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None Stood Taller: An inspirational WWII story to make your heart soar. (Historical fiction)

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This book is a window into Britain's secret wartime past, step through it and this inspirational story of life and love will make your heart soar. It is March 1941, large swathes of the East End of London lie in ruins. Lily Heywood is just one more victim of the Blitz, lying beneath the rubble of her home. An unbreakable spirit, this is not the end for Lily, it is merely th This book is a window into Britain's secret wartime past, step through it and this inspirational story of life and love will make your heart soar. It is March 1941, large swathes of the East End of London lie in ruins. Lily Heywood is just one more victim of the Blitz, lying beneath the rubble of her home. An unbreakable spirit, this is not the end for Lily, it is merely the beginning. Defying the expectations of her background and social class, she embarks upon an incredible journey that will take her from the ashes of the Blitz to the very top of the British wartime establishment. This is Lily's inspirational story, her life in wartime London, the lifelong friends she makes in the Women's Land Army, and the two men that she is torn between. Heartbreaking one moment, and heartwarming the next, from the very first page right through to the wonderfully unexpected conclusion, you will be unable to put this book down. Lily's life changes dramatically when she is employed by Edward the Earl of Middlebourne. Initially employed to manage His Lordship's stately home and estate, she is unaware of his connection to military intelligence. Lily is invited to partner Edward in the formation of a new section of the Special Operations Executive. Their role is to provide the crucial intelligence which will enable the D-Day landings. Don't just read about wartime Britain; experience it first hand!


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This book is a window into Britain's secret wartime past, step through it and this inspirational story of life and love will make your heart soar. It is March 1941, large swathes of the East End of London lie in ruins. Lily Heywood is just one more victim of the Blitz, lying beneath the rubble of her home. An unbreakable spirit, this is not the end for Lily, it is merely th This book is a window into Britain's secret wartime past, step through it and this inspirational story of life and love will make your heart soar. It is March 1941, large swathes of the East End of London lie in ruins. Lily Heywood is just one more victim of the Blitz, lying beneath the rubble of her home. An unbreakable spirit, this is not the end for Lily, it is merely the beginning. Defying the expectations of her background and social class, she embarks upon an incredible journey that will take her from the ashes of the Blitz to the very top of the British wartime establishment. This is Lily's inspirational story, her life in wartime London, the lifelong friends she makes in the Women's Land Army, and the two men that she is torn between. Heartbreaking one moment, and heartwarming the next, from the very first page right through to the wonderfully unexpected conclusion, you will be unable to put this book down. Lily's life changes dramatically when she is employed by Edward the Earl of Middlebourne. Initially employed to manage His Lordship's stately home and estate, she is unaware of his connection to military intelligence. Lily is invited to partner Edward in the formation of a new section of the Special Operations Executive. Their role is to provide the crucial intelligence which will enable the D-Day landings. Don't just read about wartime Britain; experience it first hand!

30 review for None Stood Taller: An inspirational WWII story to make your heart soar. (Historical fiction)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Trammell

    Wonderful book Makes me really want to dig deep and study the D-Day landings. This was a beautiful story from start to finish. Can't wait to read the preceding book and the next in the series. I will definitely recommend this book/series. Thank God for all of what these brave people did in 1944 for our freedom and one was my Daddy a WW 2 vet! Wonderful book Makes me really want to dig deep and study the D-Day landings. This was a beautiful story from start to finish. Can't wait to read the preceding book and the next in the series. I will definitely recommend this book/series. Thank God for all of what these brave people did in 1944 for our freedom and one was my Daddy a WW 2 vet!

  2. 4 out of 5

    rob muir

    Great read I was gripped by page 1of this story and 5hrs later, was saddened to finish it. Just a tip, don't start reading this, just before bed, as you won't want to put the book down. You can feel the emotions of each character and also part of their lives. I have read many many books, but this has got to be one of the best. Great read I was gripped by page 1of this story and 5hrs later, was saddened to finish it. Just a tip, don't start reading this, just before bed, as you won't want to put the book down. You can feel the emotions of each character and also part of their lives. I have read many many books, but this has got to be one of the best.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Malcolm

    Firstly, I need to say that I read the paperback of this book, but according to Goodreads it is only available as an e-read, all very strange. Secondly, I did enjoy the bbok, it was extremely well researched and factual in so many ways, and I learnt a lot about the SOE operations. I am an avid reader of WWII historical fiction, and so am maybe a harsh critic. However, I found the storyline of Lily to be rather detached and written in a staid kind of way, so I found her a bit irritating. I just did Firstly, I need to say that I read the paperback of this book, but according to Goodreads it is only available as an e-read, all very strange. Secondly, I did enjoy the bbok, it was extremely well researched and factual in so many ways, and I learnt a lot about the SOE operations. I am an avid reader of WWII historical fiction, and so am maybe a harsh critic. However, I found the storyline of Lily to be rather detached and written in a staid kind of way, so I found her a bit irritating. I just didn't get the emotional attachment to the characters in the same way that the "class leaders" in this era managed. (The Nightingale, The things we cannot say, and The invisible Bridge). Others will disagree, and I note that so far I am in the minority. I would still recommend it though.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve Montcombroux

    Backstage to D-Day Have you ever wondered how the Allies chose the Normandy beaches they used to execute the landing of over 150,000 men and equipment? The author takes you backstage to this dramatic event, with meticulous research and riveting details. In the midst of top secret exploits, there is the story of a beautiful friendship between three young women. Despite the pressures of the war, they each fall in love, but for Lily it is not straightforward. She falls in love with two men. The one w Backstage to D-Day Have you ever wondered how the Allies chose the Normandy beaches they used to execute the landing of over 150,000 men and equipment? The author takes you backstage to this dramatic event, with meticulous research and riveting details. In the midst of top secret exploits, there is the story of a beautiful friendship between three young women. Despite the pressures of the war, they each fall in love, but for Lily it is not straightforward. She falls in love with two men. The one who holds the biggest claim to her heart belongs to the aristocracy. Would such a man ever marry a girl from the East End of London? This probably is the reason she gives in to Greg, the estate manager. The author paints a vivid picture of life in the East End of London, as well as an incisive view of aristocratic society. What shines throughout the book is the spirit and dedication of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and the vitality and resilience of human beings. One character’s insight resonated with me as we emerge from a devastating pandemic and face an uncertain future: “We tried to continue as normal during the Blitz. That perception of normality was an illusion which shattered the moment I heard the first sounds of distant explosions.” An excellent read for fans of WWII fiction.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    One of the most inspirational and historically riveting books that I have read in a long, long time. An incredible look at the behind the scenes planning of D-Day but more importantly it was a tremendous motivational read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Reviews I read about this book were extremely misleading. First disappointment was the lack of history, as one is lead to believe. A lot of time was spent on unnecessary details about silly things and key parts were skipped entirely. Everyone is attractive and dressed well, which is unrealistic. Almost everyone who is married is unhappy and seeing someone else or open to it. The main character, Lily, is often referred to having demons she needs to overcome and had a not so good upbringing,l. Nei Reviews I read about this book were extremely misleading. First disappointment was the lack of history, as one is lead to believe. A lot of time was spent on unnecessary details about silly things and key parts were skipped entirely. Everyone is attractive and dressed well, which is unrealistic. Almost everyone who is married is unhappy and seeing someone else or open to it. The main character, Lily, is often referred to having demons she needs to overcome and had a not so good upbringing,l. Neither of these explained or supported. Her parents seem happily married and love her. What’s not great about that? She also has self confidence issues, which are brought up time and again, yet she comes across extremely self confidence and at times, annoyingly so. A wonderful story is here to be told, but this book is a poor attempt. A portion of the book has the main character torn between two love interests. In the end we learn how things pan out but there is no bridge as to how it happened. Why spend so much time developing the “torment” of which man the main character loves more, to simply conclude with a loose reference to who is in her life in the end? If that’s the author’s choice of an ending, then less time should have been spend dramatizing something for nothing. The ending was terrible. It continued the author’s style of too many details on all the wrong things. A new character is introduced, which is fine, but his conversation with the main character about having an affair with a model, has absolutely nothing to do with anything. It took away from the story’s ending and main purpose of the book. Completely unnecessary. This book will NOT make your heart soar. Quite the opposite. The inspirational story is terribly watered down by uninteresting things. Would not recommend.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Flora

    Ordinary People Performing Extraordinary Feats I rarely enjoy fiction. This is an unusual exception. I felt like it was true and non fiction. The romantic thread running through was delicious and believable. I have read 1000's of books about the years of World War all. I was born in 1939 and never told anything about the war except that my father admired Hitler and was of the pure Aryan race and l was revolted as l grew to know the horrors of those years and what the Nazi leadership created to de Ordinary People Performing Extraordinary Feats I rarely enjoy fiction. This is an unusual exception. I felt like it was true and non fiction. The romantic thread running through was delicious and believable. I have read 1000's of books about the years of World War all. I was born in 1939 and never told anything about the war except that my father admired Hitler and was of the pure Aryan race and l was revolted as l grew to know the horrors of those years and what the Nazi leadership created to destroy so many people. I was obsessed for many years. I could not distance myself from the reality of the war. I cannot believe the torment the Nazi's forced on the world , nor that those types of thinking are still alive in society. This story was fascinating to me and featured normal people performing amazing feats. Thank goodness such types of people existed and thrived and defeated the plans of a man like Hitler.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kristina Trawick

    Look out Wonder Woman This novel is anything but gripping. Starts with a young woman who worked at a shipping office barely surviving the Blitzkrieg. For some reason, and I guess it's a secret, the dude who owned the office had taken her under his wing and transformed her into a super being that can be anything she puts her mind to. She ends up as manager of a large estate within a month of leaving London. Are we to believe landed aristocracy would hire a woman in her 20s, born and raised in East Look out Wonder Woman This novel is anything but gripping. Starts with a young woman who worked at a shipping office barely surviving the Blitzkrieg. For some reason, and I guess it's a secret, the dude who owned the office had taken her under his wing and transformed her into a super being that can be anything she puts her mind to. She ends up as manager of a large estate within a month of leaving London. Are we to believe landed aristocracy would hire a woman in her 20s, born and raised in East End with no social background, to run a huge estate? I guess that is her super power, able to leap large socio-economic gaps in a single bound. I got half way through and just could not take it any more. The whole story line becomes unrealistic. I love good novels that tell of the heart and strength of those that lived in the Hell of WWII in Europe, England, Ireland, etc. This is trite. I'm sorry that it lost me, wanted to like it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shirley Perry

    Much more than I expected. I think one of the best World War 11 books I have read. Definitely a page turner. It is fiction but factual too. Very interesting and romantic also. Lily is the heroine and actually saved by being needed because of her work ethic and determination, she accomplishes unbelievable problems and always has the right answers for everything. Can anyone be that smart? I guess so. I did find that a bit over the top but that might be the only thing I didn't like. She fluctuated Much more than I expected. I think one of the best World War 11 books I have read. Definitely a page turner. It is fiction but factual too. Very interesting and romantic also. Lily is the heroine and actually saved by being needed because of her work ethic and determination, she accomplishes unbelievable problems and always has the right answers for everything. Can anyone be that smart? I guess so. I did find that a bit over the top but that might be the only thing I didn't like. She fluctuated from being an emotional mess to superior to all. I did read the entire book though and I have to say I did enjoy it. I would read him again.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jan Mcclung-short

    Another Day in War This book takes you on a fast journey. It captures you heart and touches your soul. War changes everything for Lily. She was to become a force that was hard to best. She shows us what every women should do...the best they can and be proud of their accomplishments. She traveles to her grandmothers to recover from the bomb blast that killed her neighbor and twin boys. Finding two women staying in her grandmothers home become closer to her than sisters. Becoming part of the SOE, Another Day in War This book takes you on a fast journey. It captures you heart and touches your soul. War changes everything for Lily. She was to become a force that was hard to best. She shows us what every women should do...the best they can and be proud of their accomplishments. She traveles to her grandmothers to recover from the bomb blast that killed her neighbor and twin boys. Finding two women staying in her grandmothers home become closer to her than sisters. Becoming part of the SOE, changes her life. Loving two men is tearing her heart apart.

  11. 4 out of 5

    D. Jane Akins

    I wish I could have given this one many more stars than just 5 The story starts out very differently than it ends so don’t get discouraged. So much history about D-Day gets woven into the story. I’ve read a few factual accounts about the preparation for D-Day and those facts are well established in this book but with a wonderful personalization of the people involved woven in. It also weaves in the life of British aristocracy prior to the war and how things could change. All in all, this is a boo I wish I could have given this one many more stars than just 5 The story starts out very differently than it ends so don’t get discouraged. So much history about D-Day gets woven into the story. I’ve read a few factual accounts about the preparation for D-Day and those facts are well established in this book but with a wonderful personalization of the people involved woven in. It also weaves in the life of British aristocracy prior to the war and how things could change. All in all, this is a book not to miss.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mark F

    History part is interesting but... The history part is interesting, but just not enough of it. The main character is brilliant, a tremendous singer, and every personnel decision she makes is absolutely perfect . And the two friends she makes at a farm are both absolutely brilliant. The story was over the top to the nth degree and completely distracted from the real story. And at the end of the book her godson's story had no reason being told. Kind a waste of time and wish I did not finish it. History part is interesting but... The history part is interesting, but just not enough of it. The main character is brilliant, a tremendous singer, and every personnel decision she makes is absolutely perfect . And the two friends she makes at a farm are both absolutely brilliant. The story was over the top to the nth degree and completely distracted from the real story. And at the end of the book her godson's story had no reason being told. Kind a waste of time and wish I did not finish it.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Allums

    Heroic! I was 9 years old when this happened! Old enough to be excited because it was a turning point in the war in Europe. I turned 10 a few weeks after the war ended in the South Pacific and along with others, beat on pans and celebrated. No one was aware at that time of the people in the background who helped make it happen! Read this and a appreciate the freedom we have today!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Susana

    Started slow, but ended up being a beautifully written story. At first this book felt like it was taking forever to get to the story. But once it got to it, I realized why the author lead up to it the way he did. The back story of Lily helped me understand her character and who she was. This book was a beautiful story of friendship and love, it reminds the reader of sacrifices generations before us have taken for our present and future.

  15. 5 out of 5

    susan shrimpton

    None stood taller I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book it was completely different to the books I normally read I was hooked from the first page, starting with the bombing of London in the blitz and the mother and two children dying Lily’s journey from that horrific day to her employment and work with the ministry during the war, and the numerous friends and staff she dealt with during that time

  16. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Coyne

    Book was ok. I found the story sort of a fantasy about the perfect woman who fixes everything and helped set up the D-day invasion during WW2. The way the the woman (Lily) handled all aspects of her life she made everything better for everyone. I am surprised she was not on the beaches in Normandy leading the landing which I am sure would have gone smoother if she was there to oversee the landing.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Edna Lambert

    Extremely Inspirational. One of the most interesting books I’ve read. I truly could not put it down. The author made the days of World War II come alive and the secret strategies initiated for D-Day. I laughed and cried my way through the daily lives of the brave men and women of that generation. I recommend this book to anyone that loves a novel of historical significance. Edna Lambert

  18. 4 out of 5

    gail

    Read book in no time at all. Lily was a true heroine but sometimes I felt "oh my goodness what can't she do well?" I was disappointed not more regarding Lily's choice between Greg and Edward. I am happy she chose Edward and I was disappointed when she slept with Greg because I thought he would be her choice. The story of WWII is one of the best I ever read and it gave me a better insight of the D-Day and the preparations for it. Read book in no time at all. Lily was a true heroine but sometimes I felt "oh my goodness what can't she do well?" I was disappointed not more regarding Lily's choice between Greg and Edward. I am happy she chose Edward and I was disappointed when she slept with Greg because I thought he would be her choice. The story of WWII is one of the best I ever read and it gave me a better insight of the D-Day and the preparations for it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Dora Guerra

    None Stood Taller This is an excellent account of the planning that went into D Day. The title however might have better been Wonder Woman, given that the main character was endowed by the author with super human efficiency, intelligence, endurance, in short flawless. A mistake here and there might have made her more human. Still it is a good story with well crafted characters. The story flowed well and worth the read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    KJ Roberts

    Unrecognized History, Told Well This story tells, in wonderful detail, the story of a small group who planned D-Day. They worked behind the scenes, outside of military circles and painstakingly laid the groundwork for Operation Overlord, the massive D-Day invasion of Europe that ultimately led to Hitler's defeat. It's a history worth knowing. And while the story told is slightly saccharin in a few places, it's well worth reading. Unrecognized History, Told Well This story tells, in wonderful detail, the story of a small group who planned D-Day. They worked behind the scenes, outside of military circles and painstakingly laid the groundwork for Operation Overlord, the massive D-Day invasion of Europe that ultimately led to Hitler's defeat. It's a history worth knowing. And while the story told is slightly saccharin in a few places, it's well worth reading.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda Parkhurst

    One of the best WW 2 books I have ever read Lily, Fi and Dotty are hero’s. I don’t want to give much away but the spirit of Britain and those who served deserves medals every single one of them. From the East Endof London and the blitz’s that took so many life went on. From doing ones but to serving in a secret operation where you will never be recognized. This was a story of courage, friendship, love, war strategy and so much more.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mark Harrison

    A Book For The Pandemic This book has lifted me to another place during these horrendous times. I could picture the characters , places and events. I wasn't sure in the first chapter but now absolutely love this book. I was totally captured with everything and just wished this type of sprit was alive during the Pandemic. Amazing and well done A Book For The Pandemic This book has lifted me to another place during these horrendous times. I could picture the characters , places and events. I wasn't sure in the first chapter but now absolutely love this book. I was totally captured with everything and just wished this type of sprit was alive during the Pandemic. Amazing and well done

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gill Naylor

    A wonderful read I quickly became involved with the characters , amazing insight into the fears and tragedies of WWII. An education into the intricacies of how the war progressed and was won, and amazing depiction of characters, their lives, relationships, vital roles in a secret world of strategy, strong women, bravery, fortitude. Makes me proud of the British

  24. 5 out of 5

    denise Lecuyer

    Wonderful story. I wish I could give it 20 stars. If you love historical fiction this is the book for you. A lot of research went into this story, I know because I am very familiar with WWII history. You will not be able to put this book down. The characters are so well written that you can't wait to see what happens to them next. Wonderful story. I wish I could give it 20 stars. If you love historical fiction this is the book for you. A lot of research went into this story, I know because I am very familiar with WWII history. You will not be able to put this book down. The characters are so well written that you can't wait to see what happens to them next.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Elizabeth

    Book Review I loved this book and couldn't put it down. I was in love with all the characters especially Lily. I kept wanting to know more and loved the historical backdrop. Worth the read and one of the best books I've read in the time period of World War Two. Can't wait to read Lily's story and more from this author. Book Review I loved this book and couldn't put it down. I was in love with all the characters especially Lily. I kept wanting to know more and loved the historical backdrop. Worth the read and one of the best books I've read in the time period of World War Two. Can't wait to read Lily's story and more from this author.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mary Sue Wilson

    Loved this Novel This is a well-written novel that keeps the reader interested. In fact, it was hard to put down. The ending was different. It left me with several questions. I will probably think about about the possibilities for days. I highly recommend to anyone who likes WW2 fiction.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Leanna Hettinger

    Wonderful Read I wasn’t aware of this top secret happening in England. I’m assuming this is the historical part. Strong female characters, that usually didn’t get any credit. Loved Churchill in the story. A good ending, yet it’s a war story........so unfortunately we lost so many people. Peace

  28. 5 out of 5

    Susan T Walker

    Truly a worthwhile, lovely book. The sacrifices of so many during WWII, and what it took to make D-Day happen is both awesome , sobering, and worthy of so much gratitude. This wonderful book is exciting and detailed in the realities of the times. I loved this book and the humbling history lesson built within it for anyone who decides to read it. Just a great book!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Bob Wiseman

    I have always had an interest in Bletchley Park and the codebreakers and designers of D-day. My dad was a codebreaker in WWII so my interest comes naturally. The way this book was put together and the facts that it revealed are outstanding. Author Turnham did some serious research for this great read. Many kudos from one author to another. I know what it takes to get the words right.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Moore

    Mixed feelings on this book. On the one hand, it was great historically and it did teach a good lesson about overcoming your fears and perseverance. On the other hand, it was a bit juvenile in the personality of some of the characters. And….too many exclamation points by far. They seemed out of place many times.

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