On A Turning Tide by Ellie Dean
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.
Character Profiles ~
Meet the Cliffehaven family with Ellie Dean
Ellie Dean is the Sunday Times bestselling Cliffehaven saga series which has an impressive total of sixteen novels in the series. Set on the picturesque English south coast, the Cliffehaven series follows the Reilly family and the comings and goings of their guests at the Beach View boarding house and how together they navigate the choppy waters of wartime in these heart-warming Second World War novels. Here, Ellie breaks down the most prolific characters of the series and everything you’d want to know about them before getting stuck into a Cliffehaven novel:
RONAN REILLY ~
Ron is a sturdy man in his mid-sixties who often leads a very secretive life away from Beach View. It turns out that the contacts, experience and skills Ron gathered in the previous war are useful in these current hostilities. Widowed several decades ago, he’s fallen in love with the luscious Rosie Braithwaite who owns The Anchor pub. Although she has never been averse to his attentions, for a long time she refused to let things get too intimate. Finally, though, it seems that the stars have aligned for Rosie and Ron, and they are engaged to be married soon.
Ron is a wily countryman; a poacher and retired fisherman with great roguish charm, who tramps over the fields with his dog, Harvey, and two ferrets – and frequently comes home with illicit game hidden in the deep pockets of his poacher’s coat. He doesn’t care much about his appearance, much to his daughter-in-law Peggy’s dismay, but beneath that ramshackle old hat and moth-eaten clothing beats the heart of a strong, loving man who will fiercely protect those he loves.
ROSIE BRAITHWAITE ~
Rosie is in her early fifties and in love with Ron, though for many years she had to remain married to her first husband, who was in a mental asylum.
She took over The Anchor twenty years ago and has turned it into a little gold-mine. Rosie has platinum hair, big blue eyes and an hour-glass figure – she also has a good sense of humour and can hold her own with the customers. She runs the pub with a firm hand, and keeps Ron at bay, although she’s not averse to a bit of slap and tickle. And yet her glamorous appearance and winning smile hides the heartache of not having been blessed with a longed-for baby, and now it’s too late.
Peggy is her best friend, and the family living in Beach View Boarding House has taken the place of the family she’d never had. Her greatest wish is to start a new life with Ron – even though he’s exasperating at times. And now, with the passing of her husband, Ron and Rosie are finally engaged. So long as they can make it to the wedding day, their future together looks brighter than ever.
PEGGY REILLY ~
Peggy is the middle sister of three, in her early forties, and married to Jim, Ron’s son. She is small and slender, with dark, curly hair and lively brown eyes, and finds it very hard to sit still. As if running a busy household and caring for her young daughter wasn’t enough, she also did voluntary work for the WVS before getting a job in the local uniform factory, yet still finds time to offer tea, sympathy and a shoulder to cry on when they’re needed.
She and Jim took over the running of Beach View Boarding House when Peggy’s parents retired – her older sister, Doris, thought it was beneath her, and her younger sister, Doreen, had already established a career in London.
Peggy has three daughters, two sons, and two grand-daughters. When war was declared and the boarding house business became no longer viable, she decided to take in evacuees. Peggy can be feisty and certainly doesn’t suffer fools, and yet she is also trying very hard to come to terms with the fact that her family has been torn apart by the war. She is a romantic at heart and can’t help trying to match-make, but she’s also a terrible worrier, always fretting over someone – and as the young evacuees make their home with her, she comes to regard them as her chicks and will do everything she can to protect and nurture them.
DORIS WILLIAMS ~
Doris is Peggy’s older sister, for many years she has been divorced from her long-suffering husband, Ted, who died very recently. She used to live in the posh part of town, Havelock Road, and look down on Peggy and the boarding house.
But her days of snooty social climbing and snobbishness are behind her. Having lived with Peggy at Beach View Boarding House after bombs destroyed her former neighbourhood, Doris has softened in her ways and although she’s still proud of her connections to high society, she’s also on much better terms with her sister and the rest of the family.
But despite all this, Doris is still rather lonely, especially with her only son now married and moved away. Could her recent change of heart also lead to a new romance?
On A Turning Tide by Ellie Dean is out on Thursday 24th January (published in paperback by Arrow, £6.99)
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