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August 2, 2022

Where the Sky Begins by Rhys Bowen ~ a Review

by Donna Huber



I always look forward to Rhys Bowen's summer historical novel. They are more of the romantic story of WWII story, but I wouldn't call them romances. Where the Sky Begins is a women's fiction novel set on the homefront in England.

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

book cover of World War II historical fiction novel Where the Sky Begins by Rhys Bowen
August 2022; Lake Union; 978-1542028868
audio, ebook, print (400 pages); historical fiction

Josie grew up in the slums of the East End in London. At 14-year-olds she had to leave school though she was a bright child whom her teachers thought might be able to get a teaching degree one day. But her mother died and there were little ones to look after. Once her father remarried she took a job in a factory and it was at a social where she met Stan who swept her off her feet. With her stepmother wanting her out of the house, Josie thought Stan was a great opportunity. However, Stan has a jealous streak and a bit of temper which only gets worst when Josie is unable to bear him a child. Then war breaks out and Stan is called up. For the first time, Josie gets to live a life of her choosing.

I liked Josie right off the bat. She is optimistic even with the hand she has been dealt. When her house is bombed and she is evacuated to the country-side she really starts to shine. You can't help but root for her.

There have been books with characters I didn't like but I'm not sure I've ever truly wished for a character to die. But I'll be honest, as Josie came into herself, met new people, and had new life experiences I kept hoping she would get a telegram from the War Department saying Stan had been killed in action.

A few years ago there was a television show on PBS (it was from across the pond) called Home Fires. Where the Sky Begins reminded me a little of that show. Josie is in a small village that is doing its bit for the war effort by growing vegetables and such. The village is also home to an RAF airbase. There's a Women Institute group - though it is more about gossiping than anything else. But all of this offers quite a diversity of characters. There are even a couple of German Jews taking refuge in the village.

I loved all the village people - they were lovely and just the community anyone would want to be part of.

The story is an easy one and it reads pretty quickly as you want to find out if Josie is going to get to live the life she so richly enjoys or will duty return her to London with her husband.

Buy Where the Sky Begins at Amazon


Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour


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