Today’s Review is on Goodnight from London by Jennifer Robson.
Now, if you’ve been keeping up with this blog for a while you’ll know I love me a good World War II novel.
While on the topic of World War II, a subject I’ve been trying to read more about, both fictionalized and other, is the London Blitz.
Enter Goodnight from London by Jennifer Robson.
I’ve seen this novel on many a shelf since its publication back in April, and given that it was inspired by Robson’s own grandmother, it definitely piqued my interest.
Did Goodnight from London give me a little more insight into the Blitz? Keep on reading to find out my thoughts and opinions.
In the summer of 1940, ambitious young American journalist Ruby Sutton gets her big break: the chance to report on the European war as a staff writer for Picture Weekly newsmagazine in London. She jumps at the chance, for it’s an opportunity not only to prove herself, but also to start fresh in a city and country that know nothing of her humble origins. But life in besieged Britain tests Ruby in ways she never imagined.
Although most of Ruby’s new colleagues welcome her, a few resent her presence, not only as an American but also as a woman. She is just beginning to find her feet, to feel at home in a country that is so familiar yet so foreign, when the bombs begin to fall.
As the nightly horror of the Blitz stretches unbroken into weeks and months, Ruby must set aside her determination to remain an objective observer. When she loses everything but her life, and must depend upon the kindness of strangers, she learns for the first time the depth and measure of true friendship—and what it is to love a man who is burdened by secrets that aren’t his to share.
Goodnight from London was definitely a transformative reading experience.
While the main focus of the novel was on the London Blitz and its citizens, Robson’s choice to make Ruby a journalist offered her a rather interesting opportunity. Several times through out the novel Ruby and her associates traveled to other parts of England to offer snippets of how the Blitz affected everyone.
While I don’t place romance too high on the list of reasons why I do or do not like a novel, the romance between Ruby and Bennett definitely added to my love of this book. While I wont spoil the ending, let me just tell you that by the end of the novel you’ll feel that you went to war with these characters.
The way Robson was able to describe the horrors of the Blitz enhanced my attachment to her characters. Every time a character went to a shelter or got caught surrounded by bombs, or when one particular character didn’t make it out alive, it really did a number to me.
The only fault I had with this novel was the secret that Ruby carries with her for the majority of the narrative. While the reason behind the secret wasn’t necessarily predictable, the backlash when the secret came out was. It really took away from an otherwise brilliant novel, and I hope that if I pick up another Robson’s novels it focuses a little less on such a plot device.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.