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.
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.
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.
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.
Those who like a good wartime saga
4/5 Really liked it