Yet Another Realistic Fiction Of WWII. Lane does a tremendous amount of research for all of her WWII historical novels, then takes licenses where needed to tell the story she is trying to tell within that setting, and this tale is no different. Yet again Lane manages to bring a spotlight to a particularly deadly role in the war, that of the female motorcycle dispatch riders in the UK -where in the author’s note Lane reveals that of the 303 women killed in the line of duty (of 100,000 serving), roughly one third of them were these very riders.
And yet, even in this realism we also get a remarkable sense of who these characters are and some of their all-too-real motivations, as is also typical of a Lane tale. You’re going to fall in love with these women and their men, and that makes the tragedies of war all too real for the reader as well.
The only modicum of anything remotely negative here is likely at least parts of the epilogue, where Lane falls into tropes all too common in romance books (which this could *maybe* qualify as, as well?)… but here again, given the events of the years immediately after the war… even this particular thing is more real than not, and thus contributes to the very “mostly accurate” depiction Lane strives for and achieves.
Ultimately this tale does exactly what Lane set out to do – highlight these women most have never really known about, and tell tales of their lives that are all too plausible in every respect. Very much recommended.
This review of The London Girls by Soraya M. Lane was originally written on October 25, 2022.