The Mother's Day Club
How many different ways can I say that I love stories about women?
When I first saw the title for Rosie Hendry's new book, "The Mother's Day Club" I was expecting maybe a collection of short stories centered around motherhood.
Or maybe a day in the life of a mother, sprinkled with small interactions with other moms who have their own stories. Something along the lines of the movie Mother's Day or Valentine's Day.
I wasn't a fan of either of those movies since they seemed to lean primarily on celebrity cameos rather than any sort of compelling storytelling, so I was relieved to see that this book wouldn't be anything like it.
So what's it about?
"Meet the women on the home front . . .
1939. When the residents of Great Plumstead offer to open up their homes to evacuees from London, they’re preparing to care for children. So when a train carrying expectant mothers pulls into the station, the town must come together to accommodate their unexpected new arrivals . . .
Sisters Prue and Thea welcome the mothers with open arms, while others fear their peaceful community will be disrupted. But all pregnant Marianne seeks is a fresh start for herself and her unborn child. Though she knows that is only possible as long as her new neighbours don’t discover the truth about her situation.
The women of Great Plumstead, old and new, are fighting their own battles on the home front. Can the community come together in a time of need to do their bit for the war effort?"
Set in the lead up to WWII in England, this heartfelt story follows women, old and young, in the goings on in a small town in the country. I love a story with a small town feel, but you won't get too cozy. The fear of the impending war is woven throughout the book. Often I've read stories where the tension is because of people. Someone has done something to cause harm. In this instance, though, there are people who are not nice, the war is the main cause of tension.
It's really beautiful to watch these women come together, not only in a time of need for their country, but for each other.
Rosie Hendry lives by the sea in Norfolk with her husband and children. A former teacher and research scientist, she's always loving reading and writing. She started off writing short stories for magazines, her stories gradually becoming longer as her children grew bigger.
I imagine that Great Plumstead is based on Hendry's life by the sea and that's how she absolutely nails the cozy small town setting!
Listening to her father's tales of life during the Second World War sparked Rosie's interest in this period and she's especially intrigued by how women's lives changed during the war years. She loves researching further, searching out gems of real life events which inspire her writing.
Often women's role in history is overlooked. Not only do many historians seem to forget that the women were there, but because we think of women as having less power, sometimes we don't even consider what they might have been doing! I love that this book shines a light on that. Women were anything but helpless in wartime!
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There were so many characters I adored. Even the men, I just wanted to wrap up in a warm embrace. At least most of them! This story is the perfect escape. It takes you away to a world that isn't perfect, but full of love and friendship.
As always! My recommended pairings:
1. A needlepoint kit for beginners! With their lives picked up from the bustling city of London and put down in the countryside, many of the expecting mothers are at a loss for what to do all day. I know this sounds like a dream come true for so many of us, but once in that position we might struggle with what to do to relax. Sounds like a great time to pick up a new skill! While reading how the women started to knit and crochet, I felt the itch to pick up a more hands on hobby grow stronger! Luckily, for those of us new to working with fabrics and patterns you can find a number of needlepoint kits for beginners on Etsy, including this one!
2. An herb garden kit! The women of Great Plumstead are incredibly self sufficient. Rations? We'll grow our own food! We'll feed the town! We'll stock up now! Coordinating the safety and nourishment of a whole town is no small feat, but these women don't bat an eyelash while organizing. While starting and organizing a Woman's Institute in my town is a bit much, I felt like starting my own garden could be a small step towards becoming more self sufficient myself! With our apartment situation, I'm not exactly digging up some flower beds to plant seeds. But this herb garden kit is the perfect middle ground! I can grow something I'll be able to use in my cooking even with the limited space on our balcony. And it's just in time for spring! You can grab a kit here!
3. Homemade jam! Trust me, you'll want homemade jam when you're done reading. You might even put the book down in the middle to bake some fresh buns, and smother them with jam because it just sounds like the most perfect, comforting bite in the whole wide world! And jam is actually pretty easy to make! I've done it myself once before, see picture above, and this particular recipe is actually vegan! You can check out the recipe from Healy Eats Real here, and try it out with whatever berries you fancy!
Don't want to just take my word for it? You can check out reviews from other bloggers who participated in The Mother's Day Club Blog Tour.