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The Second World War. It’s not all fighting and glory; there are battles on the Home Front, too, and some are not exactly heroic. That’s what injured naval officer Harry discovers when he befriends conscientious objector Jim—a friendship frowned upon in their small Welsh valley even before they begin to fall in love. But they both have secrets to conceal, and it takes a bizarre sequence of events before the full truth can be uncovered.
A novel about healing, compromise, making the best of it, and just plain managing to survive.
If you’ve just finished reading something incredibly angsty or sad, you’ll benefit from picking up a copy of Make Do And Mend.
A historical read set during WWII, Make Do And Mend has the slowest slow burn ever in the history of ever, but you’ll quickly fall in love with British naval officer Harry. He’s been sent home to recover from an injury, and he’s not quite ready to talk about the accident that happened on his watch and left two men dead.
While healing on his family’s sprawling, storied estate, Harry meets the newly-hired handyman, Jim. It’s clear Jim’s harboring some secret demons of his own, but the two men manage to come together to work on various projects around the farm. Even though many in the town shun Jim for objecting to the war, Harry defends Jim and the two men form a strong friendship.
Harry and Jim are so sweet together, but it takes them an excruciatingly long time to figure out they might be more than friends. Even though Harry knows who and what he is, Jim has lived much of his life in denial. They’re also both extremely sensitive to the fact that they live in a time when homosexuality is considered a crime. (Oh. I should mention here that Jim’s a virgin. Yes, I just let out a heavy sigh. Caution, though. Most all of the sexy time happens off page. *Cries.*)
Make Do And Mend is well written, descriptive and engaging, but I found it to be a bit too much of all those things at times, too. A very strong cast of supporting characters—including Harry’s jerk of a brother and other more likeable folks—helped to move things along and kept the story interesting enough that I ended up really cheering for Harry and Jim to find a way to be together. It was a story about finding yourself and learning to accept who you are, and I enjoyed the experience very much.