Thursday, May 9, 2024

Never Closer

On an ordinary day in 2017, Jo receives a phone call about her 18-year-old daughter, Jessie. It is the call that every parent dreads. In 1940, 17-year-old Alice ties on her facemask and enters a laboratory to harvest a potential new miracle drug called penicillin. The lives of these women become entwined when Jo finds Alice’s diary in a vintage handbag. Past and present overlap and merge as life-changing events resonate for them all across the gulf of time.

This is a story about a diary opening a door on the past, chronicling a young woman’s determination to succeed against all odds, while unknowingly inspiring others to step into a better life. Set against the backdrop of the Second World War, the infancy of antibiotics and a modern medical emergency and its consequences, it not only reminds us how fortunate we are to live now, but also serves as a stark warning about the fragility of life and the dangers of complacency.

Book source ~ TWR Tour
Women's Fiction | Historical Fiction
14 November 2023
229 Pages

My Rating ~ 4 bites and a nibble

Jo is on her way to an event when she gets a phone call from the hospital about her daughter Jessie. As 18-year-old Jessie fights for her life against meningitis, Jo reads a diary found in a vintage handbag while sitting by her bedside. Written by 17-year-old Alice in 1940, her life as a Penicillin Girl resonates with both Jo and Jessie in an unusual way.

Switching back and forth between present day and past this story is one that will keep you turning the pages. I had no idea that the Penicillin Girls were even a thing. I actually didn’t even know how the production of penicillin even got started. Fascinating! The characters are great and the plot moves along at a good pace. I had a hard time putting this down to do real life things. I wanted to find out how everything turned out, in the past and the present. This is a tale that will wring your heart and feed your soul. Don’t pass it up!

Margot Shepherd is a British author who was born in Yorkshire where she spent her childhood. She now lives in rural Sussex with her husband and Springer Spaniel, Genni. When she’s not writing she works in medical research at the University of Surrey. She writes about family relationships with a particular emphasis on women and science from a female point of view.

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