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03 July 2021

Book Review: The Orchard Girls by Nikola Scott *AD gifted

I was provided with a free ebook of The Orchard Girls by Nikola Scott ahead of the blog tour.

My favourite WW2 stories are those about Land Girls, so The Orchard Girls immediately piqued my interest. I thought I knew what I was in for, but the split-time narrative was amazingly well done and my expectations were more than met.

The Orchard Girls by Nikola Scott book cover

London, 2004.

Frankie didn't always have it easy. Growing up motherless, she was raised by her grandmother, who loved her – and betrayed her. For years, the rift between them seemed irreparable. But when their paths suddenly cross again, Frankie is shocked to realise that her grandmother is slowly losing control of her memory. There is a darkness in her past that won't stay buried – secrets going back to wartime that may have a devastating effect on Frankie's own life.

Somerset, 1940.

When seventeen-year-old Violet's life is ripped apart by the London Blitz, she runs away to join the Women's Land Army, wanting nothing more than to leave her grief behind. But as well as the terror of enemy air raids, the land girls at Winterbourne Orchards face a powerful enemy closer to home. One terrible night, their courage will be put to the test – and the truth of what happened must be kept hidden, forever...

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Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy

5 Word Review: Family, secrets, war, survival, respect.

Trust me, you're not ready for this book. But you should definitely grab some tissues and pick it up.

When I picked up The Orchard Girls on a Friday night, I thought it'd be the perfect evening read. Then I stayed up until the early hours, gasping with disbelief, as I could not put it down.

I loved that the narrative was split across time. The stark differences in their worlds was amazing and the contrast really drove it home about how terrifying the Blitz was.

I definitely preferred reading Violet's perspective. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy Frankie's narration, just that I felt more invested in Violet's. I guess it's because we see so much more her, and through the eyes of her estranged granddaughter. Violet has been through so so much, and kept such secrets. My heart broke for her as her story was revealed. She is so multi-faceted and it is fascinating.

The story is slowly unravelled between the pages, the mysteries enticing you to keep reading. I couldn't wait to find out everything about Violet's life, and to find out how Frankie got on in her own life. Seeing the slow rebuilding of trust between Violet and Frankie was lovely, and a heart-warming edge to a story that could get rather dark at times. 

The writing is beautiful. The world comes alive on the pages, and I could smell the fresh air as much as I could hear the ringing in my ears. I will absolutely read more by Nikola Scott.

The Orchard Girls by Nikola Scott blog tour banner

Nikola Scott started out in book publishing and worked as a crime fiction editor in America and England for many years. Turning her back on blood-spattered paperback covers and dead bodies found in woods, she sat down at her kitchen table one day to start her first novel — and hasn’t stopped writing since. Obsessed with history and family stories (‘How exactly did you feel when your parents gave the house to your brother?’) she is well-known – and feared – for digging up dark secrets at dinner parties and turning them into novels.

Her first two books, My Mother's Shadow and Summer of Secrets, have both been international bestsellers and were translated widely around the world. Nikola lives in Frankfurt with her husband and two boys (and a kitchen table).

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  1. Ruth| Ruthiee loves Glamour5 July 2021 at 10:52

    I have never heard of this book but it sounds like a great one. I would love to give it a try.

  2. I love the cover on this one! I also really enjoy a good friendship story. I'm pleased you enjoyed it.


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