Book review · Historical Fiction

The Family at Number 5 by Sheila Newberry – Book Review

This Review is of a WW2 story based in London and it’s suburbs; I am not sure if you have heard of the title or author. I picked it up from the library as the story intrigued me and I do pick up historical fiction from time-to-time.


Title: The Family at Number 5
Author: Sheila Newberry
Publisher: Harlequin Mills & Boon Ltd
Published: 1st published by Piatkus in 2000
Format reviewed: Paperback, 400 pages [2006 edition, Library Copy]
Rating: 4 stars


Moving into Number 5, Kitchener Avenue heralds the start of a new life for the Hope family, but the WW2 looms on the horizon…

Pregnant with her 1st child, Miriam knows it’s a safe environment to bring up her family. For her 14 year old sister, Barbara, it means independence, boys and ballroom dancing. And Fred Hope, it’s his chance to prove he can be a good husband and father. And with the birth of baby Glory, the Hope household is filled with joy.

But WW2 is just around the corner and soon Number 5 is more than a home- it becomes a life-line. As each member of the family goes their separate ways –Fred to war, Barbara to the war office, and Mirry and Glory are evacuated from London to the safety of the country –they’ll do everything they can to survive and be reunited as a family once more.

My thoughts:

I am a fan of stories set around the WW2 as it takes me back in time. Such stories help me to get an idea of what people around the world went through and gives a sense of how life was impacted. It makes you think of how it might have impacted your previous generations too. It is tough talking war time memories with the survivors; but easy and interesting when it’s in a fictional, yet partly real, format. These stories are luxurious in length, crossing into more than 1 generation of characters; their life coming full circle. It’s engaging and immersive reading, to be lost in the lives of the various characters. The war might change the world and society rapidly but there is also a certain slowness that settles down like a fine mist on life. Everything around us changes rapidly and things progress with great speed when we look at the bigger picture. But there is also the luxury of time, while other necessities in life are in short supply people do get time in abundance. And it is this time which inspires adaptability, be it being frugal with the bare necessities or with one’s entertainment. All of which the characters in this story experience and makes for wonderful read. The adaptability makes war time stories utterly magical for me. It’s a pleasure to loose myself in the story’s plot and experience a lifetime with them. Such long and beautifully immersive stories is what makes Reading a wonderful hobby.

Do you love historical fiction or WW2 stories, if you do, Comment below and share with me your favorite ones.

Get your copy of The Family at Number 5

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Reviewed by Bharti

4 thoughts on “The Family at Number 5 by Sheila Newberry – Book Review

  1. Dear Bharti, Thanks for all the encouraging words! I am wondering if you received the advance notice from Bonnier of the new paperback edition of The Family at Number Five – which has been re-entitled A Winter Hope! Same story but as this has been a year of remembrance for both World Wars, very relevant again now… There is a Christmas insertion, at the publisher’s request, a lovely new cover and messages and recipes from me at the back of the book. It is selling really well, which is wonderful…
    Please contact Bonnier Zaffre if you need more details and a new copy …
    Thanks for the good reviews about my other books, I am still writing and there will be two new paperbacks out in 2020! I always read and enjoy your reviews! Sheila Newberry


  2. You made my day when I read your review about The Family at Number Five – a book with many hints of my own family experiences in WW2. Now on Amazon, Bicycles and Blackberries, about a wartime evacuee in a Suffolk village – as an e book and shortly in paperback (new edition by my wonderful new publisher, Bonnier.) Hope you enjoy that one, too! Sheila Newberry


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