This book had me gripped from the first few chapters as Ruby – who is clearly an intelligent woman – battles with her role as a housemaid. But she soon escapes back to the East End of London where her own personal crusade begins.

I loved this novel for so many reasons; a completely different take on the First World War, the sense of time and place, and most of all the fabulously relatable characters. Not only Ruby, but her family, her colleagues at the munitions factory, the local shopkeepers and market traders are all drawn with depth, feeling, and so much detail you feel you understand the lives of the people of Silvertown in the early part of the last century.

The story itself is beautifully crafted and seamlessly written, allowing you to sink into Ruby’s world. If you read only one First World War saga this year – make it Wartime on Sanctuary Lane.