I love losing myself in an historical fiction novel so I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to read The Aro Street Girls which follows the lives of the Reyling's a family living in a small town in New Zealand.
Kathy lives with her parents and siblings Belle, Margaret, George and Walter. When war breaks out Kathy's sweetheart, Freddie sets sail to the frontline while she can only stay at home and pray for his safe return. At a time when women were seen as the homemakers, keeping the house and looking after and bringing up the children, Kathy has other idea's about her future. She wants to be a school teacher, a career which would be elusive to her if she was to marry Freddie, but she also has an interest in politics, something which is very much frowned upon by her mother.
Life soon becomes a struggle for Kathy when significant changes take place in her family and the not knowing how Freddie is faring becomes a constant worry for her, but she has to keep going and doing what she thinks is for the best.
I loved all the characters in this book and my heart genuinely went out to them as I was reading their story. Knowing that stories like this actually took place and people were struggling to get by like the Reyling's really hit home as I was reading. Lying in my comfy warm bed or curled up in a comfy chair, I was more than a world away from the trials, tribulations and suffering that these courageous people experienced during the war. As it's the centenary year, and with Remembrance Sunday just a few weeks ago, these events have been at the forefront of people's minds and The Aro Street Girls is a wonderful insight into this era. I'd highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.
Lyndsay Campbell took me on an emotional roller coaster with this book and I'll be keeping a watchful eye out for more books from her.
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Lyndsay Campbell - Author Bio
Writing has always been an integral part of my life. From factual articles for newspapers and news stories for a local radio station, interviewing offenders as a probation officer and writing their pre-sentence court reports for New Zealand’s District Courts, as well as amassing a small collection of poetry.
My historical fiction is inspired by the stories of my Scottish and Irish ancestors who crossed the seas in sailing ships in the mid 1800s to find a new life in Aotearoa New Zealand. This, combined with years spent working in the field of counselling and social work after my family had grown, has given me an interest in the lives of our ancestors more than a century ago and in writing about what makes people act the way they do. I love to create believable characters who find themselves in challenging situations.
I am a natural gypsy and while I love to travel internationally, more recently my husband and I have enjoyed motor homing around New Zealand. Walking the beaches and bush tracks and meeting people who also enjoy the mobile life is lots of fun. The wonderful thing about writing is its portability. I am happy with my laptop on my knee in our mobile home, or at a proper desk. Living on the shores of beautiful Lake Rotorua where steaming mud and thermally heated pools are the norm is quite a blessing and I am sometimes to be found writing in one of Rotorua’s lovely cafes.
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You can find out more about Lyndsay and connect with her on Facebook (where you'll find a photo of the original Kathleen, the protagonist) and The Aro Street Girls is available to buy now.
Check out the rest of the blog tour with these fantastic blogs:
With kind thanks to Jill at Books n All Book Promotions for my review copy and spot on the blog tour.