Thank you to Harper Collins Publishers Australia for sending me a copy of The Land Girls for my honest review.
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A moving story of love, loss and survival against the odds by bestselling author of The Last of the Bonegilla Girls, Victoria Purman.
It was never just a man’s war…
War has engulfed Europe and now the Pacific, and Australia is fighting for its future. For spinster Flora Thomas, however, nothing much has changed. Tending her dull office job and beloved brother and father, as well as knitting socks for the troops, leaves her relatively content. Then one day a stranger gives her brother a white feather and Flora’s anger propels her out of her safe life and into the vineyards of the idyllic Mildura countryside, a member of the Australian Women’s Land Army.
There she meets Betty, a 17-year-old former shopgirl keen to do her bit for the war effort and support her beloved, and the unlikely Lilian, a well-to-do Adelaide girl fleeing her overbearing family and theworld’s expectations for her. As the Land Girls embrace their new world of close-knit community and backbreaking work, they begin to find pride in their roles. More than that, they start to find a kind of liberation. For Flora, new friendships and the singular joy derived from working the land offer new meaning to her life, and even the possibility of love.
But as the clouds of war darken the horizon, and their fears for loved ones – brothers, husbands, lovers – fighting at the front grow, the Land Girls’ hold on their world and their new-found freedoms is fragile. Even if they make it through unscathed, they will not come through unchanged…
Lest we forget. I am thankful to the men and women who sacrificed everything for our freedom. I am proud to be Australian.
From the moment I saw the cover of The Land Girls, I was compelled to read it. As we pay our respects each Anzac Day, we remember the strength of those who fought for our country. The Women’s Land Army were among those who made great sacrifices. This is a story of three women who through determination and courage, worked for their country, in a time of need. They did not back down when times were tough. They laboured physically challenging work whilst worrying about their loved ones at home and away at war. Their hard work helped those at war and at home.
The Land Girls is a novel that pulled at my heart strings, allowing me to feel a range of emotions. I consider any novel that can do this a powerful read. The novel is beautifully written. Victoria Purman’s characterisation enabled me to love each character, along with the personal letters shared with the reader. Flora, Betty and Lily all decide to leave their homes in order to help with the war effort. They expect hard work and are determined to be a part of The Australian Women’s Land Army until the war is over. Their personal stories of love, laughter and loss portray strong women whose lives are changed in unimagineable ways.
As a lover of historical fiction, I particularly enjoyed learning more about the work of the Australian Women’s Land Army. I appreciated the research undertaken by the author and due to the personal stories created, this gave further insight into the time period and how the women would have felt as they gained freedom in their work. What courageous women to have left everything known to them, to live and work like they had never before. The Womens Land Army provided them with a sense of place and community. The three girls’ stories are silently bound.
I loved this novel. I would recommend The Land Girls for it’s historical significance, romance and power to make the reader feel proud to be Australian.