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The Chestnut Tree: A Novel of the Women of World War II
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The Chestnut Tree: A Novel of the Women of World War II (The Bexham Trilogy #1)

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  127 ratings  ·  13 reviews
By bestselling British writer Charlotte Bingham, The Chestnut Tree is a sweeping, romantic novel about the women who stayed behind in World War II.

It is the summer of 1939, and the residents of the idyllic Sussex fishing port of Bexham are preparing for war. Beautiful but shy Judy Melton, daughter of a naval hero; her determinedly feckless friend, the social butterfly Megg
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 12th 2003 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 2002)
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Clare O'Beara
The chestnut tree of the title plays very little part in the story!
Four women in an east coast country town are changed by wartime. Their lives make up the first 120 or so pages before the war gets under way; some lead quite boring and wealthy lives, others hedge rather than marry or act the tomboy around boats.

Determined to play an active role, older women set up village circles to make camouflage netting, a slow filthy task. A young woman stows away on a small boat heading to Dunkirk, rescues
Marlene Lewis
I often find myself lost among the characters of family sagas and The Chestnut Tree was no exception. It probably says more about my reading habits [usually in bed after a tiring day] than the writing but a list of characters would have been appreciated.

The story spans the six years of WWII and follows the lives and loves of four relatively well to do young women and their mothers. In The Chestnut Tree, Charlotte Bingham depicts the crumbling away of rigid pre-war class structures as the sleepy

Charlotte Bingham is a very prolific writer of both novels and television dramas. I first read one of her books ten years ago and this is only the fifth title of hers since then. I do not think therefore that I would consider her one of my favourite authors, though I have always found they provide readable enjoyable escapism.

The Chestnut Tree follows the lives of the residents of Bexham, a Sussex fishing port during World War II. The main protagonists are
Ginny Marie
This book takes place in Bexham, England, and focuses on four women whose lives change dramatically because of the war. Rusty, a seaman's daughter, stows away on a boat which rescues soldiers from the beaches of France during a failed invasion. The consequences of this rescue haunts her for many years. Judy falls in love with Walter, and he goes off to war, soon to be missing in action. Mattie becomes a driver for the war effort; as a result she meets and falls in love with an American general. ...more
I started reading this on the beach, which, thankfully, was not covered with barbed wire like the beaches of Kent. The barbed wire was one of the things I knew about WWII, along with the blitz and Anderson Shelters. In fact, I had a chance to go in a mock-up of one at a museum earlier this year (I declined because it seemed so realistic). I knew, too, that women did a lot for the war effort, but this book filled in a lot more details, e.g. the net making, which I had no clue about. The beauty se ...more
Ok, I 'borrowed' this from the dementia unit my aunt lives in assuming that no-one was going to notice it was missing. I promise to return it as it was a jolly nice yarn that the nurses will no doubt enjoy even if my aunt can't.
Charlotte Bingham excels at escapist romance with a tinge of sadness and a sense of nostalgia. This one is set during WWII and tracks a group of women with tenuous links to eachother through the war and their experiences whether as spies, munitions workers or working wom
I read this book a number of years ago but it is a book I find myself thinking about sometimes. It's the first book I have read that describes what life was like in Great Britain during WWII. I think sometimes fiction can give readers a feeling for a time that history books just do not. I feel after reading this I have a glimpse of what it was like to live with constant worries of bombing, rationed food, and blacked out windows. I really enjoyed this book.
Shonna Froebel
Characters good and believable.
Situations described well, catching.
Sarah Chantler
I loved this book, set in a fictional town during WWII. It tells the story of how the war affected the ordinary people back home, from the war efforts of sewing nets and driving Ambulances to the dreaded arrivals of the telegrams and the Dunkirk rescues.
Very enjoyable!
A heart warming story set in England - in Sussex at the start of WW2 and follows the lives of a small village and especially the women - not just the young women, but their mothers as well.
I loved this book - great insight into what a war would be like for women; and to have war in your country.
Great, realistic story of women in England and their individual contributions to the war effort in WWII.
Fran Piercey
Set in England during WW2. It focused on the women left behind.
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The Honourable Charlotte Mary Thérèse Bingham was born on 29 June 1942 in Haywards Heath, Sussex, England, UK. Her father, John Bingham, the 7th Baron Clanmorris, wrote detective stories and was a secret member of MI5. Her mother, Madeleine Bingham, née Madeleine Mary Ebel, was a playwright. Charlotte first attended a school in London, but from the age of seven to 16, she went to the Priory of Our ...more
More about Charlotte Bingham...

Other Books in the Series

The Bexham Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Wind Off the Sea
  • The Moon at Midnight
To Hear A Nightingale (Nightingale, #1) Daughters of Eden The Season (The Debutantes #2) The Land Of Summer The Magic Hour

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