Historical Fiction

Book Review – The Spies of Shilling Lane by Jennifer Ryan


Book Details

Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: None
Publisher: Crown
Publication Date: 6/4/2019
Pages: 368 (eBook)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Mrs. Braithwaite, self-appointed queen of her English village, finds herself dethroned, despised, and dismissed following her husband’s selfish divorce petition. Never deterred, the threat of a family secret being revealed sets her hot-foot to London to find the only person she has left—her clever daughter Betty, who took work there at the first rumbles of war.

But when she arrives, Betty’s landlord, the timid Mr. Norris, informs her that Betty hasn’t been home in days–with the chaos of the bombs, there’s no telling what might have befallen her. Aghast, Mrs. Braithwaite sets her bullish determination to the task of finding her only daughter.

Storming into the London Blitz, Mrs. Braithwaite drags the reluctant Mr. Norris along as an unwitting sidekick as they piece together Betty’s unexpectedly chaotic life. As she is thrown into the midst of danger and death, Mrs. Braithwaite is forced to rethink her old-fashioned notions of status, class, and reputation, and to reconsider the question that’s been puzzling her since her world overturned: How do you measure the success of your life?

My Opinion:

The story opens with Mrs. Braithwaite being demoted from the head of the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS). She is upset and stunned that she has been treated this way. She has recently divorced her husband and now finds her life in turmoil. She decides a visit to London is long overdue to visit with her only daughter Betty.

Upon arriving in London Mrs. Braithwaite meets Mr. Norris, Betty’s landlord, and learns that she has been missing for four days. She is shocked that no one has reached out to her to let her know of her daughter’s absence. She decides to take matters into her own hands and sets out to find her daughter, dragging with her a very apprehensive Mr. Norris.

The two main characters are polar opposites. Mrs. Braithwaite is cold, outspoken, and a force to be reckoned with. Mr. Norris is quiet, nervous, and prefers to keep to himself. These two characters were my favorite part of this book. Mrs. Braithwaite seemed to have no idea there was a war going on. When she dragged Mr. Norris out after dark to hunt for her daughter, with no regard for their personal safety, I knew these two would be a very interesting duo. They were an absolute delight together and it was a joy to see how they rubbed off on each other.

The story started off strong, but the further I got into it the crazier the story got and I just could not find the storyline plausible. That being said this book is a quirky, humorous read, with two unlikely character coming together as partners in crime.

*Thank you Crown for the opportunity to read and review this book via NetGalley for my honest opinion.

This book will be released on 6/4/2019 (US & UK).

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Amazon UK
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9 thoughts on “Book Review – The Spies of Shilling Lane by Jennifer Ryan

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