A tale of war, love, loss and sticking with it…

soldiers wife cover

The Soldiers Wife is about a young war bride called Ruby who loses her Jimmy when he is called up and sent  to fight in World War One. He leaves her in Sydney with two choices; Go back to the family homestead in Bourke, or stay in Sydney and support herself. She chooses the latter and takes a job as a book-keeper for a Sydney wood yard which is certainly no place for a young lady in 1915.

The attention to detail in this book dropped me right back into daily life of 1915 Sydney. I got a good sense of what life was like for all those that were left behind and enjoyed learning about how family and friends communicated, as well as absorbing all those little nuances and social binds and etiquettes which were the norm at the time.

The books takes you through Ruby’s journey and her internal struggle between independence, security attraction and obligation to her wedding vows. The Ruby of today may not have made the choices she did back then, but i’m not sure she would have been better off either way. For me I was left with a ‘sliding doors’ book hangover. What if Ruby had chosen differently? Were her choices on her own terms, or pressure of the times?

If you are interested in World War One and what it would have been like to be left in Sydney at the time, or love a book which gets you thinking, or a good old romance, you should get right into this book.  I found the book had a ‘voice’ which was an easy one to read, smooth and well paced, with atmosphere, love and tension in all the right places.


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The Book Blurb

Sydney, 1915. World War One brings tragedy and loss – and sweeping change for those left at home.

Ruby and Jimmy Hawkins are sure their love will survive the trauma of war. Amid the desperate battles of the Dardanelles, Jimmy dreams of the future they planned together; in Sydney, Ruby reads his letters full of love and longing.

But as weeks slip into months Ruby must forge her own new life to survive. When she takes a job as a bookkeeper at an inner-city timber merchant’s yard, she is thrown into a man’s world fraught with complications.

Just as Ruby starts to find her way, the lives of those around her begin to shatter and she faces her biggest battle yet.

About the Author

Pamela is an award-winning author for both adults and children. She has a Doctorate of Creative Arts from the University of Technology, Sydney, where she has also lectured in creative writing. Writing under the name Pamela Freeman, she wrote the historical novel The Black Dress, which won the NSW Premier’s History Prize for 2006 and is now in its third edition. Pamela is also well known for her fantasy novels for adults, published by Orbit worldwide, the Castings Trilogy and her Aurealis Award winning novel Ember And Ash. Pamela lives in Sydney with her husband and their son, and teaches at the Australian Writers’ Centre. The Soldier’s Wife is her 30th book.