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  • Where the Sky Begins

  • A Novel
  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Emma Griffiths
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Summary

A woman’s future is determined by fate and choice in a gripping WWII novel about danger, triumph, and second chances by the New York Times best-selling author of The Venice Sketchbook and The Tuscan Child.

London, 1940. Bombs fall and Josie Banks’ world crumbles around her. Her overbearing husband, Stan, is unreachable, called to service. Her home, a ruin of rubble and ash. Josie’s beloved tearoom boss has been killed, and Josie herself is injured, with nothing left and nowhere to go.

Evacuated to the English countryside, Josie ends up at the estate of the aristocratic Miss Harcourt, a reluctant host to the survivors of the Blitz. Awed as she is by the magnificent landscape, Josie sees opportunity. Josie convinces Miss Harcourt to let her open a humble tea shop, seeing it as a chance for everyone to begin again. When Josie meets Mike Johnson, a handsome Canadian pilot stationed at a neighboring bomber base, a growing intimacy brings her an inner peace she’s never felt before. Then Stan returns from the war.

Now a threat looms larger than anyone imagined. And a dangerous secret is about to upend Josie’s life again. Her newfound courage will be put to the test if she is to emerge, like a survivor, triumphant.

©2022 Janet Quin-Harkin, writing as Rhys Bowen (P)2022 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Where the Sky Begins

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  • Tony
  • 14-08-22

Probably the worst Rhys Bowen book I have read

Compared to all her wonderful books, this one seems to be something she might have written in high school. There was not a whole lot of plot, the characters were fairly shallow, and there was no excitement or suspense in the book. Very amateurish. I am returning this book for the credit.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Karen
  • 11-08-22

Women can be both strong and kind

The main character takes the reader on an improbable journey through WWII in England. Throughout her story, her strength slowly seeps through all of the events that happen. Although, her physical strength is evident, her emotional intelligence and kindness also lends to her strength as a woman to survive in those harrowing times. I really enjoyed reading about a character who was able to be kind and tough. A lot of strong female leads tend not to have both traits. I enjoyed the audible version as the reader brought the characters to life.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Liz russell
  • 29-08-22

Great story!

I really enjoyed this book. The story was well told and very satisfying. I loved the characters. Some plot twists were a bit predictable but this does not detract from the enjoyability factor.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Barbara DePietro
  • 26-08-22

Wonderful WWII Historical Novel

It gave the courage and suffering of the civil population of England a human face. They somehow persevered and brought others along with them. Strangers, aliens and small children, the elderly all sacrificed to support one another. It was a beautiful story with lots and of twists and turns. I really loved it!

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  • Sundance
  • 18-08-22

Not one of her best

This book was okay but there were plot points and pacing that didn't always work. Some things were kind of tedious and went on and on and then others were just sort of rushed through. The whole final portion of the book felt forced and I didn't like how it went. The backstory for Mike was handled poorly and I wish it hadn't been there in the first place. There were some parts that were predictable and other parts where yiu didn't know what would happen. Overall it seemed uneven and didn't seem as tightly crafted as some of her other books.

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  • ZR.
  • 05-08-22

Love love love

Ryan Bowen can’t write a bad book. I have read most everything she’s written too. Another lovely story I won’t forget. Highly recommend.

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  • Anne Ruszkiewicz
  • 30-09-22

A wonder heart warming story

Like all of Rhys Bowen’s historical novels, especially those set in WWII, the story is captivating with unique but believable characters that one cares about and very convincing historical atmosphere. There are enough twists to the story to keep up the tension to the end. The end may be predictable but very satisfying.

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  • Scanmandan1
  • 28-09-22

remembering those lost ones

The London Blitz was real and many people were misplaced or worst, killed. Rhys Bowen has written a very moving tale of one woman's plight after losing her home during the German bombing of London during WWII. Josie's world is turned upside down but she manages to turn the lives of her host village members around with her urge to help others.

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  • Dee
  • 17-09-22

Looking for more!

I have really enjoyed this book! and am looking for more like it. the narrator was pretty good except for the "sin gging" pronunciations which drove me crazy.

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  • SallyS
  • 14-09-22

Amazing

I read this book for a school project, and it was one of the first books I thoroughly enjoyed for the content. The narration was very pleasant with a relaxed and calm female voice narrating everything. The speed of the narration is just right to allow you to digest the information while still being fast enough to not be slow and boring. The story was absolutely amazing with many twists and new locations through the story (3-4 major setting depending how you count it, and many, many twists and unexpected events that occur).