Reviewed by Jennifer Joyce
The VE Day celebrations are in full swing when Connie Dixon meets Eva Maxwell through a mutual friend. The girls spend the day together and feel a new friendship blossoming, until it dawns on Connie and Eva that they are both part of feuding families. They don’t know why the Dixon and Maxwell families started the feud years ago, but both feel a sense of fierce loyalty and it seems the friendship is never to be. But, as life begins to return to normal after the war, Connie and Eva meet up again during their nurses training and decide to put the ancient feud to rest. Connie meets Eva’s brother, Roger, and the pair start to see more of each other, however Connie has feelings for local artist Eugene, despite him being engaged to another woman.
Pack Up Your Troubles is a story of love, friendship and secrets. Connie has a secret from her past that she has kept locked away, but events beyond her control mean her past is about to resurface once again.
There is quite a lot going on in the book, from Connie’s love life and her forbidden friendship with Eva, to her dark past and the mystery of who is behind a series of poison pen letters that are destroying people’s lives. As the book moves along, we find out more and more about Connie’s past, which slowly comes back to haunt her and becomes quite sinister.
I thought the new friendship between Connie and Eva was believable, especially as they bonded during their nurses training, where they are forced to work together as part of their job and I also liked the older friendship between Connie and Kez, a gypsy she has known since she was a young girl. Kez moves around the country often, but whenever she and Connie cross paths again, they pick up where they left off.