Monday, 25 July 2016

Dead to Me by Lesley Pearse


Spring 1935. Two girls meet by chance on Hampstead Heath. To an outsider, they could not appear more different. Verity is well-mannered and smartly dressed, living with her parents in a beautiful house close to the heath. Ruby is dishevelled and grubby, used to a life of squalor where she is forced to steal to survive. Yet there's an instant affinity between them, and when their fortunes are shockingly reversed, it is the strength of their friendship that keeps them resilient to the challenges and hardships they face.
As Britain prepares for war, Ruby finds herself in Devon with the world at her feet and enjoying her first taste of romance. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, Verity is forced to leave behind everything she has ever known and a shadow from the past threatens her chances of a new beginning. But through it all, the girls are always there for each other. Until the day Verity does the one thing that will break Ruby's heart.
In a country torn apart by fighting, will Verity and Ruby survive long enough to find a way back to each other? Or do some betrayals go with you to the grave . . .?

Lesley Pearse can  do no wrong in my eyes. I always enjoy reading her books and this one is no different. When we meet Ruby it's 1935 and she's a poor wee soul living on her wits while her mother gets drunk and entertains men for money. Verity on the other hand has had a privileged upbringing and really the pair should never have come into contact with each other. As they both watching a drowned man being pulled from the waters they start talking. A bond forms and they start to meet in secret because Verity knows her parents would not approve.
What they don't know is that both their lives are about to change,one for the better and one for the worse. 
What follows is horrific at times and you will wonder how the human spirit can survive such things. 
As we follow their lives through the war years there is friendship and betrayal, brutality and murder. 
I think my heart stopped a few times while reading this book. Lesley Pearse makes you think all is well until she drops another bombshell. When you despair that such bad people exist Lesley brings in Wilby who must be an angel in disguise. I loved her character. Nothing was too much trouble for her and it would have been a completely different story and ending without her in it.
What more can I say? Another winner from Lesley Pearse.
Dead To Me can be found here
and in all bookshops and libraries.

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