When should you trust your heart?
It’s 1942 when Cassie Taylor reluctantly leaves Birmingham to become a land girl on a farm in Dorset.
There she meets Robert and Stephen Denham, twins recovering from injuries sustained at Dunkirk. Cassie is instantly drawn to Stephen, but is wary of the more complex Robert – who doesn’t seem to like Cassie one little bit.
At first, Robert wants to sack the inexperienced city girl. But Cassie soon learns, and Robert comes to admire her courage, finding himself deeply attracted to Cassie. Just as their romance blossoms, he’s called back into active service.
Anxious to have adventures herself, Cassie joins the ATS. In Egypt, she meets up with Robert, and they become engaged. However, war separates them again as Robert is sent to Italy and Cassie back to the UK.
Robert is reported missing, presumed dead. Stephen wants to take Robert’s place in Cassie’s heart. But will Cassie stay true to the memory of her first love, and will Robert come home again?
The Penny Bangle is the third novel in the Charton Minster Series, precluded by The Silver Locket and the The Golden Chain. The Wedding Diary (book 4) and Magic Sometimes Happens (book 5) are part of the series but set in the present time.
Margaret James was born and brought up in Hereford and now lives in Devon. She studied English at London University, and has written many short stories, articles and serials for magazines. She is the author of sixteen published novels.
Her debut novel for Choc Lit, The Silver Locket, received a glowing review from the Daily Mail and reached the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in November 2010 and in the same year a Reviewers’ Choice Award from Single Titles. The Golden Chain also hit the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in May 2011.
Margaret is a long standing contributor to Writing Magazine for which she writes the Fiction Focus column and an author interview for each issue. She’s also a creative writing tutor for the London School of Journalism.
This is the first book I have read by Margaret James. The Penny Bangle is the third book in the Charton Minster Trilogy. I have not read the first two books but definitely will be as I thoroughly enjoyed The Penny Bangle. The Penny Bangle can be read as a standalone book.
The book is based in the 2nd World War and the detail and content shows how much research has gone into the book. I learnt so much about how it was to live during the 2nd World War and how this affected their lives, world and work. The book follows the Denham family – the characters were so realistic and I loved the heroine Cassie, a very determined land girl with bucketfuls of spirit who made me laugh out loud quite a few times!
The Penny Bangle is a wonderful romantic story but so much more too – we are given such an incredible moving insight into working and living during the 2nd World War – which together makes an incredible book. I found the descriptive writing of the Battle of the Somme very moving.