Survivor By Lesley Pearse

London, 1939 Eighteen-year-old Mari is defiant, strong-willed and selfish.

She has craved independence her entire life and now, with the World on the brink of war, Mari has finally escaped the sleepy fishing village of her childhood in New Zealand. After passionately falling for Morgan, the cockney steward aboard ship on her voyage to England, she hastily dismisses him in favour of being taken out by handsome young pilots in the glamorous West end.

But, without warning, the Blitz blows her new life apart. Now Mari has the chance to make a difference but can she learn from her mistakes in time?

Lesley Pearse is a wonderful storyteller and once again she hasn't let me down. This book is the third book about Belle although it can be read on it's own and I know someone who read it and loved it without reading the first two books. 
Belle doesn't really feature in this book as it's mainly about her daughter, Mari.
Living in a small village in New Zealand Mari is bored with her life and is getting the kind of reputation that a good girl shouldn't have. Her parents decide to send her to England to her godfather and his wife thinking that Mari would enjoy living in a city more. No one thought that world war 2 would happen or that Mari would be stuck in London for years with no way of returning home.
The war changes Mari in ways no one could ever have guessed and she longs for the safety of New Zealand and for her family.

This book starts in New Zealand then to London where we live through the blitz. We join the resistance movement in France and finally end up back in New Zealand.
I have read lots of books set during wartime Britain and this book has been the most descriptive. I actually felt I was there hearing the bombs and smelling fires. I was literally biting my nails during the part set  in France as our heroine is escaping from the Germans, I dreamt about it for nights.
Mari met lovely people during her time in London. I loved Joan, she was lonely without her two children who were evacuated and when Mari was homeless she lived with her for a while. Joan was so down to earth and found the good in everything and I think it was her who changed Mari. Sybil and Ted the owners of the bar where Mari worked treated her as their own daughter and were the salt of the earth.
I was in agreement with Mari when she hoped great misfortune would fall upon the vile JeanPhilippe. What a horrible man he was and treated Mari terribly.

All Mari's experiences went towards making her a better person and I enjoyed her journey. Who knows what would have become of her if she had stayed in New Zealand instead of moving to London?
If you haven't read any of Lesley Pearse's books before then you are missing really good stories.
Although as I said this book can be read as a stand alone story I would recommend reading Belle and The Promise first just because I know you will enjoy them.
I'm now waiting patiently for Lesley's next book.
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  1. I can't wait to read one of her books, I fancy Belle, now I'll add The Promise to that. Lovely review Anne : )


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