Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Archer – Ambridge at War by Catherine Miller.
The Archers was published in hardback on 29th October 2020 by Simon and Schuster.
Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the beloved radio show, Ambridge at War takes readers back to before it all began . . .
It’s 1940 and war has broken out. It is midnight at the turn of the year, and Walter Gabriel speaks the same line that opened the very first radio episode – ‘And a Happy New Year to you all!’ For Ambridge, a village in the heart of the English countryside, this year will bring change in ways no one was expecting.
From the Pargetters at Lower Loxley to the loving, hard-working Archer family at Brookfield Farm, the war will be hard for all of them. And the New Year brings the arrival of evacuees to Ambridge, shaking things up in the close-knit rural community.
As the villagers embrace wartime spirit, the families that listeners have known and loved for generations face an uphill battle to keep their secrets hidden. Especially as someone is intent on revealing those secrets to the whole village . . .
* * * * * * * * *
A big thank you to Anne Cater and the publisher for my review copy of the book and for inviting me to take part on the blog tour.
Ambridge at War is my first foray into The Archers and is the perfect introduction into the village life that has captured the hearts of many listeners. This is set just after the start of World War 2 and 10 years before the very first episode was aired.
As I didn’t know too much about the families, I loved delving into village life (and scandal) which had me captivated from the first page with an introduction to Alec Pargeter of Lower Loxley, hardworking farmers Dan and Doris Archer to the unfortunate widow Kitty Dibden-Rawles, left alone with daughter Caroline and almost destitute by her gambling husband.
We follow the villagers over a year, from the beginning of 1940 as they deal with WW2 and wonder how long the war will go on for, rationing and evacuees coming into the village from the big cities. the main talk of the village appears to be regarding a mysterious person who is targeting their neighbours with poison pen letters that seem to be hitting the mark and are very close to the bone. I really enjoyed this part of the story along with the added twists as I tried to figure out who it was why and why they would do this? I’m glad to say that it was not what I expected and opened my eyes to characters and their motivations along with how their lives were completely changed due to the effects of the war.
I’m hoping there are more in this series as I became quite attached to this close knit group.
To follow the rest of the blog tour…
About the Author
Catherine Miller is the author of 18 novels under her own name and other pseudonyms. Born to an Irish family in London, her career took her from producing radio commercials to being a voiceover agent for various stellar actors.
Nowadays she writes all day at home in Surrey, occasionally lifting her head to raise her daughter and feed the dogs.