East End Angels

Written by Rosie Hendry
Review by Clare Lehovsky

East End Angels, the first in a series, is a flawless combination of the lives of three young women working for the London Auxiliary Ambulance Service. The story is set in 1940 East London in the aftermath of Dunkirk, which the city’s inhabitants are still feeling the effects of, since many of their brothers, fathers and sons were involved. This novel uses the different social dynamic, which is caused by the war, successfully alongside the surreal atmosphere that is the Blitz. This can be seen by the three main characters: Winnie, whose elite family is pressurizing her to join the Wrens, Bella who used to be a housemaid before the Blitz, and Frankie, who lives in the East End of London. Their new jobs as ambulance-drivers, as well as their firm friendship, cause these social boundaries to fade into the background. Hendry chooses her characters carefully to set the scene; for example, a Conscientious Objector works alongside them and gives the war a whole new perspective. This novel was a pleasure to read; the characters are relatable, and the plot moves at a fast pace. It will be interesting to see how she continues with this series.