipedia and the Dean Koontz website.) ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

So Much For Bugs Bunny!

It would probably come as no surprise to you to learn that studies have shown consumers spend more time with digital media than they do all forms of media–and that would include television viewing. Even back in 2012 studies by Global Web Index found that of approximately 10 hours a day spent in various media, it was digital media that edged out over 50% of attention. TV consumption down to 23%? No more Saturday morning cartoons? No more Bugs Bunny pulling Saturday morning babysitting duty?

As anyone who is more than 55 knows, if you can’t get a cell phone to work, hand it to a 5 year old.

phonefamily Continue reading “So Much For Bugs Bunny!”