Review: 'Home Is Where the Heart Is' by Freda Lightfoot (2015)
1945. Finally, peace has been declared. Cathie hardly dares believe that Alex, the fiancé she has not seen for nearly two years, is coming home. And, finally, life can begin again for Cathie and the orphaned baby in her care.
But the Alex who returns is not the kind, loving man Cathie remembers. He’s cold, selfish, sometimes even frightening. So Cathie has a choice: stand by him, and try to contain his violent temper? Or hold her tiny baby close…and run from the man she has yearned for.
One of my favourite subjects at school was history. I have to be honest, though; I was quite selective about the kind of history I found interesting, because definitely not everything was my cup of tea! I've always been fascinated by the role of women during war years, such as WW1 and WW2, so it's not much of a surprise I quite enjoy reading a wartime saga every now and again. Over the past couple of years I've had the pleasure of being introduced to novels by authors such as Margaret Graham and Katie Flynn, and today I have a new name to add to that last: Freda Lightfoot. I hadn't heard of her before I was contacted about 'Home is Where the Heart Is', but she is quite the saga writer with a lot of novels. I was curious to check out the book and hoped I would end up enjoying it!
It's 1945 and now the war is finally over Cathie Morgan can't wait to be reunited with Alex, the man she has been engaged to and hasn't seen for almost two whole years. There is, however, something that Cathie hasn't been able to tell Alex yet. Since the unexpected death of her older sister, and war widow, Sally in a bus accident, Cathie has taken on the care of her little niece Heather. Since there is no one else to take care of the girl, Cathie has taken the task upon herself, but has no idea how Alex will react to this news. But it quickly becomes clear that Cathie isn't the only one who has changed. Alex isn't the same kind man Cathie remembered and she is starting to doubt whether he really is the one she wants as a father to Heather and the one she wants to spend the rest of her life with...
I wasn't familiar with author Freda Lightfoot before I was asked to review this novel and I am quite happy I got the chance to be introduced to her work! 'Home Is Where the Heart Is' is a wartime saga set shortly after the end of World War II in 1945, and one with a captivating storyline and a collection of interesting characters. I straight away warmed to main character Cathie, who is looking forward to her fiancee Alex finally coming home from the war. Her mother Rona, little niece Heather, and friends Brenda, Davina and Steve all bring their own special something to the story as well, resulting in a read that held my attention until the end.
The novel is quite fast-paced and had some twists and turns which didn't necessarily surprise me but which definitely managed to keep the story going at a good pace and made me want to keep on turning the pages. The storyline was interesting and the characters had just the right amount of depth to them which turned this into a comfortable and enjoyable read, not particularly a too deep and complicated one. While the novel is described as a Christmas book, the bit of Christmas in it is so small, this book can definitely be read all-year-round without it feeling too festive. Overall, 'Home Is Where the Heart Is' is a poignant, emotional and captivating wartime romance novel which I really enjoyed and I look forward to checking out more of Freda Lightfoot's work in the future!