Fiction Book Reviews

Historical Romance | Dead to Me | Lesley Pearse

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We’re delighted to be sharing Laura’s thoughts for Dead to Me by Lesley Pearse.

Did Dead to Me measure up to Laura’s expectations?

Book cover for Dead to Me by Lesley Pearce

Two very different women, one unlikely friendship. In the chaos of war-torn Britain, can any relationship survive?

Spring 1935. Two girls meet by chance on Hampstead Heath. To an outsider, they could not appear more different. Verity is well-mannered and smartly dressed, living with her parents in a beautiful house close to the heath. Ruby is dishevelled and grubby, used to a life of squalor where she is forced to steal to survive. Yet there’s an instant affinity between them, and when their fortunes are shockingly reversed, it is the strength of their friendship that keeps them resilient to the challenges and hardships they face.

As Britain prepares for war, Ruby finds herself in Devon with the world at her feet and enjoying her first taste of romance. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, Verity is forced to leave behind everything she has ever known and a shadow from the past threatens her chances of a new beginning. But through it all, the girls are always there for each other. Until the day Verity does the one thing that will break Ruby’s heart.

In a country torn apart by fighting, will Verity and Ruby survive long enough to find a way back to each other? Or do some betrayals go with you to the grave . . .?

Dead to Me is published by Penguin and is available to purchase in digital, hardcover, paperback and audiobook formats.


Dead to Me begins in 1935 when two girls from different backgrounds meet. Verity and Ruby unknowingly share troubled childhoods and they soon become best of friends.

The story continues from this meeting through to the early years of the Second World War as the girls mature. Lesley Pearse gives descriptive passages of the hardships people faced at home during the war entwined with the main characters storylines.

A perceived betrayal between Verity and Ruby causes conflict which disables their friendship for awhile. War preoccupies them both until an overdue encounter of one girl saves the other.

I thought ‘love made visible’ is a beautiful phrase which captures the love felt between Verity and Ruby and the challenges they encompass with others.

As with all Lesley Pearse books I have read, I raced through Dead to Me. It’s another page turner with plenty of twists to keep you riveted throughout. This author has an incredible gift of writing likeable and believable characters that you can’t help but feel their every emotion.

Dead to Me is a story of love and friendship which also tackles other themes of poverty, crime, hatred and neglect.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the next one!

Jera's Jamboree

Connect with Lesley Pearse


Twitter @lesleypearse

I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 9+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.

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