Read In the Bleak Midwinter by Carol Rivers Online


A gritty and gripping saga set in London's East End in the aftermath of the First World War It's winter 1919, two months after the Armistice that ended the Great War, and life in London's East End is slowly returning to normal. But for 25-year-old Birdie Connor the battle is only just beginning. Frank, Birdie's older brother, has been sent to prison for deserting his armyA gritty and gripping saga set in London's East End in the aftermath of the First World War It's winter 1919, two months after the Armistice that ended the Great War, and life in London's East End is slowly returning to normal. But for 25-year-old Birdie Connor the battle is only just beginning. Frank, Birdie's older brother, has been sent to prison for deserting his army post while fighting in Belgium, and the shame heaped on the Connor family by their neighbors is unrelenting. Wilfred, Birdie's widowed father, has disowned Frank and vows that he will never set eyes on his son again, but Birdie cannot believe that her brother is guilty, and sets out to clear his name....

Title : In the Bleak Midwinter
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781847376893
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 480 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

In the Bleak Midwinter Reviews

  • Wendy Percival
    2019-05-02 23:09

    I was drawn to this novel initially because it was set just after the First World War, a period which interests me. But then while on a trip to London recently, I found myself walking around the area in which the book is set, in London's East End which made it even more interesting!When I began to read the book, I recognised the names of the places I'd travelled through on the Docklands Light Railway, such as Poplar and Westferry, and other familiar places we'd walked along the River Thames - Shadwell, Tobacco Dock and Limestreet canal basin. It really added to my sense of place while reading.Of course these areas are very different to what they'd have been like in Birdie Connor's time, in 1919, when life was hard and the painful aftermath of war was felt keenly by everyone, including Birdie and her family. Not only does the fragility of earning enough to keep a roof over their heads and put food on the table dominate their lives, but the anxiety and confusion of the knowledge that Birdie's brother is serving a prison sentence for desertion adds an additional burden.But Birdie is a resilient and determined character. Despite the negative attitude she has to endure from the prejudice of many of the locals because of their "shame" of having a deserter in the family, she knows in her heart that her brother is innocent and will do what she can to help him.I was a little frustrated that she couldn't see through the "love of her life" and realise that he was selfish, uncaring and ruled by his mother, an unsympathetic woman with a skewed view of the family business. But that in itself that said so much about the attitude of the era - that a woman's goal was to be married with a family. And so desperate was Birdie to achieve her dream, that she was blind to the truth, unable to see that it would be a disastrous and unhappy marriage.In the Bleak Midwinter is a very pleasant read with likeable characters - Harry, Pat, Flo, Mrs Belcher and Lady Annabelle, each support Birdie in their own way. I felt a real sense of the times, the way of life and the struggles of the period. Anyone who likes stories of everyday people in ordinary situations and in an historical context would enjoy this book.

  • mckailer
    2019-05-21 14:55

    This book to me is not amazing, but it's also not bad. It's decent. The heroine in this story was not my favourite, she was annoying and dependent on her faience. I also feel that the story spent way to much time on deciphering weather or not the heroine was going to marry her faience, than forwarding the story line, i would of preferred to learn more about the heroine and her family trying to save and prove the innocence of the brother. Another con that i have to point out is that, the story ending felt rushed; I would of personally loved it if they delved a bit deeper and made the ending longer.But other than that, this story had good character development and a decent story line. I would suggest this as a quick read, i.e. you have nothing else to read.

  • Ria
    2019-05-03 23:09

    A wonderful, wintry story dealing with the lives of the Connor family. It's just after the war and Brigid's brother Frank has been branded a deserter, with a sick father and a younger brother to look after Birdie is desperate to try and keep the family together but with the scandal putting pressure on her relationship with her fiancé her lodger Harry steps in to try and help Birdie clear her brother's name and help out with her domestic affairs but is it just a friendly interest Harry has for her or is he slowly falling for the Connor family in more ways than one?...A lovely and charming tale, perfect for the festive season brimming over with love, loss and family loyalty.

  • Shirley Revill
    2019-05-12 18:57

    Brilliant story. Really enjoyed. Recommended.

  • Hank
    2019-05-05 22:08

    It was pretty good, but i really wished the heroine wouldn't do some of the stupid things she did!

  • Julia Hughes
    2019-05-07 21:10

    In the Bleak Midwinter – Carol RiversI can’t believe I haven’t discovered Carol Rivers before now. Writing in the tradition of Catherine Cookson and Lena Kennedy, she re-creates for her readers the London of yesteryear, populating her story with characters that are larger than life and resonate long after the last page is turned. Set just after WW1 has ended, Birdie is a real life heroine, looking forward to being a good wife to her intended Donald Thorne, who has visions of expanding his grocery shop. Birdie Connor is a loving daughter, and both sister and substitute mother to young Pat, on the cusp of adulthood. Like many young girls she has an eye for fashion, she also has a talent for dressmaking. There is sorrow in her life though. Her eldest brother Frank has brought shame on the family, breaking his father’s heart, having been accused and convicted of desertion. And Birdie can’t understand why Donald can make time to walk out with his brother’s widow, yet insists the only way Birdie and he can be alone together is if Birdie works long hours in his shop. When Frank breaks out of jail, and gets involved with Russian ‘white’ terrorists tension mounts and it’s down to young Pat and Harry, the Connor’s lodger, to pit their wits against desperate people and the police to salvage the Connor’s honour and Birdie’s happiness. All through the book, I longed for Birdie to tell Donald where to stuck his rotten fruit and veg, and take a better look at Harry, a man quietly supporting Birdie while nurturing a growing building company. Carol Rivers keeps her readers entertained with the sights and smells of old London (you’ll learn a little Cockney Rhyming Slang) and creates characters so vivid, you’ll live through their struggles and triumphs, good times and bad as they battle with day to day living on the Isle of Dogs. Reading this book is like a long leisurely stroll down memory lane, back to good old London Town where a pint of cockles was the only fast food, when family was everything, and the world was the street where you lived. Mix in a story of faith, desertion, and desperate refugees to add spice and intrigue, and you have a book impossible to put down until the very last drop has been savoured.

  • Megan Readinginthesunshine
    2019-05-05 19:16

    I enjoyed this book very much. With In The Bleak Midwinter, the reader finds themselves once again transported to East End London, this time after the Great War when the community is trying to get as back to normal as is possible. Carol Rivers manges to portray the era excellently, providing the readers with an understanding and an insight into how life was, and the effect that the War had on families, the pain, disruption and suffering that it caused.The characters in the story were captivating, they were very well developed and as the reader I felt so involved with the characters that I was desperate to read on as more of their story was revealed. Birdie is the perfect heroine, always wanting to do the best for her family, dreaming of being a loving wife to Donald, until she agrees to help Frank after he escapes from prison, potentially putting herself and those closest to her in danger. I was gripped with Birdie’s story, and could not put the story down until I had finished!This is yet another fantastic novel from Carol Rivers, full of lots of description and characters that will pull you in, keeping you with them right until the very end!

  • Catherine Fitzpatrick
    2019-04-30 17:19

    At first i thought wow its a long ,long read but i thought why not!!! So i set my self a challenge and i took the book with me almost every where so much so that i could not put it down i spent till early morning to read it ....(i even missed bus stops to get off and nearly get on too i was also too captured every time). But what a book twists and turns surprises galore also who you think was involved was notAll in all that's what i call a brilliant writer...trills , romance, danger...promises...leaves you at the end of your a few tears...get some hankies..Please take a peek and i dare say you will be like me you want to be in there.. That's what a call a fabulous read.... great characters designed and worked well ...Can't wait to read the next one from Carol Rivers.....One of the best books and like' Angel Ashes' Frank Mc court (memoir) I read that 5 times ... you will be hooked from the time you started to the time you end ... you won't want to put the book down

  • Lesley
    2019-05-01 18:13

    I really enjoyed this book. It's not my usual read, but since my family hail from London's East End I thought I'd give it a try. The characters were strong and made me want to know what was going to happen to them, even the not so nice ones. There was plenty in the plot, and while it wasn't difficult to work it all out, it held my attention well.I did find the use of rhyming slang a bit clumsy, and I found the Irish tone used by the main character, Birdie, at the start of the novel, had sort of disappeared by the end, which was a bit inconsistent.

  • Andrew
    2019-04-29 17:06

    This book has surpassed my expectations by a long way.The way in which the central characters were developed was very good. It developed a story in which I found that I wanted to know what came next. the pace was swift. The references back to the way different groups within society reacted to the thorny topic of desertion by a soldier were explored in an interesting way.

  • Marietta
    2019-05-22 18:53

    Captivating read.

  • Heather Copping
    2019-05-19 22:11

    I really enjoyed this book, what a great story.

  • Kathy
    2019-05-24 21:03

    Good book but very predictable. I prefer surprises in a story.

  • Robbie
    2019-05-09 18:14

    A good mystery read. Light but not trivial. Nice start to the Clare/Russ series.

  • Alyssa Yoong
    2019-04-29 21:00

    Amazing story, beautiful ending