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16 February 2014

Lesley Pearse: Survivor

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Another gutsy heroine from Lesley Pearse
Lesley Pearse has written a number of books about strong-willed young women who suffer and eventually overcome great  adversity. "Survivor" is a standalone successor to her very successful "Belle". In this book Belle has overcome her adversity and in 1938 she is happily married to Etienne, her French lover from the days of WWI, with a daughter and two sons, and is living in Russell in the beautiful Bay of Islands in New Zealand.

Belle's daughter, Mariette (Mari) has always been forthright and strong-willed and when she is seventeen a dalliance with an undesirable young man threatens her reputation in the small close-knit town. Despite the world being on the edge of war, Belle and Etienne decide to send Mari for a visit to old friends in England. During the voyage Mari meets a handsome Cockney steward, Morgan, and the memory of their meetings remains with her for a long time.

After settling down in great luxury with a caring and loving family a better part of  London, Mari soon gets caught up in a whirl of upper class dances and parties. When war breaks out things change when all of this gets taken away by a well aimed a bomb in the Blitz. Mari is left completely on her own and moves to London's poverty stricken East End where she finds the kind of friendship she has never had before.

Once again Lesley Pearse has written a story about a strong and gutsy heroine who struggles to make a difference in a dangerous world. Of course it is a bit formulaic because that is the kind of books she writes. Of course there is a thread of impossible love because that is also what she writes about. The plot line is a bit convoluted and a few parts of the plot that could have been developed disappear without trace.

While this kind of book is not my normal genre did enjoy this overlong book, but not as much as her previous book "Forgive Me".  I gave it 3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars because I am sure that most Lesley Pearse fans will still love this book (my wife did).

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