Firstly I wish to thank Kim Nash of Bookouture for inviting me to be part of this Blog Tour for HEARTACHES AND CHRISTMAS CAKES by Amy Miller.
Heartaches and Christmas Cakes: A wartime family saga perfect for cold winter nights (Wartime Bakery Book 1)
December, 1940: All that Audrey Barton wants is her family together for Christmas. But the war changes everything…
The Barton family bakery in Bournemouth has been at the heart of the town for generations: Audrey and Charlie Barton have never been rich, but their bread and cakes – and their love and advice – have enriched the lives of others in the town for many years.
When war breaks out, it doesn’t take long for trouble to arrive on the bakery doorstep. Audrey’s brother William has joined up to fight, and William’s fiancé Elsie fears she may lose him before their life together has even begun. Audrey’s stepsister Lily comes to stay, but Lily is clearly hiding a dark secret.
And a silent and strange little girl is evacuated to the town – will Audrey get to the heart of what is ailing her?
Audrey battles to keep hope and love alive in tumultuous times. But when disaster strikes at Christmas, will her efforts be in vain?
This is the first book in a heartwarming and romantic new saga series, perfect for fans of The Gingerbread Girl, Nadine Dorries and Ellie Dean.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
Set in war-time Bournemouth this story centres round one of the town’s bakery’s, Charlie and Audrey Barton their families and friends. The Barton’s have been town bakers for generations and even war doesn’t stop Charlie and Audrey being inventive to create new ways to provide goods for their customers. Audrey is the rock in the story, the glue that keeps everyone together.
This is how the people back home dealt with not knowing if loved ones serving were even still alive, as weeks turned into months without even a letter from them. The only conciliation was that everyone was the same. The sons and husbands of Bournemouth lost their lives like everywhere else in the country and mothers and wives supported each other when ever they could, even if it was only extra bread.
What makes the whole story so endearing is that this is the day in day out lives of ordinary people. The guilt of not going to war to fight when the job you do makes you a valuable home commodity. The poor girls caught out with false promises and the heartache of missing family and bows that are away fighting while temptation is waiting at every turn. This isn’t just one story but a web of stories that all come back to the central character Audrey. The lady with a heart of gold.
There are so many lovely characters in this story, one in particular stands out for me though, little Mary, she had so many hardships but the love of Audrey was always there for her. The story of the Bakery and the people connected to the Barton’s is to continue in a series.
Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for this ARC which I have reviewed honestly.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amy Miller is the pseudonym of Amy Bratley, who started her writing life working on magazines and newspapers. She has previously written three women’s fiction novels published by Pan Macmillan, the first of which was a bestseller in Italy. Her day job is being a freelance managing editor of both a vintage interiors magazine and a food magazine, two subjects she’s passionate about. Amy lives in Dorset with her husband and two children.
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