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Lavender Road (London at War)

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  138 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
‘Unputdownable!’ Western Telegraph
‘A sparkling bit of storytelling.’ Evening Standard

Opening in September 1939 at the beginning of the Second World War, Lavender Road follows the lives of a number of people who live in one South London street through the first year of hostilities.
Lavender Road, set between Lavender Hill and Clapham Common, boasts a pub, two rows of terrace
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 9th 1995 by Orion Publishing Co
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Viviane Crystal
Nov 12, 2012 Viviane Crystal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most war stories hit on a major love story and major battle scenes. Helen Carey has tapped into the very fiber of English life in the days preceding the bombing of England during WWII and during the actual bombing. The story centers on several families who have all the ups and downs of real life but who forge on with that gritty, strong English attitude. They appear together but bleed internally like every human being.

We begin with Jen Carter who wants to be an actress but has no training, just
Jul 17, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e, historical-fiction
4 stars because it was a very enjoyable and entertaining read, with some interesting true historical facts shaped round a bunch of people living in the same road. I can't quite give it 5 stars, because it is not great literature like, for example, "The Cazalet Chronicles" by Elizabeth Jane Howard, also based on London society during WWII, and because I wanted to slap Jen and Louisa for being so stupid. Helen Carey manages to paint a very convincing atmosphere of life at that time, and draw us in ...more
Sep 06, 2013 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of three novels by Helen Carey tracing the lives of certain residents living in Lavender Road,Clapham and is set in the early years of the war. It paints a fascinating and accurate picture of what it must have been like to have lived in those difficult days. The only inaccuracy in the book has to do with the date of a song. Jen aspires to be a professional actress and singer and sings "The White Cliffs of Dover" (published 1941) at an impromptu concert. As the concert took plac ...more
Rosemary Beazley
Mar 07, 2012 Rosemary Beazley rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I was born in the late 1920's , lived through WW2 and saw and experienced some of the things that Helen Carey so lovingly, and expertly portrays in her books. The story brought back vivid memories and emotions to me (and a lot of my friends - of a similar vintage!! - have said the same having read the series)as well as being, in it's own right, a really well paced and wholly compelling book. I couldn't wait to get on with the other 2!
Noelle Clark
Aug 15, 2012 Noelle Clark rated it it was amazing
Quirky, believable characters and the naughty ones are most likeable. Faithfully set in the early days of World War Two, this story weaves the horror of impending war on the citizens of London, with the lives of everyday people. It shows their vulnerability, and their stoicism. A very enjoyable read, memorable storyline and characters.Helen Carey
May 03, 2012 Kathleen rated it it was amazing

One of the best books I have read in a long time. I laughed and cried and didn't want it to end.
Apr 04, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this story of several women of different economics during WW2.
Marc Mordey
Jul 25, 2013 Marc Mordey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved it - my fourth time of reading this marvellous story. My reading of the Lavender Road series has been further enhanced by reading the wartime diaries produced by May Hill, and the London Blitz diary account which Victoria Warshuk has produced...The three books in Helen Carey's series, that commences with Lavender Road, are stuffed full of strong characters, and an excellent and compelling story line, coupled with a well researched knowledge of World War 2 history. And capacity for humour ...more
Apr 06, 2012 Claire rated it really liked it
I must confess to not knowing much about the social history of WW2 but this certainly painted a picture for me that seemed realistic and informative. The characters were diverse and interesting and their various stories were woven together very well. It is certainly one of those books that you just have to finish - what ever the hour! I was disappointed that the end came so quickly but delighted to find that this was the first of a trilogy! The second and third books got downloaded straight away ...more
Michael Cayley
Jun 21, 2014 Michael Cayley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of a trilogy of novels set in South London during WW2. Among the central characters are the battered wife of a criminal, the brow-beaten wife of a businessman, and two fairly naive young women who have to come to terms with the nasty side of life, one from a well-off family, the other from a family struggling to make ends meet. The story is fairly slow-paced but full of atmosphere. I really enjoyed it.
Jul 31, 2015 Claude rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book a bit slow at the beginning, but quite enjoyed it at the end and am looking forward to the sequel.
Marta Moran Bishop
When reading Lavender Road, by Helen Carey, I was drawn into London during the beginning of WWII. With the backdrop of the threat of war with Hitler looming, we meet a cast of characters who could have lived and loved in any era, but particularly in the late 1930’s – early 1940’s. Although, it takes place before I was born, I was able to fully visualize the fear, angst, heartache, and determination of both her characters and the era.

It is a rare book that can draw one so completely into a period
Susie Kelly
Sep 05, 2014 Susie Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed Lavender Road. It isn't generally the kind of book I read, but having lived just off Lavender Hill, with my grandparents in Thirsk Road in the mid-50s I was attracted to the setting.

It more than lived up to my hopes, and brought back vivid memories of Clapham Common, Clapham Junction, Arding and Hobbs, all landmarks of my childhood.

Most of all it was the characters that I really enjoyed, and the way that war changed them and their lives. Social barriers fell, new friendships
Aug 11, 2014 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


Reading Lavender Road was like listening to my Nan tell her stories about surviving WW2 in Great Britain. The hardship and courage of the characters in this book kept me enthralled.
Josie Glynn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 02, 2015 Fay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book is set in the Second World War, it's more about the people left behind and how the war changes them. Women, used to obeying their husbands find their independence, weak people become strong, people's priorities change, for the first time they come into contact with Jewish refugees and they discover Jews aren't that different, ideas about sex change and so on and so on....... It is a soscioligical study. As I drew closer to the end, I realised we were still very early in the wa ...more
David Lowther
Oct 09, 2013 David Lowther rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Lavender Road. It was set in the Clapham area of South West London in the period just before and during the first year of the Second World War.

The story followed the fortunes of a vast array of interesting characters, all of them well-drawn, ranging from the local wealthy businessman and his privileged family to the down-at-heel working class family with father and son both in prison.

Their paths do, of course, cross and it is the switching between following each of t
Stephen Scarbrough
Wonderful World War II novel

If you like novels set in the World War II era, you will love this book. The residents of Lavendar Road are real and you can feel what it was like to dream, love,and fear as life as they knew it was changing all around them. I highly recommend this novel. I can't wait to read the next in the series.
Dec 09, 2015 GladGrace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read with a lot of historical detail about how the lead-up to and the early days of WWII affected Londoners, from the point of view of the women. i chose this after watching Home Fires on PBS and searched for books about women during WWII.
Jun 28, 2014 Melinda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
A light book in WWII genre.
Bren Hall
I liked reading this book because it was set in London during WW2 and my mother lived there as a teenager during the same time.
Pauline Mowbray
Mar 22, 2016 Pauline Mowbray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading Lavender Road book I kept thinking of my Dad who was a Policeman at Lavender Hill during WW2 plus my Mum telling me many stories from this time they were bombed twice during this time period looking forward to reading your other books Helen Carey.
Anna Othitis
Oct 24, 2013 Anna Othitis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title alone gives you the incense of the Lavender to follow and read a lovely well written book fully recommended with amazing flow. Great read
DScully marked it as to-read
Apr 24, 2016
Sheila Evans
Sheila Evans rated it really liked it
Apr 13, 2016
Debbie rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2016
maryann rated it it was amazing
Apr 08, 2016
Keri marked it as to-read
Apr 05, 2016
Catherine Cameron
Catherine Cameron marked it as to-read
Apr 04, 2016
Michael Sinclair
Michael Sinclair rated it really liked it
Mar 26, 2016
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Sisterhood of the...: Lavender Road, by Helen Carey 6 13 Dec 18, 2014 11:29PM  
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I am best known for my Lavender Road series set in London during the second world war. And now there is a new one! LONDON CALLING is just out, published by Headline Books.
My first review called it 'A fabulous read!'
Do visit my book page for more details or to catch up on all my other novels.
I have lived in various parts of the world but I currently live in West Wales where my husband and I run ou
More about Helen Carey...

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