Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Chestnut Tree” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
The Chestnut Tree
 
by
Charlotte Bingham
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Chestnut Tree (The Bexham Trilogy #1)

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  167 Ratings  ·  20 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 Me
...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 552 pages
Published January 11th 2003 by Thorndike Press (first published 2002)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Chestnut Tree, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Chestnut Tree

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 358)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
KOMET
A poignant, well-written novel set in the fishing village of Bexham, spanning the years 1939 to 1945.
Jae
Feb 24, 2015 Jae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I vowed after reading Charlotte Binghams " Summertime" that I would never read another of her books it was that awful. But I picked this one up by mistake and actually enjoyed it. It's still not fantastic but the writing flowed nicely and it was easy to read. The Chestnut tree itself could have held more significance particularly as the story starts with it's introduction. I found there were too many characters with no specific main person, and the story only skims on their personalities and may
...more
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
...more
Marlene Lewis
Apr 25, 2011 Marlene Lewis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
LindyLouMac
http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/4...

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
...more
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
Stacy
Sep 17, 2013 Stacy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
AJ
Mar 26, 2016 AJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
The first third of the book was tough to get through. I know it built background on each of the characters but I'll admit to skim reading paragraphs. Once the War got underway it improved at lot. I like how the characters intertwined through out the book. It was a little difficult keeping track of so many but got easier as the story developed.
Andrée
Oct 25, 2015 Andrée rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
WWII lite - covers just about every service - briefly, ditto modes of death; luckily most of the men are sexy and often good looking too.
"If he could he'd take his heart out and give it you on a plate..." - ugh.
Nice light weight escapist read but overpriced at 50p
Karen
Dec 29, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed all of the strong women and their respective roles during WWII. This book reminds me of the wonderful movies from the 1940s and the details create authentic images without being overly graphic.
Adi
Feb 17, 2010 Adi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Jen
May 19, 2009 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
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
Jan 19, 2014 Shonna Froebel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Characters good and believable.
Situations described well, catching.
Debbie
Mar 09, 2016 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it couldn't put it down
Sarah Chantler
Jan 27, 2013 Sarah Chantler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Trisha
Apr 25, 2009 Trisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Denise Johanson
Jan 06, 2016 Denise Johanson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book, loved the characters and the subject of war and how each character had the cards dealt to them, enjoyable
Stacy
I loved this book - great insight into what a war would be like for women; and to have war in your country.
Sue
Sep 08, 2012 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great, realistic story of women in England and their individual contributions to the war effort in WWII.
Fran Piercey
Mar 31, 2010 Fran Piercey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Set in England during WW2. It focused on the women left behind.
Iro
Iro marked it as to-read
May 01, 2016
Cally
Cally marked it as to-read
Apr 25, 2016
Catherine
Catherine rated it it was ok
Apr 18, 2016
Mary Anne
Mary Anne is currently reading it
Apr 10, 2016
Shreen Gough
Shreen Gough marked it as to-read
Apr 06, 2016
Jane
Jane marked it as to-read
Mar 27, 2016
Louise Mcintosh
Louise Mcintosh marked it as to-read
Mar 27, 2016
Eloise
Eloise rated it really liked it
Mar 20, 2016
Judy Flaherty
Judy Flaherty marked it as to-read
Mar 17, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Lady Of Sherwood
  • Falling to Earth
  • A Woman of Cairo
  • Doreen
  • Goodbye Piccadilly
  • One Summer at Deer's Leap
  • A Mother's Love
  • Camp Nine
  • Tomahawk (White Indian, #6)
  • A Ruthless Need
  • Coldwater
  • The Big Beautiful
  • Raising Hope
  • The Choice
  • Legend of the Celtic Stone (Caledonia, #1)
  • The Ice Soldier
  • Blossom Comes Home
  • Beware This Boy (Detective Inspector Tom Tyler, #2)
171491
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

Share This Book