*** Realistic Survival Review by Rox Burkey

I enjoy the vivid details this author shares in her stories. The character development of Judy and Helga highlights their love for one another. Author Joy Lilley relates a story of family struggle as Helga and her daughter Judy move to Switzerland after Judy’s father dies in WWII. Jobs were scarce, but food required Helga’s work, regardless of the position. She shows she will do anything for her daughter.

Judy finds a playmate, Ruby. They form a relationship that extends for years as best friends. Their simple exchanges, like this section below, made me smile.

We sat down on the freshly cut grass, with the lovely smell of new mown hay wafting through our noses. I loved that smell, and still remember it as a grown-up. We chatted away to each other, as young girls do, sharing stories of our lives, hopes for the future, and even our troubles, although Ruby did not share as much as I did.  Probably because her life was not as dire as mine.

Later that day she rode her bike, with me dragging behind without a bike of my own, trying to keep up. There was no money in our home for luxuries such as bikes. I had to run as fast as I could to keep up with her. In the end, I called out to Ruby and asked if she would walk with me instead of biking. She obliged and we strolled along until we reached the huge pond covered with all sorts of bird life.

Ruby is from a wealthy family who offers Helga a job. Helga enjoys the work. While it earns less money, it is safer. I liked how the theme of the clouds changed with each chapter title. It shows the ebbs and flows of the lives of Helga and Judy. I also like the point of view of the daughter. 

This story brought to light the aftermath of war anywhere and the impact on families, though I would have liked more details. It is a good story for readers who want a sense of what post-war families do to survive. For me, it was an interesting perspective.

About the Author

Joy Lilley is a published author of several novels, several short stories, and has many articles published in magazines. She spent a lifetime as a trained nurse before becoming a writer. This gave her the background for the last book “Times Pendulum Swings Again” a hospital romance that goes badly wrong. Her novel “Strawberry Moon” is set in the Dordogne, France and tells of a young man’s murder. When not writing Joy works as a voice over artist. She also spends time with her large family, the little ones affectionately knowing her as Nanny G. —This title refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.