Book Review

Mary Rosie’s War – Catherine M. Byrne

Mary Rosie's War - Cover


WW2 has been declared. A strange find on the beach gives Mary Rosie the chance to fulfil her dreams and contribute to her country, but all is not what she imagined.

After witnessing the first bomb to be dropped on mainland Britain, Mary watches her friends leave to join the forces and longs to be with them, but is held back by loyalty to her widowed mother.

France has capitulated. Johnny Allan’s regiment has been annihilated by German troops north of Paris. Johnny has to find a way to get home and to the girl who no longer waits for him.

Leisel is a German Jew who lost her family to the Nazis and has to make her way in Britain, a strange new country, while harbouring a desire for revenge.

Their lives become entangled in a way that no one could have envisaged.

A story about war, family ties, love, loyalty and loss.

Purchase from Amazon UK


For me, Mary Rosie’s War felt slightly reminiscent of books by Maeve Binchy and Mary Jane Staples. Although it is set during a very definite period of time, which clearly had a profound effect on each of the book’s characters, the specifics of history are less important than how this history changed the people living through it. Where some historical fiction, and particularly fiction set during the World Wars, in my experience, can become hung up on the facts and figures of the period, losing the flow of the story along the way, Mary Rosie’s War does not do this. The warmth and strength of the characters telling their story shines through in Catherine M Byrne’s writing as each of them faces a very different set of challenges. The sudden arrival of a stranger in their midst, and how each of the main characters deals with this, shows an amazing generosity of spirit at a time when quite the opposite would not have been unexpected.

I fell in love with each of the three strong female voices in this book, although I did have a particular affection for feisty Aunt Agatha, and with the truly good men that surrounded them. Although Mary Rosie’s War is the fifth book in the Raumsey series, it is the first that I have read, and it stands up well as a standalone novel. That said, the style of writing has drawn me in and left me wanting more, so I fully intend to go back and read the series from the beginning.


I am delighted to be able to share with you details of a giveaway being offered by Catherine to celebrate the release of Mary Rosie’s War.

Mary Rosies War - one set of four for prize give a way

Giveaway – 1st Prize – all 4 of Catherine Byrne’s previous books in paperback .
6 x Runners Up Prizes – PB copy of Broken Horizon  (UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries only.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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