Envy, pride, and weakness spur the troubles experienced in the Paradise neighborhood. A loverly fictional period piece surrounding a working class neighborhood in wartime England revolving around support and conflict within families, between neighbors, and nations. The main character, Zelda, has husband trouble which is held at bay by his being in the army. Luckily, Zelda has lots of support from friends, her mother and grandmother, and a healer in the neighborhood, Zinnia.
The war itself creates homefront conflicts with husbands and brothers away at the front, killed in action, and, worst of all, missing in action all of which plays havoc with wives and the children. One in particular, Tony, is mixed up with a bad crowd and, in desperation, Zelda, with Zinnia’s help, finds a voice coach in hopes of redirecting Tony’s interests by supporting his desire to sing.
A very believable story with realistic characters, Trouble in Paradise comes alive from the very first page. Granger has caught the language…oh man, has she caught the language! If you’ve ever wanted to immerse yourself in English slang, read this! Granger conveys the trials and tribulations of wartime shortages as well as the camaraderie of the people in surviving. No, not surviving. Overcoming the awfulness of war. This is a neighborhood in which you want to live with their Sunday dinners of compiled ration cards and knees-ups organized on the spur of the moment. A world which comes together to help. And watch the seed of separation begin.
A story which is very difficult to put down…and I can’t wait to read another of Granger’s stories.