Home for Christmas
The second of the No. 13 Article Row (a street address) series continues with the lives of three girls lodging with a widow and her daughter in London during the Blitz. Each one has a sad backstory. Agnes is from an orphanage, Dulcie has been rejected by her mother and Sally fled from Liverpool when her newly widowed father married her best friend. But with Olive and her daughter, Tilly, the three have found a happy home. Even though every night German bombs rain death and destruction down on London, life goes on for the friends: work, exciting new acquaintances and flirtations.
Groves is good on the Blitz, going beyond the usual clichés to emphasise the blanketing dust, the chaos and the inevitable depression brought on by the continual raids. She has also caught the moral flexibility growing out of wartime insecurity. The girls question why they should be “good” if life might end tomorrow.
A pleasant novel, written with warmth. This reader hopes all will go well for the lodgers at 13 Article Row in the third instalment.