Book Connections

Women’s Contribution in War Times

Last weekend in New Zealand and Australia we had remembrance day for all the Australian and New Zealand soldiers. ANZAC  Day. This year the special focus was on the role of women. So I thought this Friday I would connect with some of the books that have helped me appreciate the role of women in war.

While I sometimes feel like every second historical book is set in one of the wars, when I looked back over the last couple of years reading to find books, I hadn’t read that many!

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I was drawn to this book because of the bookshop aspect, however Grace not only looked after a bookshop during the war.

At night she helps out patrolling the streets, putting out fires and helping injured people. Her kindness and compassion changes hearts and inspires the ordinary person in the neighbourhood to keep going.

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In this story we meet Louise who becomes a Gunner girl.  Her role was to identify German planes. The women were not allowed to actually fire the gun to shoot the plane down. Their male companion did that!

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While this book is not set in war time we do meet a woman who worked for the Secret Service from London.  She carried out missions into Europe that were dangerous and she stands for many women who were spies and carried important messages. Mind you soon as the war was over she was ousted out of the secret service. An example of the prejudice of the time.

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In The Last Correspondent Soraya M. Lane gives us a graphic portrayal of what it was like for women correspondents to do what they so strongly felt called to do. Report what was happening at the front of World War 2.

In Danni and Ella we meet very gutsy women. Danni a photographer and Ella a writer. They see and deal with life threatening circumstances.

And of course they have to use devious means to get to where the war is happening because they are not “allowed” by the men to go to such places.

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Nina is Russian and grew up in harsh conditions, survived and became a pilot in the Russian army, in a women’s division known as the Night Witches. What a character she is. She Is hard bitten and tough, a razor wielding vixen. But look closer and just maybe there is a softer side to her. I have to say I came to adore her.

The planes they flew were the worst but these women were skilled and brave.  This book would be my top book out of these five.


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Its’s Monday! What Are You Reading? Hello August.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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For some reason the last week seems to have been rather long to me, not that it was boring, just that it had a lot of days in it! Lovely sunshine today, but cold, which I love and would welcome colder. Much of the country has snow but the cold only lightly graced our coastal area.

I had a good reading week, totally loved three of these books and one was just okay. But happily it was a library book.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

Just starting another book by Carmel Harrington – Irish author. Thanks to Trish at Between the Lines who introduced this author to me.

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I am still listening to the Rosamunde Pilcher book The Shell Seekers and will likely be most of the month as its long.

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

The Huntress. Kate Quinn

July Reading Round Up

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Month in Review

July Reading Round Up


Total books read this month: 14

New to me authors:

Balli Kur Jaswal
Mary Beth Keane
Linda Holmes
Robert Hillman
Meg Mitchell Moore
Kate Quinn

Authors Come From:

USA: 9
Singapore: 1
New Zealand: 1
England: 2
Australia: 1

Reading Challenge Update:

Four books towards my library challenge completed this month.

Three audiobooks marked off.

Top Books for July

Well I need three! All different but all five star reads from me.


Looking forward to reading in August

Some of what I have planned.

Main Reading Goals for August…

  • include some library books in my reading
  • make a dent in some of the books I’ve bought this year
  • No review books allowed!
  • Give up on Lonesome Dove, I never picked it up in July, will put it aside for now – maybe forever.

Incoming Books for July


I am buying all the Kindle books available of Lucilla Andrews – a nostalgic author whose books are out of print but they are publishing them on Kindle and I want them all!

Library Books

From NetGalley or Edelweiss

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I had a little win on Instagram – Thank you Hachette Australia.

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Audio Books Purchased from Audible

Linking up with Nicole at Feed my Fiction Addiction



The Huntress. Kate Quinn

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Published: HarperCollins
Date: 2019
Source: Library


I first heard of The Huntress by Kate Quinn from the Modern Mrs Darcy Summer Reading Guide 2019. I wasn’t sure if it was for me, but I put in a reserve for it at the library and in due course it arrived. Would I read it? Do I want to know about all the bloodshed and evil of the WW2 time in yet another historical fiction book? I decided to read a few pages and see how I went.

After five pages – I was hooked. The writing and tone of the book just reeled me in. The story rotates around three characters’ points of view. There is Ian an Englishman who lost a brother in the war, he is a journalist, suffers from post war trauma from his time as a journalist during it. Now he is part of a small team hunting Nazis down and bringing them (hopefully) to justice. Along with him is Tony a European with Polish/Hungarian blood, younger than Ian but still a good foil to him and very useful as “the charming good guy”  of the pair.

Nina forms the third member of the team, she is Russian and grew up in harsh conditions, survived and became a pilot in the Russian army, in a women’s division known as the Night Witches. What a character she is. She Is hard bitten and tough, a razor wielding vixen. But look closer and just maybe there is a softer side to her. I have to say I came to adore her.

Jordan lives in America in Boston, hers is the third POV. She is young and loves to photograph people. She has a new stepmother and new little sister. She has a fiancé who while he seems right for her, perhaps isn’t. I found myself totally hooked into the relationship that Jordan and her stepmother form. I loved Jordan’s love for her little stepsister Ruth and her protection of her.

We toggle between a few time periods – during the war getting Nina’s back story and then after the war in 1950 Ian and Tony and Nina working together to find the woman who has eluded them but they are compelled to track down.  As well Jordan’s timeline tracks along at about the same time in Boston. It totally works.

I loved the tiny pieces of humour in the book that made me smile,( Ian’s reading material being one)  while every moment I had I was  picking  up the book to see what was going to happen next in the nail biting, yet slow, patient, tracking of The Huntress. Bring to this story your own experience of hiding from something or someone and if you are like me you’ll hate the crime but possibly feel for the hunted.

Extremely well written, informative and thought provoking. I highly recommend it.