Lottie Beauchamp’s War

In a War, You’d Want Lottie Beauchamp on Your Side…

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
343 Pages
Reviewed on 09/06/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I live on the beautiful South Coast of England, and share my home with a very demanding tabby cat, called Merlot. I keep bees and when not getting stung, I like to swim, write, meet friends for coffee (and cake) and travel.

In 2020 I began reading about some of the vitally important work that women, in particular, undertook during World War II. In often highly dangerous situations, they carried out their duties against the backdrop of a lot of prejudice. I’d have loved to have met them and been brave enough to work with them. From these accounts, my character ‘Lottie’ began to develop. An awful lot of research later, Lottie Beauchamp’s War started, very slowly, to take shape. It’s important to me that the novel delivers an authentic and absorbing experience for the reader from within a fictional framework. I hope you love reading Lottie’s story as much as I did writing it!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

Lottie Beauchamp’s War by Paula Napier is a thrilling account based on the contribution made by progressive and courageous women during World War II. Lottie was studying at Cambridge University when war broke out in 1939. Coming from a privileged family, Lottie lived life on her terms and was already able to fly when she went to university. Despite meeting and falling in love with a young professor, when Lottie was offered the opportunity to fly as one of the predominantly women pilots in the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) she jumped at the chance to join her two brothers in doing something to help in the battle against Hitler. Proving to be a successful pilot, it was Lottie’s fluent French and German that saw her tagged by Special Operations Executive (SOE) to serve as an agent in occupied France, assisting the Maquis (French Resistance) in their attempts to disrupt and sabotage Nazi supply lines. Lottie’s exploits in the war were largely unknown until her namesake, her great-niece Charlotte, discovered a box of Lottie’s belongings at the rest home, where she had passed at age 101, and was determined to discover the truth of her great-aunt’s wartime career.

Lottie Beauchamp’s War is an absolute page-turner. Riveting reading, I found it impossible to put the book down as Lottie’s determination, sense of adventure, and deep hatred of the Nazi regime kept her bounding from one exciting adventure to the next. Paula Napier has penned a wonderful tale that fully celebrates and champions the women of World War II, who despite often vehement opposition from the patriarchy sought to “do their bit” in this bloody conflict. What I appreciated the most was the forward-thinking, progressive women of the era who would let nothing stand in their way of doing whatever they believed they were capable of doing. It is interesting that, generally, these women were from entitled, wealthy, upper-class families who could easily have found ways to avoid being put in danger, yet they were determined to make a difference and it is fair to say that Lottie did make a significant contribution to the partisan fight. This is not just a tale of female derring-do, though, as there is a gentler, softer, sadder, more compassionate side to this narrative. Lottie had to face up to the reality of losing so many people that she loved dearly. This is a wonderful read and is on my list of best books read this year. I can highly recommend it.

Kimberlee J Benart

If you like historical fiction, Lottie Beauchamp’s War: In a War, You’d Want Lottie Beauchamp on Your Side… by Paula Napier is for you. Set in Europe from 1939 to 1944, it follows the adventures of Charlotte “Lottie” Beauchamp, daughter of Lord “The Brig” Beauchamp, as she begins her university studies only to find her family and country torn apart by a world at war. The narrative is divided into three parts: Lottie as a student at Cambridge, Lottie as a ferry pilot in the Air Transport Auxiliary, and Lottie as a covert operative fighting with the French partisans. While entirely fictional, Lottie crosses paths with a wide variety of historical figures, and every chapter highlights an event that marks the overall progress of the war.

In Lottie Beauchamp’s War, Paula Napier gives us an indefatigable, unconventional, courageous, and inspirational protagonist. In addition to the changing roles of women in a wartime setting, several thematic threads are woven throughout Lottie’s story, such as the stress of living in a restricted wartime economy, the brutal treatment of the Jews by the Nazi regime, the physical and emotional toll on survivors of battlefield violence and their loved ones, the tremendous loss of life sustained by a nation fighting for its freedom, and the impact on social dynamics and relationships for people facing the uncertainty of survival let alone victory. The plot moves at a good pace and the storyline is engaging. The emotions experienced by Lottie, her family, and her colleagues as they move through the war years are palpable. Lottie Beauchamp’s War is highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

Lottie Beauchamp’s War is a work of fiction in the historical, adventure, and interpersonal drama subgenres and is suitable for the general adult reading audience. This captivating novel penned by author Paula Napier follows the remarkable journey of our titular protagonist, Lottie, during the events of World War II. Readers meet Lottie as a Cambridge student, where she's deeply engrossed in her studies in archaeology. However, the war's looming presence makes her academic pursuits seem insignificant, prompting her to seek a more active role in the war effort. Lottie's life takes a turn when she becomes a pilot officer in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, where she faces the constant underestimation of her abilities. Despite these challenges, she is determined to prove herself and eventually becomes a crucial member of the Resistance movement in France, showcasing her unwavering commitment and determination to excel in a predominantly male-dominated environment.

Author Paula Napier has crafted a powerful tale that portrays the discrimination and prejudice women faced during World War II, emphasizing their resilience and determination to gain recognition in traditionally male-dominated roles. Lottie's character development is nuanced and compelling, as she evolves from an observer to a formidable leader in the fight against the Germans in her own unique way, which is distinctly feminine and never simply impersonating or mimicking male power. While Lottie's role in the war is vital, the novel also highlights the limitations and challenges she encounters in a society where women's contributions are often underestimated, and the dialogue and attitude of the time are well balanced to showcase this without ever feeling like it’s too much. Overall, Lottie Beauchamp's War is a powerful tribute to the resilience of women and a thought-provoking, inspiring read.

Literary Titan


Lottie Beauchamp’s War by Paula Napier offers an engrossing narrative that follows the life of the fictional character Lottie Beauchamp during the tumultuous times of World War II. The novel is meticulously divided into three distinct segments, each focusing on a different phase of Lottie’s life and her evolving roles during the war.
In the opening part, readers meet Lottie as a student in Cambridge, consumed by her studies in archeology. Yet, her academic pursuits feel hollow and insignificant against the backdrop of a world at war. Lottie’s aspiration to actively contribute to the war effort is realized when she joins the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, marking her first substantial involvement in the conflict.
The second part delves into her newfound life as a pilot officer in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. Though a remarkable feat for a woman at the time, Lottie’s capabilities are constantly underestimated, with her responsibilities limited to flying smaller planes. Her journey towards piloting larger aircraft and earning the respect of her peers mirrors the broader struggle women faced during the war.
The final section of the novel follows Lottie as a dedicated member of the resistance movement in France. The portrayal of her relentless efforts to prove her worth in a predominantly male-dominated environment is both captivating and thought-provoking.
Napier skillfully uses Lottie’s story to shed light on the challenges women encountered during World War II. By highlighting the discrimination and prejudice they faced, the author emphasizes the grit and determination women displayed to gain recognition and respect in a field traditionally closed to them.
Lottie’s character development is crafted with nuance and care, transforming her from a mere observer of war to a determined leader in the fight against the Germans. While Lottie’s role in the war is vital, her actual influence and control over events are limited. Her tasks primarily involve piloting for drop-offs and pick-ups, and as a member of the resistance, her position can be somewhat passive at times.
Lottie Beauchamp’s War is a compelling read that provides an insightful look into the life of a young woman navigating the complexities of a world at war. It is not merely a fictional biography but a resonant piece that echoes the trials and triumphs of women during an era when their contributions were often underestimated and overlooked. This novel is a testament to women’s resilience and a valuable addition to the literature of World War II.” - LITERARY TITAN