AUTHOR Sarah Colliver brought the 1940s to life as she launched her latest book at Ruardean Village Hall.

With the help of friends and the local community, Sarah set up Second World War-themed stalls for the event marking her first foray into historical fiction with her book When War Came to Laundry Cottage which is set in the early 1940s.

The event, which featured stalls recalling Dig for Victory, rationing and the NAAFI (Navy, Army and Air Forces Institutes) – as well as reading tea leaves – also raised more than £550 for Great Oaks Hospice.

The book is named after a cottage in Linton with family stories about the war.

Sarah, who lives in Drybrook, said: “We decided to do a launch but also raise money for Great Oaks Hospice which is very important to our community and its nice that the community has come together and donated lots of lovely things.

“I could not have done it without the people who have helped and the donations. Its been a great team effort.”

The book tells the story of a young woman, Sybil Cooper, who escapes the bombs in the city and comes to live with her Auntie Vi in the countryside but she finds she has not escaped danger.

Sarah, who is a care coordinator at Coleford Medical Practice, has written other books all set in the present day – Deep, Deeper Still, and We Close Our Eyes.

She added: “This is my fourth book but my first historical fiction but I really enjoyed writing this book and its probably my favourite.

“I’m a bit of a historical fiction buff and I loved immersing myself back in time.

“The feedback is that the book has transported people back to the era which is music to my ears because that is all I could hope for.”

The book is on sale at the Wednesday and Saturday markets in Ross, in Lydney and from Amazon.

Alice Thompson and Claire Bodman with home-baked cakes on the NAAFI stall.
Alice Thompson and Claire Bodman with home-baked cakes on the NAAFI stall. (Mark Elson)