A Review of "Nice Girl's Don't" by Sue Barnard

The timing of the release of this book is appropriate as it touches  on the topic of World War I which is very fitting in the 100th year anniversary of the beginning of  that conflict.

After the death of his grandfather, Carl inherited letters and and an object that aroused his curiosity about his family history and he realised that there was much about his family that his grandfather had never revealed. Carl found unexpected help from his local librarian, Emily, and a regular visitor to the library, Mr. Sykes, an older gentleman with some experience of tracing family trees.

The story is set in 1982 and makes us realise how far computer use has evolved in the past thirty two years as the main characters try to solve the mysteries of past family members and unwittingly discover more shocking secrets as they progress.  Without the use of genealogy websites they attempt to trace the complicated lives of Carl's ancestors back before the beginning of the first world war.

While assisting Carl with his search, Emily tries to find her birth records when she experiments with a microfiche machine and discovers that she doesn't exist! Now there are two mysteries to solve!

Emily has had a fairly strict and manipulated upbringing, sheltered from male friendships and her two previous relationships have left her hurt so she surprised herself by falling hook, line and sinker for the lovely Carl. With potential redundancy hanging over her head and the questions that arise following her discovery that she has no public birth record, Emily has much to cope with but finds the support she needs from Carl.  When Emily discovers the truth about her own complicated past, it brings home to her why she feels so close to her aunt and why her relationships had previously gone wrong.

This book is refreshingly uncomplicated in the romance area and intriguing in the mystery sense.

A good read and an excellent reflection on the horrors and effects of war.


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