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The Underground Library by Jennifer Ryan

Jennifer Ryan writes fiction centred on women’s experiences in England during WWII. In this novel, librarian Juliet fights to keep her library going by relocating books from the bombed Bethnal Green Library to an underground station during the Blitz. But she also faces heartbreak after her finance goes missing, and things get complicated when her fellow boarder, Sebastian, is not the privileged man she first thought he was, and they begin to share a connection.

Meanwhile, Jewish refugee Sofie is having a terrible time with her overbearing boss, who is taking advantage of her visa status to work her beyond what is acceptable as a housekeeper. Sofie is driven to take desperate action to learn news about her family, which places her in serious trouble.

Katie is the only child in an already unhappy family when she faces the scandal of becoming pregnant out of wedlock; the father is presumed killed in action. Her family are outraged, and her mother hatches a plan to hide her pregnancy.

Like all of Jennifer Ryan’s novels, The Underground Library is a warm and engaging read based on real-life facts that are beautifully blended into fiction.  

Karen McMillan

Pan Macmillan


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