Readers' Favorite

March 19, 2022

The Woman with the Map by Jan Casey ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Banner with book cover of The Woman with the Map by Jan Casey and the words I shed a lot of tears for the main character

A wartime novel of a Bomb Plotter in the Blitz and her choice, decades later, to start living once more.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A Free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of WWII novel The Woman with the Map by Jan Casey
March 2022; Aria; 978-1838930776
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); historical fiction

I always enjoy a good WWII fiction book and this one was fantastic.  We follow Joyce from her life in London during the war as she works to do what she can to help her country to her much lonelier life in 1974 when her life has changed drastically.

1941 - As the Blitz in London gets worse, Joyce is asked to move from her job as a member of the ARP where she assists people when the bombs begin to fall each day to a job in one of the central offices plotting where the damage and death have occurred in her neighborhood of Notting Hill.  As she gets reports from the people working outside, it's her job to put a pin in a large map that also indicates if there have been deaths at that location.  She's proud of the work that she's doing and devotes her life to her job.  She lives with her mother and she has grandparents and other family living nearby.  When she meets Derek and falls in love with him, he becomes the happiness in her life as death and destruction continue to happen all around her.  

1974 - Joyce continues to live in the basement apartment that she first rented 40 years earlier.  Her life centers around her job in the payroll department of a large store but her job is all she has left.  She pulls away from people who want to befriend her.  After her years during the war and all of the pain that she's suffered, she just isn't willing to take a chance on having friends again.  There was a lot of building going on in London after the war. When the housing council decided to tear down her apartment house to make way for newer buildings, she has to find somewhere else to live.  This move totally changes her life but will it be enough of a change for her to try to let go of the past and start enjoying her life again?

This is a difficult book to read in parts.  The destruction of life and property during the Blitz is horrifying but well written.  It's apparent that the author did considerable research into this part of the war.  

Joyce is a strong main character that I connected with from the beginning.  Her life is so affected by the deaths of family and friends and by 1974, she only relies on herself.  I shed a lot of tears for her during the novel and cheered her on as she began to take small steps to begin to connect with other people and to find happiness in her life.

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by following us. Get even more book news in your inbox, sign up for our newsletter today! Girl Who Reads is an Amazon advertising affiliate; a small commission is earned when purchases are made at Amazon using any Amazon links on this site. Thank you for supporting Girl Who Reads.


Post a Comment