The Woman with the Map by Jan Casey

Historical fiction, especially WWII historical fiction, is one of my favorite genres so when I saw this book come up on Rachel’s Random Resources tour list I jumped on it. Today is pub day for this book so I wanted to bring it to you right away. Be sure to check out the other tour stops over the next few days.

Book Blurb

February 1941

The world is at war and Joyce Cooper is doing her bit for the war effort. A proud member of the Civil Defense, it is her job to assist the people of Notting Hill when the bombs begin to fall. But as the Blitz takes hold of London, Joyce is called upon to plot the devastation that follows in its wake. Night after night she must stand before her map and mark the trail of loss and suffering inflicted upon the homes, families and businesses she knows so well.

February 1974

Decades later from her basement flat Joyce watches the world go by above her head. This is her haven; the home she created for herself having had so much taken from her in the war. But now the council is tearing down her block of flats and she's forced to move. Could this chance to start over allow Joyce to let go of the past and step back into her life?


The book opens with Joyce in 1974 receiving urgent mail. She makes a comment that they don't know what urgent means. This sets the tone for the rest of the book and her experiences in 1941. Most of the book is from 1941, and to me that was the most interesting part. As a plotter, Joyce marked the locations of bombs during the Blitz. I can't imagine what that would have been like. The autor does a great job showing us the emotion Joyce feels. This is a little different type of historical fiction novel. It focuses on Joyce in London and does not bring in the outside war.

This is a fascinating book. I've read many WWII historical fiction books and love when I can find a story that is new to me. I had no idea plotters was a job. I also enjoyed Joyce after the war ended and her return to her pre-war life. It is not something included in many WWII historical fiction novels but it is something everyone in a war has to do. They need to return to normal life.

Author Bio

Jan Casey's novels, like her first - The Women of Waterloo Bridge - explore the themes of how ordinary people are affected by extraordinary events during any period in history, including the present. Jan is fascinated with the courage, adaptability and resilience that people rise to in times of adversity and for which they do not expect pay, praise or commendation. Jan is also interested in writing about the similarities as opposed to the differences amongst people and the ways in which experiences and emotions bind humans together.

Jan was born in London but spent her childhood in Southern California. She was a teacher of English and Drama for many years and is now a Learning Supervisor at a college of further education.

When she is not working or writing, Jan enjoys yoga, swimming, cooking, walking, reading and spending time with her grandchildren.

Before becoming a published author, Jan had short stories and flash fictions published.

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