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Eva’s War is an historical romance set in early 1940s London. EVA (24), a young, married, working woman, who continues with her daily routine until a new clerk, BERTIE (30), comes to work at the bank she is a secretary at and begins to change her life in many ways. The novel follows Eva’s relationships and reveals her own secrets as she fights her own war.
Leaving her mentally ill husband, FREDDY (26), at home whilst she goes to work in a bank, Eva is introduced to a new colleague, Bertie. A feeling overcomes Eva and she isn’t sure what it is, until she later realises that she rather likes Bertie. However, an argument between the two of them leaves Eva feeling unsure of what to make of this new clerk.
Freddy is taken into hospital after he injures himself, Eva later finds his medication has been discarded. He spends a few days in the care of the nurses leaving Eva home alone for a couple of nights. Bertie seizes this chance to not only comfort Eva, but to develop their relationship with one another.
Upon finding that Freddy didn’t carry out a few simple tasks Eva had given him, she criticises Freddy for not helping her out. This turns into an argument about how little Freddy does to help Eva and how he should find himself a job to help with the finances instead of sitting about at home. Freddy is unable to get a word in edgeways. When Eva returns home from work the following day, to her dismay she discovers that Freddy has signed up to join the Navy and is soon to leave for training.
On their way home after an evening at the cinema, Eva and Bertie get caught out by an air raid. There is nothing for it but to find the nearest shelter, an underground station. The platform is full of men, women, and children, but Eva and Bertie soon find a space for them at the far end and they soon settle down for the night. When the all clear sounds, everyone slowly makes their exit. In the crowd, Eva spies an older woman looking Bertie up and down although he doesn’t notice himself. This woman eventually speaks up and questions why he is still in England and not fighting in the war like every other young man. Bertie is rather taken aback but is unable to stand up for himself. His lack of confidence surprises Eva who takes hold of the situation and puts the nosey woman in her place.
Eva discovers that she has missed her monthly cycle for the last few months and hastily telephones her doctors surgery to make an appointment for a pregnancy test. Eva returns to the surgery a week later to receive her results, they are positive as she had suspected. Having had a stillbirth the previous year, Eva is somewhat nervous and scared but keeps it secret.
Freddy returns home from training only to be sent off to war 24 hours later. He has only been away for a few days before Eva receives a telegram holding the news all women dread. It simply tells her that Freddy is ‘Missing in action’. Eva instantly bursts into tears at the news and loses control of herself as she collapses onto the living room floor in hysterics. Leaving her in a state of depression, Eva struggles to leave her bed the following day despite desperate attempts from Bertie knocking at her door.
Bertie takes Eva away for the May bank holiday weekend to meet his family at his grandmother’s house in the country. Eva is nervous of course, but despite their class differences she gets on well with Bertie’s family to begin with. Things start to spiral out of control when Bertie’s family find out that Eva is pregnant, believing it to be his. Eva feels ashamed as the family scorn her, and she cannot wait to return to London. But upon their return, Bertie wants to find out a few home truths resulting in Eva wanting to run away from London and Bertie.
It is now May 1945 and two weeks since VE Day. Freddy stands on the pavement looking at what remains of his home after it had been obliterated by a bomb. So much has changed since he left for war. He doesn’t stand there for long, a letter in his hand instructs him to go to the bank his wife works at. When Freddy gets there, nothing is as he expected.