Hello, Sunshines, I am delighted to have been a part of the publication day blitz for; The Orchard Girls by Nikola Scott. Despite being late in posting – Oops! Anyway, forgat my tardiness I am super excited to be sharing my review of this book with you all.
Firstly, thank you to Rachel at Rachels Random Recourses for the invite.
About the Book
The Orchard Girls by Nikola Scott
Genre; Historical Fiction, Duel Timeline.
London, 2004. Frankie didn’t always have it easy. Growing up motherless, she was raised by her grandmother, who loved her – and betrayed her. For years, the rift between them seemed irreparable. But when their paths suddenly cross again, Frankie is shocked to realise that her grandmother is slowly losing control of her memory. There is a darkness in her past that won’t stay buried – secrets going back to wartime that may have a devastating effect on Frankie’s own life.
Somerset, 1940. When seventeen-year-old Violet’s life is ripped apart by the London Blitz, she runs away to join the Women’s Land Army, wanting nothing more than to leave her grief behind. But as well as the terror of enemy air raids, the land girls at Winterbourne Orchards face a powerful enemy closer to home. One terrible night, their courage will be put to the test – and the truth of what happened must be kept hidden, forever . . .
Purchase Link – https://bit.ly/OrchardGirls
Nikola Scott is a relatively new author, her books have been on my ‘must read’ list for a long time, but alas this is the first of her books I have read. I am at a loss as to why it has taken me so long to finally read this author, her writing is so beautiful and enriching, I love the way she meticulously entwines the two eras which creates a poignant and sweeping tale of loss and love.
I found it very easy to fall under the spell of The Orchard Girls, its gentle pacing pulled me into the story from the first page. I have always loved time-slip novels, which is one of the reason’s I was very eager to read this and with it partly set during WW2 this sounded like my kind of book and I am so happy to say that The Orchard Girls did not disappoint.
The Orchard Girls is told across two timelines with Violet in the 1940s and Frankie in the present day, I love the way that both women are connected and how each of their stories is told, the way that each era interlinks with the other is so clever and beautifully done. Some duel timeline novels can feel a little jumbled but this one is perfectly written you just fall into the story and the lives of these two amazing women.
The story opens in the 1940s during the London Blitz, we follow Violet who yearns to do something worthy and help the war effort – plus to escape her dragonish mother so she joins the Women’s Land Army, but as her family is very well known she joins under a false name as Lily. I love the description of how hard life was as a Land Girl, it wasn’t the easiest way to help the war effort plus not to mention the way the villagers treat them which I thought was awful – these young women are doing something to help and they get treated in such a hostile way. As Violet makes friends with her fellow Land Army girls something happens and they are all left holding on to a terrible secret. Now, I’m not going to divulge that as it is crucial to both parts of the story.
Present-day Violet granddaughter Frankie is a journalist whose editor has got wind of a story that has got Frankie on the job, she must infiltrate her grandmother mind and retrieve the shocking truth of her past, a job which is harder said than done as Violet has locked away her past never to be remembered again. Violet has become a reclusive shutting herself away, there is a lot of questions over Violet’s state of mind, and there are fractions between the two woman. Frankie’s intruding behaviours was very hard to read, I found her hard to warm to at first, I know she was only trying to do her job but still. Once you learn her own story and the factors behind her relationship with her grandmother she soon becomes very endearing.
This isn’t the typical historical fiction, there are lots of underlying themes which run side by side to the story for example dementia which I found very emotional to read, especially as we lost my grandmother to this awful decease, but Nikola Scott has written those moments with the utmost sensitivity and care.
Overall The Orchard Girls is a highly emotional and engaging read, which will leave its mark upon your heart well after closing the last page. Well worth a read for any who loves historical fiction and duel timelines.
about the Author
Nikola Scott started out in book publishing and worked as a crime fiction editor in America and England for many years. Turning her back on blood-spattered paperback covers and dead bodies found in woods, she sat down at her kitchen table one day to start her first novel — and hasn’t stopped writing since. Obsessed with history and family stories (‘How exactly did you feel when your parents gave the house to your brother?’) she is well-known – and feared – for digging up dark secrets at dinner parties and turning them into novels.
Her first two books, My Mother’s Shadow and Summer of Secrets, have both been international bestsellers and were translated widely around the world. Nikola lives in Frankfurt with her husband and two boys (and a kitchen table).
Once a month, Nikola sends out a popular newsletter about writing, reading, book news, freebies and loads of therapeutic baking. Join in here if you’d love to be a part of it all: bit.ly/NikolaScottNews
For more info on Nikola, visit her website at www.nikolascott.com
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