Join Frances Barden, Sarah Collingborne, Pat Simms, Miriam Brindsley, and the women of the Great Paxford Women's Institute as calamity hits their beloved village and they prove once again that when women work together they can surmount almost any challenge. Frances struggles as her factory is shut down and her husband's secret child arrives at her door. Pat's abusive husband is home from the war. Newlyweds Teresa and Nick hide a secret. Meanwhile, the life of the Campbell family is turned on its head, and Alison finds new purpose in helping the influx of strangers to the village. Through it all the Women's Institute provides support and camaraderie. But is their combined strength enough to get them through the war? Perfect for fans of Call the Midwife, Granchester, and Foyles War.
About the Author
S. Block, the creator and writer behind the Home Fires TV series, is a BAFTA award-winning writer who has worked on such shows as Wire in the Blood, Hotel Babylon, and The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, as well as shows for NBC and ABC.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"Keep The Home Fires Burning" is a stirring story about the strength and resilience of the members of the Women's Institute in Great Paxford as they draw together to help one another and their village get through the horrors and heartache of World War II. Simon Block does a marvelous job of providing insight into the thoughts and motivations of the characters viewers came to love in the wonderful ITV series that was cancelled. I look forward to reading more about these women.
I have not seen the television show that this book is an offshoot from so the characters were completely new to me. Fortunately that is not a prerequisite as everything you need to know about the women is within these pages. In fact, I think it may be a boon to have come to it fresh as this means I have no preconceptions about how people should behave and what their "voice" is - somehow they are seem to have a bad case of RP in my head (think I've seen too many world war 2 epics where even the charlady speaks like she was presented at Court). The plot itself deals with the trials and tribulations of a small Northern Village during the privations of World War 2. The biggest thing that stood out to me was the story of the "trekkers" who made their way in to the Countryside every night to escape the bombardment of Liverpool and then made their way back in the morning to work and attend school. This was not something I had been aware happened and led me to do some further investigation on the phenomenon. Although the people of Great Paxford do provide for them you have to wonder if this would have been the case with all food supplies being jealously guarded due to rationing would they have been willing to part with so much of their vegetable harvest to strangers? I did find the all encompassing power of the WI in the village a little offputting if I'm being honest. As an organisation they have done a lot of good but the way they run the village is quite disturbing. I did like that although we had Jerusalem there was no Jam and the book did show how involved they became with various war efforts whilst trying to hold on to their pacifism. The characters themselves are good mixture but they are a little stereotypical and not as nuanced as I would have liked. I feel that this is probably because we are supposed to have either seen the television series so already know them or as the author is used to writing scripts rather than novels he is used to actors putting that meat on to the character's bones. I was vaguely interested in the burgeoning relationship between Angela and John Smith and may just pick up the next book to find out how that turns out (very daring for the times and the location).