This is the third book in the Seasons of Change series. Rees introduces us to yet another strong woman in this compelling saga series.
Rebecca is the daughter of Dafydd and Kathleen Jenkin [Kathleen was previously referred to as an O’Hara as her stage surname in the previous novel, White Roses.]
The story begins as Rebecca is working as a nurse on the ward at Merthyr Tydfil’s General Hospital, where she meets the handsome but arrogant doctor, Daniel Evans. Their relationship begins to develop but meanwhile she encounters, Doctor Mansell Owen, a married man with several children. He takes a shine to Rebecca and she to him, but she realises it’s a relationship she cannot pursue. Mansell’s wife has a serious mental health condition which she’s developed since the birth of their last child and requires constant supervision.
Daniel grows increasing distant towards Rebecca which causes her great concern, she doesn’t find out the real reason for his cold-hearted behaviour until the night they both dine at Doctor Owen’s home and there, Rebecca sees for herself what Mansell has to cope with regarding his wife’s often hysterical and unpredictable behaviour.
A request from Mansell to send his wife to Cardigan for recuperation to stay with family at their farm, sends Rebecca on a journey to West Wales where she becomes a carer for the doctor’s wife on a short term basis.
I don’t want to reveal any more of the story not to give the plot away but several taboos are broken in this book. Life for women was pretty miserable back then but Rees smashes down barriers — her heroines are not for the faint-hearted. Even the great social reformer, Caroline Norton, gets a mention here.
The novel, Blue Skies, is a roller coaster of a ride which takes the reader from Merthyr to Cardigan and back again. By the time you’ve finished this book, you’ll feel like you’ve been on a journey yourself. Whilst at times it’s tinged with sadness, there is a great flame of hope burning brightly throughout this story. I love the way the author writes about women of substance who end up changing things for the better.
‘J. Gowerton’ – Loves Books