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Some Sunny Day
It is 1940 and as German bombs begin to fall on London the people of Lavender Road find themselves right in the thick of it. The railway interchange Clapham Junction and the anti aircraft guns on Clapham Common are a prime target for the Nazis which makes things increasingly difficult for local residents as they try to carry on their everyday lives.
'Despite the privations and the danger, living and loving must go on. Some Sunny Day vividly depicts the courage, the grit, the emotion and the defiant laughter of war torn London when, as friends and neighbours, men and women, rich and poor, the inhabitants of Lavender Road face up the the trials and tribulations of the London Blitz.'
The Blitz is what everyone immediately thinks about when they think of the war in London, and there is also an idealised view that everyone pulled together to get through it. My researches show that although quite a lot of people 'pulled together', quite a few didn't and there are plenty of examples of looting and other callous behaviour to undermine the amazing courage and resilience that most people showed during the seemingly endless months of bombing.
Shy asthmatic Katy Parsons, daughter of the local publican, takes a leading role in this novel. Convinced she is a coward and longing to make something of herself, she enrolls as a nurse, but finds the rigours of hospital life even more difficult to cope with than she imagined. My own mother was a nurse during the war and I spent a fascinating few weeks talking to her old nursing friends about their wartime experiences. The trials and tribulations that Katy Parsons suffers and the characters she encounters (in particular the indomitable Sister Morris) are directly the result of these interviews.
I enjoyed creating Katy Parsons, her understated courage was interesting to write and, when real disaster does eventually strike, it was enormously satisfying to enable her to rise to the occasion. I also liked creating her various friendships, which I think come across as even more real somehow because of their variety. The nature of her relationship with Aaref Hoch, the resourceful young Jewish refugee, for example, is very different to her secret attraction for the glamorous, shadowy Canadian, Ward Frazer.
'Reading Some Sunny Day was like coming home to old friends. I loved the way you change the focus onto different characters but still keep our interest in Jen, Joyce, Mick and all. I actually clapped my hands when Joyce got hold of that gun. And the ending, well, all I can say is get the tissues out.'
'You've done it again. A really engaging read. Katy Parsons is a compelling character, so real, I lived her every emotion and now feel wrung out and uplifted at the same time!'
'Funny, poignant, emotional and unputdownable, Some Sunny Day rips along, taking you with it into wartime London and the lives of these engaging and incredibly varied characters.'
SOME SUNNY DAY is published in the UK by Headline Books - the cover image in other countries may vary.