All My Tomorrows, Ellie Dean

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The compelling new Second World War novel from the author of Always in My Heart.

In defending herself against her brutal husband, eighteen-year-old Ruby Clark is forced to flee London.

She has no idea where Cliffehaven is, or what she will find there, but she knows that she will never be able to return home again.

At first it seems she’s fallen on her feet. She gets a job at the local armaments factory, and the couple she is billeted with are kind and supportive. But when her host makes advances, Ruby is left homeless once more.

Until Peggy Reilly welcomes her into the warmth of Beach View boarding house and Ruby dares to hope for a brighter future.

Publisher: Arrow Books, Jan 2014

Reviewer: Nadine Matheson

All My Tomorrow by Ellie Dean is a story that is set in wartime Britain but the themes of love, violence and survival are just as relevant today. We are first introduced to Ruby who is living in the war-ravaged London East End.  Not only is she struggling and trying to live amongst the despair and travesty that war brings but we quickly discover that Ruby is also a victim in her marriage.  We are shown a young and naïve young woman who falls for the charms of the handsome Ray but just like the bomb of the blitz destroys buildings around her we quickly see Ray’s charming façade stripped away and the true nature of his character revealed.

One night, Ray’s assault on Ruby sees her fight back and encouraged by her mother, Ethel, she takes the opportunity to run.  When Ruby arrives at the train station she has no clear plan but fate makes her buy a one-way ticket to Cliffehaven.  Once in Cliffehaven another twist of fate causes Ruby to run and she finds herself at Peggy’s boarding house in Beach View. Despite their own personal trials and tribulations the Cliffehaven community, which includes Peggy and her family, stick together and offer solace not only to each to other but to Ruby.

All My Tomorrows is a book that is able to effectively combine history with everyday human experiences that the reader can relate to.   There are characters that will provoke an immediate reaction of love or hate, however, they are all authentic and vivid. Ellie Dean successfully brings the reader on a nostalgic and emotive journey. 

 

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