The Spark Girl by Fiona Ford
Can her fight for the country fix her broken heart?
A knock on the door early one morning shouldn’t be cause for concern but it is 1941, Britain is at war, and Kitty Williams’s fiancé is far from home fighting Hitler with the Navy.
As her heart is shattered hearing the news she had been dreading, Kitty becomes more determined than ever to do her bit for the war effort.
Signing up to the Women’s Army is just the sort of challenge Kitty needs but when bombs start to fall on her home town of Coventry, and allies turn against her, Kitty must find the strength she never knew she had to save her family, fix her broken heart and help her country to victory.
April 1940, Kitty Williams is a 21yr old woman just trying to get through each day, until her fiancé Joe Simmonds returns from war! Joe was conscripted to the Navy, just the summer previously. Kitty was brought up in a children’s home, after being orphaned at 8yrs old. She has no real family to speak of. Just a kind-hearted landlady (Mrs Carswell) and a job at a factory to occupy her days. That is until one fateful day, Joe’s mother brings her news of a telegram.
‘We regret to inform you’
Kitty is left reeling from the news of Joe’s death, as her grief takes over her mind and soul. It pushes her to think like Joe and a desire to make a difference is born.
Kitty decides to enlist.
The novel details her experiences through basic training at barracks in Leicester. She meets fellow trainees Mary and Peggy. Mary Holmes-Fotherington is quite the character herself, born to a wealthy father, Mary has never known hardship. That is until she rebelliously joins up and learns first hand, how the other-half live!
Kitty’s lifestyle changes dramatically. She has a new ambition in her life, letters of warmth from her old friend Arthur and growing friendship with the girls. Kitty’s life is looking up, or is it?
‘She couldn’t shake the strange, uneasy feeling that life was never that simple, and trouble was sure to be just around the corner’
Kitty is posted to Northampton as a ‘spark girl’ aka a driver. It is at Northampton; the reader gets to know the military lifestyle in all its glory! The inspections, chain of command, perfect uniform and hierarchy of the trainees fast becomes daily life. Sgt Hopson is constantly watching Kitty and waiting for opportunities to arise, so that he may punish her for insubordination.
What motivates Sgt Hopson? Or is this just part of military life?
When Kitty finds herself confined to barracks with extra duties, due to Hopson’s relentless bullying. She immerses herself in her letters, but someone is watching Kitty. Watching her every move.
The female characters develop from naïve young girls to strong independent women. But as some, go from strength to strength, Kitty is left exposed to blackmail and it isn’t long until her head is filled with secrets and betrayal. Isolated and alone, she has no one to turn to in her hour of need.
‘Nobody could save her now’
The novel packs a huge twist! One that I did not see coming, at all. The letters scattered throughout the novel add a sense of realism. The harsh reality of the war upon the women of the era, is fully explored.
Kitty’s story is perfect for cosy Sunday afternoon reading by a log fire. 4*
***Coming soon – 9th August – Summer reads***
The Spark Girl’s Promise by Fiona Ford
January 1941. Peggy Collins has learned a lot during her time as a Spark Girl. Posted to Swansea, as a driver to the squadron leader, she often hears things she shouldn’t and she knows to be discreet, understanding how serious the phrase loose lips sink ships really is.
Peggy meets and falls in love with pilot Jim Hudson, but her heart is broken when he becomes missing in action and Peggy is left fearing the worst. That isn’t the end of the shocks in store for Peggy and she is forced to remember a promise made long ago. But can she keep her word while the bombs fall?