Monday 25 October 2021

#BlogTour A Village in the Country by Elaine Spires

 It's my turn in the BlogTour A Village in the Country by Elaine Spires.

About the Author

Elaine Spires is a novelist, playwright, actress and theatre director.  In spite of travelling intensively and living in several countries - Spain, Greece and Antigua - she remains a proud Dagenham Girl and in 2017 returned to her roots.  Elaine developed an eye for the quirky characteristics of people as she travelled, captivating the humorous observations she now affectionately shares with her readers in all her books.  

As well as the books listed below, Elaine has written several one-act plays and also the stage adaptation of her novel Singles’ Holiday which was performed at the Brentwood Theatre by Melabeau Productions.  She wrote the Antiguan TV Series Paradise View for HAMA TV and Films and in 2019 her short film (co-written with Veronique Christie) Only the Lonely won the Gaucho Club Best Short Film Award and two silver awards at WOFFF (Women Over Fifty Film Festival) in the same year.

Elaine hopes you will enjoy looking further back in time with this book, to an era when Dagenham was simply A Village in the Country.  

Also by Elaine Spires and available in paperback and on Kindle from What’s Eating Me, Sweet Lady, Singles’ Holiday, Singles and Spice, Single All The Way, Singles At Sea, Singles, Set and Match, The Single Best Thing, The Banjo Book One, The Banjo Book Two, You Never See Rainbows At Christmas, Weak At The Knees & The Christmas Queen (novellas), Holiday Reads & Holiday Reads 2 (short story collections). 

Follow @ElaineSWriter on Twitter, on Facebookon Instagram, on Amazon, Visit

About the book

It’s November 1918 and the whole nation comes together to give thanks for the end of a bloody world war that has left few families unscathed.  More than seven hundred thousand men have perished; those fortunate enough to return are mere shadows of the men who left.  Women who have kept the country going by working in munitions factories and picking fruit and vegetables on farms and in market gardens are expected to give up their jobs to the men returning home.  In the peaceful Essex village of Dagenham Milly Brightwell is among the women who are not happy at having to take a step back in peacetime as she dreams and makes plans of becoming her own boss.

But just as life returns to post-war normal, the London County Council announces its plans to build more than twenty-five thousand Homes for Heroes on the farmland and countryside surrounding Dagenham. Within the space of ten years the population will rocket to a hundred thousand people and the quiet country village will morph into the largest housing estate in Europe.  For the families in Dagenham Village looking forward to better times in the 1920s, life will never be the same again.


The war is finally over and the country is rejoicing. Milly is one of many women who find it difficult to take a step back into her pre-war existence. Now the men are slowly returning from war, albeit it only a few of them, they automatically assume the roles they vacated. Roles filled by women during the war.

I liked the way the author used the Dagenham story to create a multiple layered story. You have the war, post-war and rebuilding of society and communities. The families and communities enduring trauma, hardship, loss, pain and the need to adapt to the world after the catastrophic war. Then you also have the advancement in restructuring and modernisation, which changes the face of Dagenham forever. 

On a side-note I also enjoyed the fact the story serves as a reminder that many of today's council estates, which can appear forgotten, a hive of criminal activity, a bustling warren of people living in low socio-economic situations - used to be the modern evolution of homes and living in their day and age.

Spires connects her characters through depth of emotion, their common denominators and linking their experiences of trauma and pain, and also their courage to endure and move forward.

Buy A Village in the Country at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

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