Gracie's War

About the book

Gracie's War - Elaine Everest    

Do our actions and decisions mark us and stay with us for the rest of our lives? Gracie has her life before her as the dark clouds of the Second World War gather. 

Though she and her family cope well with the stresses on the home front, Gracie's transformation to adulthood is swifter and more brutal than she could have ever imagined.

Gracie meets Tony, who arouses such feelings in her that she has never experienced before - not with Joe her regular beau who considers her his girl. Then, one night, one mistake, and she realises she is carrying Joe's child. 

And now Tony has gone to war.      


About the author

Elaine Everest is a freelance writer and lives in Swanley, Kent with her husband Michael and Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Henry. She has written over sixty short stories for women’s magazines worldwide. Her features have appeared in publications ranging from The Guardian, The Daily Express and the Daily Mail to My Weekly and Your Dog. Her opinion pieces have led to many appearances on radio including chatting to Jenni Murray on Woman’s Hour about having a husband under her feet all day long. Elaine has written numerous columns for canine publications centred around her expertise in the world of dogs. This has led to commissions to write three successful books for dog owners.

Elaine’s successful writing life led her to become a qualified teacher for adult education. Four years ago she founded The Write Place creative writing school and holds regular classes at The Mick Jagger Centre in Dartford Kent.

Elaine was BBC Radio Short Story Writer of the Year in 2003, short listed for The Harry Bowling Prize in 2012, Short listed for The Festival of Romance novel competition in 2012 and winner of the Myrmidon Books (Pulse Romance) Write for Us competition in 2013.

Gracie’s War is her first published novel and is set in North West Kent where she grew up. A member of the Romantic Novelist Association, Elaine is a graduate of the RNA New Writers Scheme. Gracie’s War is short listed for their Joan Hessayon Award in 2014.


I was fortunate to get an ARC of ‘Gracie’s War’ and found it an absorbing read.

The story is set in South-east London at the beginning of the Second World War, as Gracie is about to celebrate her 21st birthday. Based on the memories of the author’s parents the setting is incredibly authentic – you can almost hear the bombers flying overhead. It transports you back immediately to another age where single mothers didn’t exist or were ostracized for bringing shame on their family. It is a real skill of any writer that makes the reader want to keep turning the page and Elaine Everest certainly knows how to do that with her well-paced, easy to read style.

By the time the story concludes in the early 1950s, the world is a different place and we have shared Gracie’s ups and downs. Although the basic premise of the story has little in terms of originality and the twists are not difficult to figure out, what I loved about this book was the atmospheric evocation of a bye-gone age and the honest, gutsy feelings of the characters. When Gracie makes one mistake, the reader feels for her and desperately wants her to find happiness. The relationship between Gracie and her friend is also very well portrayed. Like any good saga, the path of true love never runs smooth and it’s fingers crossed all the way for a happy ending.

Best for...

Those who like a good wartime saga 

My rating

4/5  Really liked it



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jason | Reply 12.12.2017 20.52

would love to read this, but cant find a copy anywhere

Julie 12.12.2017 21.49

It's currently only available in libraries but the author may publish a digital version in the future. Thanks for your comment.

Steph Roundsmith | Reply 14.12.2013 11.16

A nice little review. Thanks for sharing!

julie ryan 14.12.2013 11.46

Thanks Steph - it's a lovely read!

Elaine Everest | Reply 10.12.2013 21.32

Julie, thank you so much for the great review of Gracie's War. It's very much appreciated.

Julie Ryan 10.12.2013 21.47

It's a lovely story Elaine

julie Ryan | Reply 10.12.2013 19.59

So glad you asked me Shaz - and that you found your way to my site

Shaz Goodwin | Reply 10.12.2013 19.53

A fab review Julie. So glad you really liked Gracie's War.

Thank you for taking part in Elaine's tour.


Natalie Kleinman | Reply 10.12.2013 17.58

I'm old enough to recognise the authenticity in Gracie's fifties world. When I read her story it was like Mastermind - I've started so I'll finish. A good read.

julie ryan 10.12.2013 18.10

Glad you enjoyed it Natalie

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Latest comments

Yesterday | 22:25

Wonderful review, for a wonderful lady and Author.

Yesterday | 20:12

Great review for an equally great book by Mary

Yesterday | 18:26

When reading all the reviews I just can not wait to read this for myself. I adore stories of hardship and how they unfold and hopefully have a good ending.

Yesterday | 17:22

Another great review for a brilliant author.

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