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Barefoot by R.V. Bayley


Opening in Wellington in 1939, Adelaide meets John at a church picnic when he dives into the river to rescue a young girl in trouble. John is ten years older, and a widower after his wife died of cancer. Adelaide has endured an extraordinarily confined and strict childhood, so a relationship with John is a beautiful new beginning for her. She delights in being married to this caring, stable man.


But then war is declared, and like many men at the time, John's sense of duty causes him to enlist, and he departs to Egypt. His letters from this exotic land are the only thing that keeps her going through their enforced separation. But then the letters stop arriving…


I couldn't put this book down once I had started reading. Barefoot is eloquently written, and it's such a touching love story. It's an understated story, but it perfectly captures World War II's era and the tender, raw emotions of a newly married couple forced apart by war. I thought this was a superb read, and I hope that the author will have another book out soon – she is a very talented writer.


Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Eden St Press

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