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Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite
Into the Unknown by author Lorna Peel takes us back to September 1939 in London just as war is about to be declared. A young girl, Kate Sheridan, has just arrived from Ireland to seek her future in the big world. The product of an English mother and a staunchly British hating Irishman, Kate is determined to discover herself as she moves in with her aunt, uncle, grandmother and cousin in London. Just across the road from them lives Charlie Butler, a Flight Lieutenant in the RAF, who is immediately smitten by this beautiful young woman from the Emerald Isle. As war envelops the nation, Kate and Charlie begin a tentative relationship. With Charlie on active duty flying Hurricanes, especially during the Battle of Britain, life and love will be extremely difficult for the young couple. Facing the daily threat of danger from both above the skies of London and raining down on them constantly, the pair must try to develop their love amidst the horrors of the bombing and death and destruction, not to mention Kate’s father’s vehement hatred of all things British.
As a fan of historical romance, I was excited reading Into the Unknown and author Lorna Peel did not let me down at all. This is an intensely readable book and one that was impossible to put down. There was always an air of expectancy, of danger over the burgeoning relationship and, as a reader, I was constantly adjusting my expectations of what would happen next. Needless to say, this is the hallmark of an excellent writer, which Peel clearly is. The book is primarily about relationships and about trust, honesty, and fidelity and I felt the characters the author created were both believable and relatable. Despite Kate’s youth and lack of experience, she was clearly no shrinking violet and was always prepared to take the initiative when the situation called for it. It is extremely difficult to imagine the devastation and hopelessness people felt during those dark days of the early Second World War but one could feel it coming through these characters in spades and that allowed the reader to feel the pain and suffering that an entire nation was living through. I have not read anything from this author before but I am absolutely sure I will be looking for other works from her as she has a simple, relatable way of telling a tale. Into the Unknown is an excellent read and one I can highly recommend.