The Sisters of Battle Road by J M Maloney

Battle Road

This probably isn’t the type of book that I would have ordinarily read so I am incredibly grateful to Rosie Margesson at Transworld Books for sending me a copy of this.

I had just finished reading a book set in Crete during the Second World War and the fact that this was set in London and subsequently in the English countryside, made it all the more poignant.

This is a lovely, true and often moving account of the Jarman family, Dad Pierce and mum Annie and their 6 daughters as they attempt to live as normal life as possible in London whilst there is the threat of war with Germany.

This is the synopsis:-

‘In 1939 Annie Jarman and her six young daughters were evacuated from their south London home and sent to the Sussex countryside to wait out the war. Refusing to be parted, they faced the unknown together, never imagining just how much their lives would change. From the trials and tribulations of leaving London, the destructive horror of the Blitz and terrible family tragedy to dances, romances and the triumph of making a new life in the country, The Sisters of Battle Road is the compelling true story of six ordinary girls in extraordinary wartime circumstances. Today, the six young girls – Mary, Joan, Sheila, Kathleen, Patricia and Ann – are six remarkable women who have lived to tell their tale of sisterhood and its unbreakable bonds in the shadow of World War Two’

Annie and the girls are eventually evacuated to the countryside whilst Pierce and the rest of their family remain in London and over the next few years we learn of their struggle to stay together and to adapt to completely new surroundings whilst trying to keep things are ‘normal’ as possible. The closeness of the family is very apparent throughout the book and it made me feel close to them too, in a way.

The girls have to adapt to a completely new way of life from the big city of London where in some instances they aren’t as welcome in this small village way of life and they have to grow up fast.

You feel as though you are growing up with them as they experience first hand instances of the war in the countryside, first love and the uncertainty of if they will ever be able to move back home to London.

I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a brilliant account of what it was like for the children (and parents) that had to pack up their life and evacuate to somewhere completely unknown to them. I hope this was made a fraction better by the fact that they all remained together.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review*


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