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Above The Bright Blue Sky

Author:  Margaret Thornton

Synopsis: Taken From the Book

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Life has been far from happy fo Maisie Jackson for a number of years, ever since her mother remarried after her beloved father’s death. Tormented by her stepfamily, Maisie dreams of escaping to a new life far away. And it seems her dreams are about to come true …..

It is 1939 and war is looming dark on the horizon. For many, with memories of the ‘war to end all wars’ still fresh in their minds, this is a frightening prospect. But for nine-year old Maisie, it represents her longed-for chance of freedom. In this time of trouble, when life suddenly seems so precious and vulnerable, true and lasting friendships are formed and love blossoms as the dark clouds of war eventually clear to the bright blue sky of a hopeful future.

About The Author: Taken From The Book

Margaret Thornton was born in Blackpool and has lived there all her life. She is a qualified teacher but has retired in order to concentrate on  her writing. She began by writing articles and short stories for magazines and has since gone on to have nineteen novels published to date, most of which are set in Blackpool. Her family sagas range from the late Victorian period, through to the Twenties, the Second World War, and the Fifties and Sixties.

Her latest book ‘Until We Meet Again’, is due for release June 2010.

My Review

One often  hears about the horrors of war from the front-line, but this book concentrates on war from the perspectives of those struggling to maintain some kind of normality and family life, for those left at home. The trauma of evacuation for Maisie and her friends was immense, but for her mother Lily and the other parents to know that their children had been given over to the care of  complete strangers, was devastating. Lily had thoughts that Maisie would become so attached to her foster family, that returning to her own family home would be frought with problems, especially given the terrible circumstances of her leaving.
Whilst Maisie did become a little jealous of her special position within the Fairchild family, she was ultimately overjoyed to be reunited with her Mother and siblings. It was also a time when the gentry was forced down from it’s self imposed pedestal and literally had to open it’s doors, both to the returning servicemen and to the evacuees, the very kind of people they often fought so hard to distance themselves from. The Squire and his family found that they enjoyed being a part of the community, making new and lasting friendships with both locals and newcomers, with whom they would never ordinarily have mixed.
Many of the evacuees were ill-treated by their foster families, as Maisie’s new found friend, Audrey, found to her cost.  However, when ‘Gentlewoman’, Miss Thomson is found out and is suitably castigated, she finds that a whole new world opens up to her, when she accepts and allows people from outside of her perceived class standing, who genuinely care about her and wish to help her, to be her friends.
Lily becomes part of a whole new tranche of women, who finds that she is quite able to support and make a better life for herself and her children, given the opportunity to flourish, in her new environment.
I came away with the impression that war is a great ‘leveller’ of pre-conceived ideas and social standing; as well as the empowerment of groups of people to rise to a challenge, with long-lasting and permanent consequences. A moving and caring novel,written sympathetically, which captivated me from the first, to the last page.
Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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Written by Yvonne