Beyond the Blue Hills by Katie Flynn
Publisher: Arrow Books
Tess and Tina Collins are two young sisters growing up in pre-war Liverpool. They live with their widowed mother, Laura, Laura’s sister, Millie and her seven children. Thanks to a chance meeting, not only is Laura offered the job of cook in a new café shortly to be opened, but also accommodation for her and the girls in the flat above the café. Life is finally starting to go well for Laura and her daughters, but then war breaks out and nothing is ever the same again. Tina is evacuated to a farm in Herefordshire and Tess joins the Land Army in Norfolk
Danny Brewster and his cousin, Phil Ryland, live in Herefordshire with their parents. The Brewsters and the Rylands both own farms and the boys are one day destined to take over from their fathers. Life is idyllic for Danny and his girlfriend Sophie, but Phil wants more. When war breaks out, both boys are eager to join the RAF, but they are torn between their country and the need to work the land. Danny eventually choses the RAF and Phil follows sometime later. After training, both boys meet up at an RAF station in Norfolk.
The lives of Tess, Tina, Danny and Phil become entwined in this tale of young love during the Second World War when people’s lives were turned upside down and nothing could be taken for granted. Tess worries for her boyfriend, Mike, serving abroad, Tina has to face responsibilities beyond her years and Phil commits the ultimate betrayal against Danny.
This is a very enjoyable, tender love story set against the heartbreak of war. I can highly recommend this book and its author, having also read A Long and Lonely Road, which is also well worth looking out for.
I award Beyond the Blue Hills four red roses. PS