‘Better Days Will Come’ – Pam Weaver
Widowed Grace Roberts comes home from her factory job one day to find that her eldest daughter Bonnie has run away to London. Utterly distraught she has no choice but to carry on with her life, struggling to make ends meet for her and youngest daughter Rita. Her boss, Norris Finley is a powerful and calculating man. He promises to assist Grace, but his help will come at a hefty price…
Pregnant Bonnie arrives in London eager to be reunited with George so they can begin their new life together. But while she waits anxiously on the platform at Victoria station, he never turns up. Unable to return home as she can’t bear the thought of bringing shame to her family, she is left to fend for herself and her unborn baby.
Disturbed by the apparent relationship between her mother and Norris, Rita flees home and meets Emilio who she marries. Yet Emilio is guarding a deep secret and when Rita uncovers the truth, she is left heartbroken.
Caught in the very worst of times and separated from one another, can the strong bond of family love eventually bring Grace, Bonnie and Rita back together again?
From the start of this novel, it is clear that the close relationship Grace believed she had with her daughters has fractured, and the cracks continue to spread as more wrongs are carried out and the three characters drift further apart. The desperation to see the “silver lining” drives Grace and Bonnie to new lows, whilst her youngest daughter, Rita, appears very innocent in the ways of life.
The villain of this novel, Norris Finley, causes trouble for all three women and I was desperate to see him punished for his actions. The web of lies he has woven around the town where he lives is impressive as are the means he will go to to keep his secrets undiscovered. But when we are introduced to his wife and we learn more about her as a character, I knew that she would become the catalyst to his downfall at long last.
I enjoyed the way that Weaver linked her characters through relationships, previous events and plot development. My heart was in my mouth at times because of the tension as the novel reached its climax, and this really made it a page-turner for me. However, what was disappointing for me was how naive she has made Rita. Her relationship with Emilio is obviously wrong and the signs that are around Rita go blissfully unnoticed. Yes, Weaver wants to create an innocent young woman who is quite naive, but I found it more that Rita was dense and a little stupid, which was just a bit irritating for me.
This is the first book that I have read by Pam Weaver and I really enjoyed it. A heart-warming finish, all the characters get their “just desserts” and there were plenty of surprises along the way. A drama that explores post-war desperations, it was lovely to read a book with such a happy ending.