Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Blog Tour: A Mother's Story by Maggie Christensen

I have read a number of Maggie Christensen books over the last year or so. Five of them to be precise, all of which were part of her Granite Springs contemporary romance series which features older characters. I have enjoyed each of the books I have read in that series, so when I saw this book I was quick to volunteer for the tour, despite the fact that it was clearly going to be a very different read.

Rather than a romance, we have a historical fiction story with multiple narrators which spans from the 1940s through to the 1990s with parallel lines occurring in Scotland and Australia.

The story opens in WWII Scotland with a young woman named Rhona Begg. She is working in an office but she has decided that she needs to do more so she volunteers to join up with the ATS. She ships out to Yorkshire for training, but it isn't long before her life is tipped on it's axis. She finds herself pregnant and alone. She knows that she can't go home to her family who would be so ashamed of her, so she is determined to make it on her own.  

In due time, Rhona finds work in a factory, but her living arrangements means that she cannot have her daughter Fiona live with her. She puts her in a home where she can still see her as often as she can. Fate had other ideas though and Rhona has to find a way to keep going despite her grief.

In Australia we meet Nell Duncan. She is desperate for news of her beloved husband Joe who is off fighting the Japanese. She is also doing her best to keep going, with the belief that when Joe gets home, they will be able to start their much longed for family.

After the war, heartbroken Rhona returns to her family, keeping her daughter Fiona's birth a secret for many years. Whilst she has no intention of getting involved with a man after her war time experiences, in due course she meets her husband and lives quite happily, until a story in a newspaper catches her attention and starts her wondering if maybe, just maybe, she can find some answers to the questions from her past. It does, however, mean revealing the greatest secret of her life.

For Nell and Joe, joy comes into their lives in the form of a young girl that they adopt, who they called Joy. She grows up secure and loved, living in suburban Australia. She has always known that she was adopted, but as she grows older things happen that make her wonder where she originally came from.

We follow both Rhona and Nell, and eventually young Joy, through their lives, until the secrets of the past are revealed

As I mentioned earlier, I have not read any of this author's historical novels. I will be now. I really enjoyed how the stories of the various characters were told, with the parallel timelines gradually intertwining. The story does cover a long period of time and so there are big jumps forward in time between sections. I was moved by both stories, and by the different stories of what motherhood looked like to all three women, whose experiences were all very different.

I will definitely be reading more of Maggie Christensen's historical novels. Right now though, I think I might head back to Granite Springs for another visit.

Rating 4/5

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for including me on the blog tour.

About the Book

A Mother’s Story

A lost child. A mother’s grief. A daughter’s journey

In Scotland, in 1941, as WW2 increases in ferocity, Rhona Begg goes against her parents’ wishes and enlists in the ATS—a decision that brings with it heart-breaking consequences. After the war, weighed down with regret and grief, Rhona receives news that has the power to change her life.

Across the ocean in Australia, Nell Duncan worries about her husband who is fighting in the Far East. When she receives the dreaded news that he is missing in action, her world collapses. The end of the war brings changes to Nell’s life, but her dream of bearing a child is no longer possible and she grieves for what might have been.

In 1971, when Joy Baker gives birth to her daughter, she begins the journey to discover her ancestry. What she finds shocks her to the core and propels her on a journey to the land of her birth.

Three women. Three mothers. Three astonishing stories.

From wartime Scotland to present day Australia. A Mother’s Story is an emotion-filled sweeping family saga.

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About the author

After a career in education, Maggie Christensen began writing contemporary women’s fiction portraying mature women facing life-changing situations, and historical fiction set in her native Scotland. Her travels inspire her writing, be it her trips to visit family in Scotland, in Oregon, USA or her home on Queensland’s beautiful Sunshine Coast. Maggie writes of mature heroines coming to terms with changes in their lives and the heroes worthy of them. Her writing has been described by one reviewer as like a nice warm cup of tea. It is warm, nourishing, comforting and embracing.

From the small town in Scotland where she grew up Scotland, Maggie was lured to Australia by the call ‘Come and teach in the sun’. Once there, she worked as a primary school teacher, university lecturer and in educational management. Now living with her husband of over thirty years on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, she loves walking on the deserted beach in the early mornings and having coffee by the river on weekends. Her days are spent surrounded by books, either reading or writing them – her idea of heaven!


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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much :) So glad you enjoyed Rhona and Nell's stories.