D J Lindsay very kindly sent out copies of his latest book and I now have the reviews back to share with you all.
Beverley J Hopper
WW2, 1941. I love the Jane Beacon books. Everyone has their own story to tell.
The narrow canal boats on the cut were still busy during the war years even with horse power.
We follow Jane and chief Williams and crew through their journey to Birmingham Coventry and London.
A fascinating insight that I thoroughly enjoyed.
This book is the fourth in the series of Wren Jane Beacon and I really enjoyed reading about the way life on the canals was back in the second world war. Jane is sent to find out how the boat crews manage to survive on 'The Cut' (This is a universal term used for the canals) and whether an all female crew of WRENS could be in charge and relieve some of the pressure. Many of the men were called up to serve in the forces and thereby the canal boats were not being used to their full potential.
What Jane discovers is a world far far away from her relatively comfortable life in the navy. Hard work is the order on the boats with the women crew doing many of the tasks daily from dawn to dusk. Jane starts off wondering what she has let herself in for, but soon becomes part of the close knit communities that thrive on 'The Cut.'
How will this work out? Will Jane report back that women can be a crew? Will she miss the life that is so different from the world that is being bombed and targeted?
This is a short book of 82 pages and D J Lindsay changes the spellings of many of the words of the boat crews' dialect. The reader becomes engrossed in the lives of both Jane and the boat crews. Can easily be read in one sitting and I can highly recommend On The Cut for anyone who likes WW2 novels.
Right from the start of this book I felt that I was actually in and part of the story.
The amalgamation of historical facts alongside the story of Jane was an exciting approach. Journeying with the families, their culture and their traditions on the boats, was made so realistic by using the actual waterways that are part of the heritage of the country.
The hard work associated with this lifestyle was a real eye opener, in addition to Jane's battle to work with and fit into a way of life that was all new to her, from an old tradition of how men and women were expected to behave.
I really wanted to read more about Jane, before and after this book. I actually want to even have a trip on one of the boats and experience their way of life.
Definitely recommend it to anyone to read.
Two more reviews will follow over the next week.