Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

When the War Came Home by Lesley Parr

Publishing: January 2022

After reading an extract from When the War Came Home and being carried away to South Wales in the time following the First World War, I was thrilled to be able to read the whole story. Absolutely unputdownable, I spent a wonderful afternoon and evening with Natty, Nerys, Johnny and Huw.

When Natty’s mum loses her job at the factory because of her out-spoken views on workers’ rights, they don’t have enough money to pay the rent. Their only option is to move to  Ynysfach to live with family on their small holding. This is a completely different life – pigs, goats, kindness and welcome – Natty isn’t sure what to make of it.

All around her, the impact of the war creeps into everyday life. There’s the war hospital with men who can’t remember life before and her cousin, Huw, who has not been the same since. These men have all brought the war home with them. Now they must learn to cope with their new reality and try to make sense of all they have experienced.

Natty shows the reader a world where life isn’t necessarily fair and standing up for what you believe in comes with incredible risk. She learns about the importance of memories and being able to grieve for all that has been lost. With healing and purpose, the characters find a way to start again.

Much like The Valley of Lost Secrets, Lesley Parr transports her readers to a time when community was the most important thing, before technology took over, when a simple life was everything. This story embraces readers. Touching, thoughtful and honest, this is a powerful story that encourages readers to think about the impact of the horrors of war.

Thank you to Bloomsbury Publishing for this incredible book!

Click on the covers below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon or bookshop.org.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s