Lilian Harry: Three Great Novels: April Grove Stories: Goodbye Sweetheart, The Girls They Left Behind, Keep Smiling Through by Lilian Harry
Like any street in any town, April Grove in Portsmouth has its good and bad neighbours, its gossip, scandal and romance. These three novels have young lovers parted almost before they have found each other, long-married couples divided by a common danger and children evacuated to the country, not knowing when or to what they will return. Their personal stories are played out against the backdrop of a great seaport at war: the horror of the air-raid sirens at night, the naval dockyards bustling with activity and the overwhelming desire to survive. Lilian Harry writes with a unique understanding of the Second World War. The warmth and authenticity of these novels bring home the harshness of war and the closeness of and generous friendships in communities such as April Grove.