Sisters at War

Written by Milly Adams
Review by Cathy Kemp

Bryony ‘Bee’ Miller runs her deceased father’s light aircraft business jointly with Eddie, who was her father’s best friend. She shares her home at Combe Lodge in England with Olive, the housekeeper, and her son Adam. Bryony worries constantly about her mother and headstrong younger sister Hannah, both living in Jersey with family, as their Mum struggles to overcome tuberculosis. Hannah exhibits behaviour associated with a spoilt rotten child and expects to be waited on, despite being almost an adult. With the outbreak of WWII, anticipating that her mother and sister will want to return home to England, Bryony and Adam make the flight to Jersey to bring them home, but the climate on Jersey appears to favour her mother’s recovery, and Hannah has no intention of leaving her latest “beau”.

As the war progresses there are further opportunities for the family to be reunited, but once the Germans take occupation of the Channel Islands, these avenues are removed. During the process of evacuation of allied troops from France, Adam and Bee work tirelessly together, saving many lives as they endanger their own. Bryony, subsequently accepted into the ATA alongside Eddie, deliver aircraft around the UK, while Adam has joined the Royal Navy to assist in protecting the merchant ships from U-boat attack. In the occupied territories, there is much hardship and some resort to fraternising with the German troops, including Hannah. She becomes ostracised from her family in Jersey and communications are no longer possible with the mainland. When her German lover is posted elsewhere, Hannah finally has to grow up and take responsibility.

Millie Adams writes an engaging story, offering insight into Jersey’s occupation by the Germans, the workings of the Black Market and those who associated with the enemy earning the ignominious title of “Jerry bags”, and the plight of evacuees.