East End Angels is the first book of the series.
Strong-willed Winnie loves being part of the crew at Station Seventy-Five but her parents are less than happy. She has managed to avoid their pleas to join the WRENS so far but when a tragedy hits too close to home she finds herself wondering if she’s cut out for this life after all.
Former housemaid Bella was forced to leave the place she loved when she lost it all and it’s taken her a while to find somewhere else to call home. She’s finally starting to build a new life but when the air raids begin, it seems she may have to start over once again.
East-Ender Frankie’s sense of loyalty keeps her tied to home so it’s not easy for her to stay focused at work. With her head and heart pulling in different directions, will she find the strength to come through for her friends when they need her the most?
Brought together at LAAS Station Seventy-Five in London’s East End during 1940, these three very different women soon realise that they’ll need each other if they’re to get through the days ahead. But can the ties of friendship, love and family all remain unbroken?
5* – “A wonderful read so true — my mother was an ambulance driver in London during the WW2 she told my stories some with a good outcome ,some so sad. Rosie has captured conditions,the people’s fears and the friendships formed spot on.”
5* – “As soon as I opened up the book I felt myself transported back in time. Rosie Hendry has a beautiful way of writing that completely draws the reader into the story. I could hear the bombs and smell the smoke as I totally and utterly got swept away. The descriptions throughout the book are incredible and it was very easy to visualise every detail as I was reading.”
5* “East End Angels is one brilliant work of historical fiction. I loved how the author brought three girls from totally different classes of life and made the girls the best of friends. It is wonderfully written bringing historical facts into a work of fiction made this a book I could relate to and enjoy in so many levels. I would also like to recommend the audible version which is narrated by the very talented Annie Aldington who brought a voice to each of the characters and her way of bringing life to her narration is clearly evident throughout the audible version.”
5* “East End Angels tells the story of three fascinating women and their journey through ww2. The novel is the first in a series and perfectly builds the foundations for further novels. The three women are all very different in personality and I look forward to watching them grow and develop through the series.”
5* “A very well written and researched, warm-hearted book. Mainly concentrating on three young women, it tells the story of how people from different backgrounds and lifestyles worked together as part of the London ambulance service during the second world war. With a bit of romance added to the mix it’s a real winner! Can’t wait for more.”
5* “First Rosie Hendry book for me but not my last. What fabulous stories about the ambulance drivers in the 2nd world war. It took me there. A must read.”
5* “One of the best wartime stories yet. looking for more from Rosie. Hendry with anticipation and hope. Well done.”
5* “Couldn’t put it down and now looking forward to the next one. Best way to spend Sunday.”
5* “What a lovely story East End Angels is. Rosie Hendry’s style is effortless to read making for a heartwarming and feel good reading experience, perfect for lovers of what is traditionally termed women’s fiction.
The settings make East End Angels so authentic. I thoroughly enjoyed the insight into the way women supported the London Auxiliary Ambulance Service in the desperate days of bombing and through perfectly chosen language found myself transported to that era with the sound of the bombs, the smells and the dust. I thought the details had been meticulously researched, beautifully handled and woven into the narrative with enormous skill.
There’s a great plot too, with a few surprises along the way that draw in the reader completely. I know there is to be a sequel to East End Angels and will be first in the queue to read it as I both want, and need, to find out what happens next. As I read about the events I found myself questioning my own personality and wondering how I would have coped and behaved in similar circumstances. The themes of the book such as friendship, values and family mean there is something for every reader to identify or empathise with. I found the dynamics of the class structure of the era and the way it was altered by the war extremely interesting too.
However, it is the characters that make East End Angels such a compelling story. I completely forgot that these are fictional people. Partly, this effect comes through the direct speech. Frankie, in particular has a voice I could hear in my head as if I were listening to a friend speaking. I most identified with Winnie and despised Ivy with every fibre of my being. Is it awful of me to hope throughout that she would get a direct hit from a bomb? All three of the main characters, Bella, Frankie and Winnie, felt real and vivid, but so too did the more minor individuals, even Trixie. I believed in them all completely.
I finished East End Angels feeling I had been thoroughly entertained and drawn in to the worlds of Bella, Winnie and Frankie. I’d love to see this book taken up for Sunday night television as I think it would be classic material for such viewing. I’m highly impressed by Rosie Hendry’s historical writing and look forward to more in the future. I really recommend East End Angels.”