**** Rich Historical Novel Review by Rox Burkey
Author Joy M. Lilley pens an amazing story that combines history, war, romance, and survival struggles. The story is told from the perspective of the main character, Gloria. She grows from a youngster to an amazing woman over the course of the story. Her parents, twin brothers, and sister faced varying degrees of hardship including low wages which caused Gloria and her sister Ann to live with an aunt and uncle on their farm for years.
The girls worked on the farm, missing the rest of their family. The whole gambit of farm life taught some harsh lessons the girls remembered their entire lives. It seems the author masterfully foreshadowed the grit Gloria needed to gain and hold onto for the challenges in her future.
I love the descriptive language used by Author Lilley, especially related to the family fun before the world turned upside down. The elaborate well-done character development captivated me. The simple life enjoyed the fullest by children kept me turning the pages, where vivid images were painted by the words. This is the section that grabbed my senses initially.
We all loved the snow and played for hours with dad’s handmade sledge, a type of sled. My dad was good at making things. He took great delight in hiding the sledge from us until it was almost ready. When he finally revealed the sledge, his excitement was dwarfed only by that of his eager children. When our brothers were a bit older, they loved to take Ann and me over to the roughs. This was a steep and hilly place, steep enough for the sledge to whizz down very fast. They would give us rides until the sun set, and it was nearly dark. It was only after the sledge hit a rock or something hard and Ann and I were thrown off and hurt ourselves, that our winter pleasures came to an abrupt end.
This story is perfect for lovers of historical fictions. The span of Gloria’s life journey is the early to late 1900s. As a point of clarity, a liberty bodice was designed to thwart colds and congestion as a warm garment for the chest. It’s a perfect title to capture the helping hands Gloria encountered as she grew. The attention to details of the period in Europe during WWII and life in the United Kingdom were fascinating. Add this story to your library and expect to be informed, entertained, and delighted with the gripping drama.
About the Author
Joy is a published author of several novels, short stories and has articles published in magazines. She spent a lifetime as a trained nurse before becoming a writer. Her first novel, “Figs, Vines and Roses,” tells of a moving tale of love and loss at the turn of the nineteenth century. Her nursing background gave her the inspiration 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. “The Liberty Bodice,” is set in 1922 United Kingdom. When not writing, Joy works as a voice-over artist. She also spends time with her large family, and the little ones affectionately knowing her as Nanny G.