A Kiss and a Prayer

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Jan 23, Karen Cole rated it really liked it. I only discovered the Cliffehaven series last year when I read the previous book, The Waiting Hours and settling into With a Kiss and a Prayer was like meeting up with an old friend again. New readers to the series shouldn't be concerned however, Ellie Dean ensures that enough back story is included to make it easy to catch up. I may not have had the pleasure of experiencing the long story arc in full but nevertheless the books I written in such a way that I couldn't help but become invested in I only discovered the Cliffehaven series last year when I read the previous book, The Waiting Hours and settling into With a Kiss and a Prayer was like meeting up with an old friend again.

I may not have had the pleasure of experiencing the long story arc in full but nevertheless the books I written in such a way that I couldn't help but become invested in the characters' lives. It's now and as the tide finally seemed to be turning against the Nazis, families are glued to their wirelesses to hear news of the latest victories in Europe, particularly in Italy. The sense of anticipation and longing in the war weary country, desperate for news of the Allied invasion of France is almost palpable.

Meanwhile though, life goes on and the day to day concerns of the inhabitants of Cliffehaven - and the residents of Beach View Boarding House in particular - become interwoven with their deeper worries for the country and their loved ones. Sagas set during the Second World War are hugely popular and I can really see why this series is so well regarded.


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Ellie Dean has clearly spent hours researching the period and it pays off as she authentically combines the heightened anxieties and mundane struggles of wartime living with involving and often moving domestic dramas. As before, Peggy Reilly is the glue that holds their lives together but even she is struggling with the constant fear and uncertainty, the prolonged separation from her family, and the sheer grind of rationing and having to make do and mend. She longs for more news of her husband, Jim who is still serving in Burma.

Although most of the action takes place in Cliffehaven, the gripping scenes in Burma really bring the conflict there to life and there is a genuine sense of danger in the chapters featuring Jim. The people living in Beach View Boarding House have their own troubles though and Peggy's natural instinct to try and solve everybody's problems eventually become too much of a strain for her.

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With a Kiss and a Prayer really brings home just how hard it was for the people - and particularly the women left behind. As well as the long hours she works, in a factory, at home and as a Red Cross volunteer, Peggy has to contend with so much; anticipation for the longed-for invasion coupled with her fears for the men fighting; her yearning for her daughters and sons who are growing up without her; her concerns over the young women for whom she has become almost a second mother to; her family's various woes - from Ron's latest exploits to her sister-in-law, Pauline's intense grieving that has made her become needy and resentful, to her sister, Doris' continued pretentious selfishness.

It's not surprising then that this book finally sees Peggy struggle to cope with the load on her overburdened shoulders. However, With a Kiss and a Prayer is still imbued with a touching warmth, there is much humour to be found here, often thanks to the antics of Ron's various animals and there is no shortage of love, wisdom and kindness too. Obviously we have the benefit of hindsight and so know that D-Day is imminent but the steady pacing of the plot and the gradual unfolding of events gives a real sense of the frustration that must have been felt.

Towards the end there's an incident that is really quite shocking and is a reminder that although the Allied invasion of France was the beginning of the end, there were still losses and heartache to be endured. I must confess to feeling slightly conflicted as to the outcome here. I think a different result could have made for a more dramatic conclusion, although as things stand I'm looking forward to seeing how things develop - I predict fireworks! The war may be drawing to a close but no doubt there will be more secrets and problems to be uncovered and shared in the next Cliffehaven book, due to be published in August Entitled As the Sun Breaks Through, it does at least suggest things will be starting to look a bit brighter for Peggy and her loved ones.

As a confirmed fan of the series now, I will definitely be reading it! Jan 29, Sandra rated it it was amazing. Another fabulous book from Ellie Dean in the Beach View Series and i have to say i know the end is coming but will cry when it does. This series of books have followed the reilly family through the war in their every day lives. All the new faces that have been welcomed by the family and those that have not. Jul 09, Ruth Ellis rated it really liked it.

Really enjoyed this book took along time to read as lots to process because of the twists and turns of the character's. May 16, Gail Amendt rated it really liked it. It's hard to believe that I have now read fourteen books in this series. The characters and the town of Cliffehaven now feel like old friends. This installment did not disappoint, as it focused on all those old friends rather than introducing new characters. It is now the spring of , and everyone can tell that the Allies are preparing for an invasion of France, but no one knows when or where it will happen.

This leads to a great deal of worry and tension, as almost everyone has loved ones th It's hard to believe that I have now read fourteen books in this series. This leads to a great deal of worry and tension, as almost everyone has loved ones that will be affected.

As well, people are dealing with the continuing hardships of the war, including rationing, travel restrictions, and lack of communication with loved ones. Added to all this is the fact that many complicated relationships have been formed as a result of the war. Much of the focus of this novel is the personal problems of the various characters, with the war as a backdrop and sometimes causative factor for those problems. This gives the book a bit of a soap opera feel, as there are many story lines involving relationship drama running at the same time, and a generous dose of humor and improbability.

Surprisingly this approach works very well, in spite of feeling somewhat disjointed at times. The book ends with a couple of big and rather improbable turns of events, which I think will provide lots of new material for future books. The war is drawing to a close, and thus the series likely is as well, and unfortunately I am now caught up and must wait a few months to find out what happens next. Brilliant Yet again I couldn't put this down. Have read the story of Peggy right from the start and now can't wait for her next one.

So full of life with its ups and downs. One minute I feel really sad and the next laughing at the antics of Ron and Harvey and now Queenie is starting to join them! Poor Danuta and what she went through to help during the war. The hours of research are incredible to tell the story of what went on to save this country from the Nazis. How Peggy copes with the rationin Brilliant Yet again I couldn't put this down.

How Peggy copes with the rationing and her family spread out is sad and yet how true it would have been. Loved that Ethel got her just desserts and hope to read next time that Stan is happy again. Roll on August when the next instalment arrives on my kindle. I read the entire 15 book series and preordered the final book which is due out in Jan I read a lot about this period so sometimes want something a little lighter and this is where this series comes in. The characters are entertains and fast changing but with an uplifting end to each of their stories,you can also enjoy the boarding house setting throughout the series,but one thing that amazes me is the amount of Spam those folks ate!

Wonder how they survived through such horrible time I read the entire 15 book series and preordered the final book which is due out in Jan Wonder how they survived through such horrible times. Apr 01, Kaye Bleek rated it it was amazing. Briliant Yet another amazing book in the cliffehaven series. Couldn't wait for it to come out and catch up with Peggy and the rest of the Beach View residents.

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Yet again Ellie takes us right into the heart of the family allowing us to follow the happy and sad times with them all. I feel as if I know them all and really don't know what I will do when the books finally come to an end. These stories would make a great TV series. Can't wait for the next one, I have pre ordered it already.

I really enjoyed this book, I like them all but I do like the ones that are centered in Cliff haven and About I really enjoyed this one, it was a good and easy read! I like the ones best that are centered at the boarding house and About the family there! I love these books. This one ends with some mystery when a v1 rocket blows up Doris's house with her 20 chosen aristocratic women inside.

With a Kiss and a Prayer by Ellie Dean | LoveReading

The cans of fuel that Doris had her gracefully of made the damage worse and why were some of the women found in her bedroom. Great book Another great book by Ellie Dean, the cliffehaven series a great to read. You feel like you know the people in the book. It brings a tear to your eyes, and also makes you laugh at what Ron gets up to. Absolutely amazing! Loved this book from the first sentence to the last full stop.


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Apr 20, Carolyn Fitzmaurice rated it it was amazing. I have read a couple of the Cliffehaven books before and really enjoy hreading about the exploits of Ron, Peggy and the other inhabitants of the Beach View Boarding House. Must read some more to fill in the gaps. Another great book were you feel as though you are living with them I have read all the Whitehaven books, they are by my favourite author Ellie Dean.

I just get so caught up in there lives you feel part of the family. Can't wait for the next one. Another great book in this series. It was good to read about how the family was getting on. It as if they belong to us. I did not see the end coming which I found a tragic surprise. Thank you Nick Poole. Successfully reported this slideshow.

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