‘Two very different women, one unlikely friendship.
In the chaos of war-torn Britain, can any relationship survive?’
Dead to Me is the latest release from international bestselling author Lesley Pearse. Published in paperback by Penguin on the 4th May, I was very fortunate to be forwarded a copy for review.
Described as ‘a story about loyalty, love and the strength of friendship in the face of adversity’, Dead to Me is a heartwarming and emotional tale about two friends and how they cope with the obstacles they must overcome in order to survive.
Please read on for my unbiased and voluntary review…
About the Book:
Spring 1935. Two girls meet by chance on Hampstead Heath. To an outsider, they could not appear more different. Verity is well-mannered and smartly dressed, living with her parents in a beautiful house close to the heath. Ruby is dishevelled and grubby, used to a life of squalor where she is forced to steal to survive. Yet there’s an instant affinity between them, and when their fortunes are shockingly reversed, it is the strength of their friendship that keeps them resilient to the challenges and hardships they face.
As Britain prepares for war, Ruby finds herself in Devon with the world at her feet and enjoying her first taste of romance. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, Verity is forced to leave behind everything she has ever known and a shadow from the past threatens her chances of a new beginning. But through it all, the girls are always there for each other. Until the day Verity does the one thing that will break Ruby’s heart.
In a country torn apart by fighting, will Verity and Ruby survive long enough to find a way back to each other?
Or do some betrayals go with you to the grave . . .?
Dead to Me is the first novel I have read by Lesley Pearse and I hope it will not be my last. In the book we follow the lives of two young girls, Ruby and Verity, as they charter the course of their lives through the 1930’s post war era through to the Second World War.
When Ruby and Verity first meet up, little do they know of the ties that will hold them together. Verity is the daughter of a wealthy household, a young lady in every way, with poise and manners that quite belies her young age. Yet Verity is not happy and there is a loneliness that she carries in her heart that is apparent from the opening chapters.
While on Hampstead Heath one day she is spoken to by a girl of similar age but from a completely impoverished background. Verity is intrigued. This young girl, Ruby, is like no-one that Verity has met before. Ruby is streetwise and has no fears with either her words or her actions. Immediately the two girls feel a connection, and this somewhat unusual pairing is to set the course of their lives.
Unfortunately for Ruby and Verity their lives get thrown into complete disarray. With a pure twist of fate, their circumstances become somewhat reversed. Ruby finds herself in very new and welcoming accommodation in Devon, while Verity is left facing some terrible life-changing tragedies.
1930’s London was a place where life was supposed to be all about getting back on track. People’s hopes and expectations were for a future filled with prosperity and hope after the horror of the First World War now safely behind them but with Hitler on the move, fear is soon the norm again.
For Verity, as she remains in London, she must try and salvage whatever she can. Through a life-altering event, the friendship between the two becomes very fragile and sadly they remain aloof for many years. Their friendship is challenged through horrendous conditions as war looms on the horizon and their lives become pre-occupied with just surviving.
Verity has a secret that she cannot open up to anyone about. She is ashamed of herself and these feelings of inadequacy impact all the various relationships in her life. Ruby, on the other hand blossoms into a beautiful young woman. But Ruby has a past that is very difficult to run away from and a present that she must deal with head on.
Dead to Me is a story of courage and passion. It a story of survival and audacity in the face of terrible dangers. Ruby and Verity have a friendship that is special. Their love for one another is challenged as they try to overcome the worst tragedies imaginable. Lesley Pearse brings the reader on a rollercoaster of emotions, where you will be taken into a world that is upended, as war takes it’s toll on another generation.
Dead to Me is a big read at over 500+ pages but it is an easy read. Lesley Pearse will take you on a journey through a Blitz-ravaged England, as the population is yet again under the siege of war. As a reader you will experience compassion for the story that belongs to Ruby and Verity.
Can their friendship survive the hardship and sorrow that befalls them? Is their’s a story that can overcome all the barriers that are in their way?
Dead to Me is a compassionate, tender-hearted tale about friendship and hope, with a narrative that just flows effortlessly.
Purchase Link ~ Dead to Me
About the Author:
Lesley Pearse was born in Rochester, Kent, but has lived in the West Country for over thirty years. She has three daughters and two grandsons.
A global No. 1 bestseller with fans across the world and sales of over 10 million copies of her books to date, she is a true storyteller and master of the gripping storyline. There is no formula to her books or easily defined genre and whether historical drama or emotionally powerful she engages the reader completely.
She is the author of twenty plus novels and now writes full-time in Torquay where she now lives.
Twitter ~ @LesleyPearse