Goodnight From London by Jennifer Robson– 400 pages
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. 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.
My Review: 3.5 stars
Goodnight From London takes us to the ravages of the Blitz from the eyes of a female American reporter. WW2 felt much safer in the states, yet journalist Ruby Stanton was eager to forget her past and jumpstart her career in the throes of wartime reporting. The book was highly engaging yet terribly predictable.
Don’t get me wrong; a foreseeable plot isn’t always a bad thing. For me, this novel felt more like Historical Fiction Lite. It was simple with likeable characters, an amazing historical locale that was wonderfully drawn into your mind’s eye and had a nicely wrapped up ending. This would be a fantastic read for fans of straight up Women’s Fiction or Chick-Lit as an introduction to Historical Fiction.
The main character was plucky and a strong role model for women at the time. She recognized the importance of capturing people’s feelings and not just the facts while covering the war. There were very few women journalists allowed to report during this time and their contribution was quite valuable in sharing news of the war to the world. Knowing this was loosely based on the author’s grandmother is an added bonus.
This is the first Robson book I’ve read and her first venture into WW2. Her other books cover the first Great War and I’ll definitely read one of those to see how they compare in complexity and feel.
Quotes I liked:
Lies are dangerous things. They’ll eat you up from the inside eventually.”
-“What little classical music she’d ever heard on the radio had seemed stuffy and ponderous, but this was magic. This was sunshine made audible.”