‘Brighter Days Ahead’ was published in paperback and as an eBook by Pan Books on the 30th November 2017. Mary Wood was looking for people to take part in a blog tour for this book and as I liked the sound of it I was delighted to participate. I would like to thank the lovely Kate Green at Pan Macmillan for my review copy.
This story is set during the Second World War from 1940 onwards. Molly lives with her repugnant father who has betrayed her on many occasions. From a young age, living on the streets of London’s East End, she has seen how harsh life can be. When Molly is kidnapped by gangsters and forced into their underworld her future seems bleak.
Flo spent her early years living in an orphanage. Years later and she is about to turn her hand to teacher training. When a kindly teacher at her school approaches her about a job at Bletchley Park, it could turn out to be the best move she makes.
It’s been absolutely ages since I’ve read a saga so I was really looking forward to ‘Brighter Days Ahead’. This is the first book I have read by Mary Wood and I am so glad to have come across yet another author. I somehow had the feeling I would enjoy this book and I wasn’t wrong. I loved the cover and thought it was beautiful. I also liked Mary Wood’s style of writing and the way the chapters were set out. The editing was excellent too and it was obvious that a lot of research had been undertaken.
The story is narrated by a few characters, but mostly by Molly and Flo. Through them the reader gets to follow their lives during the war, meeting a number of other characters along the way. I was so into the story that I actually felt at times as if I was there with Molly and Flo. My heart almost broke when reading about Molly and the abuse she went through. I kept hoping that she would have a happy ending. I absolutely adored Flo. She was such a loving and kind person who gave a lot of her time to people who were in desperate need of help. Even when things were tough for her she still carried on as best she could. Such a strong and charismatic person was Flo. I loved her northern accent too and the way she said ‘Eeh, it’d be grand’ quite often.
As well as the war, this story dealt with a number of other issues including homosexuality which was in those days a crime. I personally thought it was such a shame that people were imprisoned simply for being in love with a person of the same sex.
If you enjoy sagas then I definitely recommend reading ‘Brighter Days Ahead’. Though there is quite a lot of doom and gloom in the story, there is also a real sense of the community coming together during hard times.
I will be waiting patiently for Mary Wood’s next book, but in the meantime I can at least check out her backlist.
I give this book 5 out of 5.
About Mary Wood
Born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1945, the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary’s family settled in Leicestershire after the war ended.
Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’.
After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels
Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle.
Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.
When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening. One of her favourite pastimes is interacting with her readers.
‘Brighter Days Ahead’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-
Website – https://www.authormarywood.com/
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/HistoricalNovels
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Authormary