I’m delighted to be one of three bloggers opening the blog tour today for Sadie’s Wars by Rosemary Noble. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part.
A sweeping saga told in a dual time line narrative, Sadie’s Wars focuses on the life of Sadie Timmins. Born into a wealthy, entrepreneurial family, Sadie is blessed in many ways, but her life is not her own. The novel follows her through two world wars as she reconciles what could have been, whilst navigating the far reaching effects of war on her own life, and on those around her. Set in Australia and in the English seaside town of Cleethorpes, it is a beautifully told tale, with its origins arising from both fact and family rumour, with the author imaginatively fictionalising the gaps between, bringing Sadie to life.
My attraction to this novel from the synopsis was instant and twofold: I think I nearly bit Rachel’s virtual hand off when the invite came through! Firstly, I’ve had a long held fascination with Australia, where the earlier timeline of the novel is set: beginning with my love of Kylie and her abundant curls in the eighties, a near obsession with Neighbours in my teenage years, eventually travelling there in my mid twenties and falling in love with the country. Secondly, I live around 30 minutes away from Cleethorpes, which is where the latter years of the novel take place. Although I studied history at undergrad, and have been very drawn to novels based on London during the Blitz years, I know precious little of the effects of the war within my own area, and I was, therefore, really intrigued to read this.
I was slightly worried, as this is the third in a series, that I would be a little lost. However, I was assured that it could be read as a stand alone, and this is very much the case – although I am very enticed to read the first two in the series now!
I had so much sympathy for Sadie. Her life felt so isolated and male heavy, with her just being told what to do and how to act. There were times I felt angry at her, wanting her to break free, but of course it was a very different time for women. Her life was not hers to live, she was controlled, well meaning or not and I felt that her entire self was shrouded in isolation and suppression.
I enjoyed the settings immensely. It was lovely to see my local seaside town in another light, and learn a little about its history. However, the descriptions of Australia was in incredible, particularly when the novel focused on the downward spiral of the sheep station. The way in which the conditions and the landscape are described are so haunting and moving, it really stuck in my mind.
I have already recommended this novel to my Grandma (who sparked my love of family sagas in the first place) and I know that she will very much enjoy reading it. It is a lovely novel with great characters and a story full of heart. Truly enjoyable!
An astonishing tale, spanning continents, where truth is stranger than fiction. This historical saga of an extraordinary Australian pioneer family continues into a new generation.
Sadie is brought-up amongst the vineyards of the Yarra Valley while her work-obsessed father reaps riches from the boom years before the Great War.
With post-war depression looming, Sadie’s only option is to flee from her disastrous marriage, seeking refuge in Cleethorpes, a small seaside town in northern England.
Years later, when her sons are in RAF Bomber Command, she receives a letter from her long-lost brother which forces her to confront the past and her part in her family’s downfall.
Can old wounds be healed?
Will she find new love?
Will this second war destroy everyone she saved?
About the Author
I worked as a librarian, mostly with young people, so books have been my life, ever since I first stepped into a library and found a magical treasure trove. My other love is social history. Retirement gave me the opportunity to travel to Australia where I discovered stories that deserved to be written. I found a new career as an author which gives me immense pleasure. I write for myself but am delighted that others enjoy my books.
*I was provided with an ebook of the novel to read and review, this has not influenced my opinion and the thoughts within this review are my own.