The Royal Station Master’s Daughters at War (The Royal Station Master’s Daughters Series book 2)

Written by Ellee Seymour
Review by Julia Stoneham

This novel was inspired by the history of the Saward family whose many generations were closely associated with Wolferton railway station, which served the Sandringham estate. It also boasts other promising ingredients including World War One, a falsely accused heroine, a multifaceted, rural family rife with domestic dramas, all of which involve the good, the bad and the ugly. It is mainly located in Norfolk on and around the Sandringham estate so, as a bonus, we get a fleeting touch of the Royals.

The most robust of the many storylines belongs to Nellie Jeacock, a relative of the family, currently sought by the police on charges of bigamy and theft. The pursuit and proof of her innocence move the action from Norfolk to London and beyond, only returning to the Sandringham estate and the Saward family for a series of extended and thorough resolutions which meticulously involve all of the characters whose stories we have been following. Innocence is proven, bruised relationships are repaired, war wounds are healed, illnesses are recovered from, and evil behaviour is forgiven.

The novel is appealingly presented, and the print is easily readable, but here this reviewer’s compliments end. An efficient editor would have spotted the number of factual errors, including the attribution of the tune of the song “Jerusalem” to William Blake, when in fact Hubert Parry composed the music, many decades after Blake wrote the words. While the predictable storylines are diligently plotted, the style of the prose suggests haste, resulting in a lot of repeated adjectives and an unambitious vocabulary, which diminishes the quality of this otherwise promising novel.