It is 1938 and Mariette Carrera is a defiant, strong-willed and selfish seventeen-year-old. And sooner or later, if she stays in the small, gossipy town of Russell, New Zealand, she'll get herself into some serious trouble.
Her doting parents, Belle and Etienne, fear for her reputation. So, with the world on the brink of war, Mari leaves home on the SS Rimutaka, bound for her aunt and uncle's house in London. Armed with the freedom she's longed for since childhood, Mari quickly falls for Morgan, the handsome cockney steward on board ship. But once she reaches London, there are other temptations.
Mari loves her new life - caught up in a whirl of dances and parties in the glittering West End, relishing her freedom as she earns her own money as a typist. Finally, she feels she is mistress of her own future. Until it is all snatched away by the war. As London endures the Blitz, Mari's new life is cruelly blown apart. Forced from her loving new home, she ends up alone in the East End, and it's worlds away from the London she knows. But there, even in the face of so much despair, she finds the chance to make a difference. Amidst the destruction, Mari learns that the only way to survive this war is to fight, with all the strength, selflessness and compassion within her...and only then will she find true happiness.
Because Mari is a survivor...
I have not read a book by Lesley Pearse in a long time but the books of hers I have read I enjoyed. I was sent a copy of Survivor to read and I was torn part of me couldn’t wait to start it and delve back into this authors writing world again the other half of me was hesitant as I had heard that this book was a follow on to Belle and The Promise both of which I hadn’t read so I was unsure if I would be able to follow the storyline.
The book gets off to a quick start and I was hooked by the end of the first chapter. Mariette was quite a character, although not one I warmed to or could relate to at all, she was still a marvellous character her personality was too big for the small village she lived in and so before she could bring shame on the family her parents sent her away to England.
During Mariette’s time in England the blitz began and we see a change in Mariette but one thing that doesn’t change is her attraction to men. Unfortunately I found that half way through the book my attention began to waver, I felt like the storyline was being drawn out too long and nothing new seemed to be happening, but I was hesitant to give up as the beginning was so good and I hate to leave a book half way. I am glad I carried on reading as the book did pick up again towards the end.
Although I hadn’t read Belle and The Promise I didn’t feel like that mattered in this book I would never had known that this was a follow on if I hadn’t already been told as I never felt as though I was missing anything so this can easily be read as a stand alone book, although I would love to go back and read the previous books.
This is a great romance with action and tragedy weaved in. Although not a favourite of mine by Lesley Pearse, I enjoyed this book although I do think it could have been a lot shorter which may have helped to keep my attention the whole way through.