Just Another Girl on the Road by S Kensington
|Just Another Girl on the Road by S Kensington|
|Category: Historical Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A well-researched and beautifully written story of the trials and tribulations of war and how the ripples it creates are never ending. Definitely recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 368||Date: July 2019|
|Publisher: Troubador Publishing|
When Sergeant Farr and Corporal Valentine first encountered Katrinka Badeau she was just eighteen years old and fleeing from a farmhouse and a group of German deserters who had raped her. Despite being outnumbered she was giving just about as good as she got when Farr and Valentine intervened and finished the group off. It was 1944 and Farr and Valentine were part of the Jedburgh unit, EDMOND, lead by Major Willoughby Nye. Nye recognised Katrinka immediately - he'd worked on her father's merchant ship and Katrinka had once had a crush on Nye. When he offered her a job with his unit, she accepted.
Her work throws her together with Wolfe Farr, the American radio operator and a passionate love affair develops between them. Wolfe is certain about what he wants 'when all this is over' - a home and a family - but Katrinka is less certain. She has plans to find out what happened to aviatrix Amelia Earhart and her love for Wills Nye has never quite gone away. Could one man ever be enough for her? Given her family history, it's unlikely. Her mother had two men in her life and Katrinka knew them both as her father. Whilst it might seem an unlikely arrangement, it worked for them until her mother and one of her fathers was killed in France. It seems that a similar arrangement could be emerging for Katrinka.
It's only when you get to the end of this book and look back that you realise the tour de force of the plotting. It's a masterpiece. The research has obviously been extensive but the fruits have been used with care - you don't feel that every piece of information has been shoehorned in somehow. The different threads of the story weave in and out, touching each other, sometimes explosively, sometimes poignantly. It's tempting to second-guess how a book will work out, but there was no point in doing this with Just Another Girl on the Road. Events never worked out as I thought they would, but equally, as I read they seemed inevitable. The finale shocked me and has stayed with me for days after I finished reading. I really had become invested in what happened to the characters.
The story is obviously built around Katrinka, but for me she was simply the thread which tied the other characters together. I rooted for Major Wills Nye, burdened with leading the Jedburgh unit and with secrets of his own. His relationship with Katrinka's parents might not have been quite as arm's length as it was painted. Even relatively minor characters came alive as I read and none were superfluous to the plot.
The writing is subtle: S Kensington trusts the reader and allows them to fill in the story for themselves. I wish that the sexual elements of the plot were quite so subtle. For me we went behind the bedroom doors rather too often: if that doesn't bother you then you can certainly increase the star rating to 4½. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If the story appeals to you then I think you might enjoy Dadland: A Journey into Uncharted Territory by Keggie Carew. It's a biography of Carew's father who was in a Jedburgh unit in France.
You can read more book reviews or buy Just Another Girl on the Road by S Kensington at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Just Another Girl on the Road by S Kensington at Amazon.com.
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