On a Turning Tide by Ellie Dean #Book Review #BlogTour

Cliffehaven, October 1944

As the Allied troops draw closer to victory, life at Beach View Boarding House is still full of uncertainty. Rosie’s plans for her wedding to Ron Reilly are plagued with misunderstandings. And when Ron takes on a secret assignment just days before they are due to say their vows, it seems their plans for a future together may be doomed.

Meanwhile, Peggy Reilly embraces her new managerial role at the uniform factory. It’s a welcome distraction while her husband Jim is still away fighting in the Far East. But when an old school adversary joins the factory’s ranks, Peggy must win her own battles on the home front.

As a new year dawns, hopes grow brighter for the return of loved ones – but a big sea change is still to come before Victory in Europe can be declared.

Victory is in sight, but the war is not yet won.

It is such a pleasure to be hosting the final day of the blog tour for On a Turning Tide today. Huge thanks to Ellie Dean and Rachel Kennedy from Arrow for inviting me and for my advance digital copy of the novel.

Since I first discovered the Cliffehaven series a couple of years ago, I've come to really look forward to each new instalment in this wonderful wartime saga and it was such a treat to settle down once more with the residents of Cliffehaven, and Beach View Boarding House in particular.
On a Turning Tide is the sixteenth book in this long-running series but only the fourth I have yet read. As always, Ellie Dean's clever reminder of previous events is included seamlessly into the earlier chapters of the novel meaning that newcomers to the series will soon be as captivated as returning readers. It is now the Autumn of 1944 and as the title of the book suggests, the tide seems to be finally turning as it begins to look as if victory may finally be in sight. The long years since war was first declared have cast their toll on all the characters; they have lived through the terrifying days of the Blitz and the fear that invasion was just days away; they've endured years of rationing from food to clothes to fuel; they've been separated from their loved ones and experienced devastating losses. Even now they live in daily fear of the V-2s silently coming to wreak their deadly mayhem once more. War has changed them all and they are beginning to realise that it may not all be smooth sailing once their families are finally reunited. Series stalwart and owner of Beach View Boarding House, Peggy Reilly has kept the home fires burning during the war years but necessity led to her seeking a job outside the home working in Solly Goldman's factory and has now been promoted to shop floor manager. As she looks to the future she realises how much she enjoys her independence and her own money and wonders how she and her husband, Jim - a man who believes a woman's place is in the home - will manage after they have both changed so much. It certainly reminded me of just what we owe those stoical, resolute women who bravely forged their own way and whose fortitude helped to change the old order where men were the breadwinners and women stayed at home. Her new role certainly brings her new challenges and I loved the way she coped with some difficult characters, including a particularly nasty face from her past who threatens to undermine the smooth running of the factory.
 As a veteran of the First World War, Ron Reilly knows how difficult it is to return to what used to be normality as he remembers that he found it hard to adjust to peace when he missed the excitement and chaos during the day and was tormented by his dreams at night. He has now found happiness with Rosie and they are both looking forward to their upcoming wedding but as is typical with Ron, things are never quite straightforward and he agonises over a difficult conversation he needs to have. As much as Peggy is the rock of the series and the person people turn to when they need support, I must admit that Ron and his faithful dog, Harvey are my favourite characters in the book. He is a bit of an old rogue who can't seem to avoid getting into scrapes but underneath he is a wise and insightful man.
As always, there are a few chapters in the book featuring Jim, who has been recuperating in India after being injured but is set to rejoin the fighting in Burma. These interludes are frequently nailbiting and I'm always fearful of the outcome of every skirmish Jim is involved in. For the first time, we also see how some of the other men of Cliffehaven are faring and it's a stark reminder that although the war is coming to an end, there is still much hardship and sorrow to endure. There is heartbreak for the residents of Cliffehaven too and a large part of the story concentrates on the devastating result of a terrible accident for one of the characters. I genuinely had no idea what the outcome was going to be and it makes for a tense and emotional read as I held my breath alongside the characters, desperately hoping for good news.
By the end of the novel, victory in Europe is assured but with two more books yet to come before this series finally comes to an end, I'm sure there is still plenty of drama ahead. I loved On a Turning Tide, it is such a poignant, gripping and often thought-provoking story. The Cliffehaven series continues to guarantee a heartwarming, absorbing read and I can't wait for the next instalment, With Hope and Love later this year.

On a Turning Tide is published by Arrow and can be purchased from the following;
Amazon UK

Don't forget to check out the previous stops on the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Ellie Dean’s compelling saga series Beach View Boarding House is set during the turmoil of the Second World War. Ellie lives in a tiny hamlet set deep in the heart of the South Downs in Sussex, which has been her home for many years and where she raised her three children.
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