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A Woman You'd Want on Your Side - an Editorial Review of "Lottie Beauchamp's War"

Book Blurb:

2018 – Lottie has just died aged 101.

Her great niece, Charlotte Beauchamp, visits the care home where she’s spent her final years.

Despite the family connection, Charlotte’s never met her great aunt.

The manager tells Charlotte what little she knows about Lottie and gives her a box of belongings.

Charlotte feels compelled to find out more about the secret life of Lottie.

Book Buy Link:

Author Bio:

My name is Paula and I’m the author of the award winning Lottie Beauchamp’s War. If you’ve already read it, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it.

During COVID lockdown, I wrote an imaginary weekly blog about my rescue cat, Merlot, before embarking on a huge amount of research for Lottie Beauchamp’s War. By the end, I couldn’t wait to start writing, although the sheer volume of historical information was, at times, rather overwhelming. Every time I picked up a book I felt as though I was caught in a tantalising maze, every turn leading to another nugget of fascinating information, and it was hard to know when to stop. Finally I did, and got down to work.

Lottie is fictitious, as is all the dialogue and her story. All I can hope is to give a flavour of the time in which its set. Many of the people Lottie meets did exist in those places and at those times and I’ve weaved some of those incredibly brave people into this work of fiction.

Having finished Lottie Beachamp’s War, I’m taking a bit of time out to promote it, catch up with some neglected friends and domestic chores, rear some beehives, enjoy the lovely South Coast of England where I live and do some travelling. My next novel, will also be historical fiction but set in a different period of history.

If you haven’t yet read Lottie Beauchamp’s War, I hope this short biography has made you want to head back and order it. If you'd like to read a little more about it, please see the 5 STAR, independent review from LITERARY TITAN. Warning - it contains spoilers:

"Lottie Beauchamp’s War by Paula Napier offers an engrossing narrative that follows the life of the fictional character Lottie Beauchamp during the tumultuous times of World War II. The novel is meticulously divided into three distinct segments, each focusing on a different phase of Lottie’s life and her evolving roles during the war.

In the opening part, readers meet Lottie as a student in Cambridge, consumed by her studies in archeology. Yet, her academic pursuits feel hollow and insignificant against the backdrop of a world at war. Lottie’s aspiration to actively contribute to the war effort is realized when she joins the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, marking her first substantial involvement in the conflict.

The second part delves into her newfound life as a pilot officer in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. Though a remarkable feat for a woman at the time, Lottie’s capabilities are constantly underestimated, with her responsibilities limited to flying smaller planes. Her journey towards piloting larger aircraft and earning the respect of her peers mirrors the broader struggle women faced during the war.

The final section of the novel follows Lottie as a dedicated member of the resistance movement in France. The portrayal of her relentless efforts to prove her worth in a predominantly male-dominated environment is both captivating and thought-provoking.

Napier skillfully uses Lottie’s story to shed light on the challenges women encountered during World War II. By highlighting the discrimination and prejudice they faced, the author emphasizes the grit and determination women displayed to gain recognition and respect in a field traditionally closed to them.

Lottie’s character development is crafted with nuance and care, transforming her from a mere observer of war to a determined leader in the fight against the Germans. While Lottie’s role in the war is vital, her actual influence and control over events are limited. Her tasks primarily involve piloting for drop-offs and pick-ups, and as a member of the resistance, her position can be somewhat passive at times.

Lottie Beauchamp’s War is a compelling read that provides an insightful look into the life of a young woman navigating the complexities of a world at war. It is not merely a fictional biography but a resonant piece that echoes the trials and triumphs of women during an era when their contributions were often underestimated and overlooked. This novel is a testament to women’s resilience and a valuable addition to the literature of World War II.

Pages: 411 | ASIN : B0C9MLHG1V

Buy Now From Amazon" - LITERARY TITAN



You can also read about Merlot’s exploits during lockdown, free of charge, at

Editorial Review:

It seemed pointless being in Cambridge, studying about digging up the past when all that really mattered at the present was not to be buried. It seemed ridiculous that she was sitting at university with a pilot’s licence when she could be fighting alongside boys like Hugh.

Lottie Beauchamp is a student at Cambridge during the World War, the second in only twenty years. But she can’t be content with simply studying archaeology when so many of the male students around her are being called up on a daily basis. The halls slowly empty out, and Lottie refuses to simply sit by while there are people dying for their country. Just because she is a woman, does that mean she cannot fly the planes she has grown up flying?

Determined to show her worth, and not let the country’s menfolk sacrifice themselves while she sat at home, Lottie slowly finds herself making her way up the ladder of success, flying and transporting training aircraft for the Women’s Auxiliary Airforce, and eventually being awarded the honour of committing herself to the Allies’ cause, and putting herself in harms way for the sake of her country.

Lottie Beauchamps War by Paula Napier is the novel of a women who is determined to prove herself as important as her male counterparts, who will stop at nothing to show her worth and make herself as useful to the cause as she can.

Don’t get your hopes up to fly anything other than training aircraft,” Cunnison said, unstrapping and hauling herself from the cockpit behind her. “Women aren’t deemed capable of flying anything more meaty. Just remember you never fly blind or indulge in aerobatics and most of the time you’ll be flying in a gaggle. That’s harder than you think, as you have to keep an eye on everyone else as well as watching the ground. If the weather closes in, make for the nearest airfield. We don’t take risks, our reputation depends on it. If we damage a plane, it’s negligence, if a male pilot does it, it’s unfortunate.”

Lottie had grown up on a farm alongside her two brothers, flying a Tiger Moth gifted to her, and kept in the shed. They had grown up almost feral, running around and doing what they wished. Being close in age, Lottie and her brother, Hugh, had been partners in crime, brother and sister with nothing stopping them from following their dreams but the limit of how fast they could run. When Hugh joins the RAF as a fighter pilot, Lottie can’t help but see what is truly separating them

– their gender. For although Lottie had her pilot’s licence, being a woman she would not be expected or allowed to join the army, while her brother could have the honour of flying and fighting for the country. And even if it wasn’t just honour at stake, Lottie couldn’t bear the thought of her brothers fighting and dying for England while she sat at university and did nothing. And so, instead of studying the past, she turned her attention to becoming part of history.

It is not difficult to admire Lottie for her strength and resilience. She refuses to be intimidated by those around her, and will not let men believe they are better than her simply because of their gender. Lottie is as brave as any man on the front line, and her determination to prove herself is more than enough to show it. This is not just a novel of war, but also one of the heart. Senseless violence is combatted by love, and while Lottie shows more than once that a woman can be just as brave as a man, she is not free from matters of the heart, and demonstrates that emotions are not a sign of weakness, but rather one of strength. To love, and to lose love, and to keep fighting shows significantly more power than believing that to show emotion is to show a weak side. Lottie finds love throughout this novel, in both her comrades and in men she finds herself falling for, and her emotion surrounding her friends and loves makes her a stronger woman. The stigma that women were unable to cope with harsh conditions and violence because of a weak disposition and the tendency to show their emotions was a falseness that Lottie seemed certain to show to be incorrect. The fact that Lottie was not afraid to admit her emotions, and show when she was sad or angry, gave her an edge that couldn’t be matched by many of those around her.

Would a benevolent God really allow all this awfulness? Sadness, suddenly turned to anger. If He existed He deserved her fury for allowing this war and so, at the top of her voice she cursed her childhood God and although her words were lost to the wind and with them any faith she might have had, she felt a little better for it.

Ms Napier clearly has a strong grasp of the history surrounding Lottie as she makes her way through the war. While following Lottie, it is clear all aspects have been thoroughly researched, in addition to a small section at the beginning of each chapter, detailing a section of history that occurred on that specific date, whether it was related to what Lottie was doing or not. By including these small sections, Ms Napier continuously reminds the reader of the war, of the headlines in the papers, and the thought constantly in the back of everyone’s mind, wondering when and how the war will affect them, and what the future holds for them. This is a rather masterful way of keeping the reader aware of the state of the world, without constantly repeating it within the story itself, and is certainly sobering, for many of the chapter headlines include numbers for the amount of deaths on that particular day. While others may be trying to get on with their lives, there was always somewhere in the world where others were dying, and being constantly reminded of that fact certainly keeps you in the period while you read.

While Lottie has several different roles during this novel, her time in occupied France was my personal favourite section of this novel. The dangers of being undercover when those in France were already at risk, and those putting themselves more at risk in the hopes that their actions would help the Allies and eventually liberate their home, were depicted in such immense detail it was hard not to feel for all that Lottie came into contact with while in France. Her commitment to her role was certainly admirable, and I couldn’t help but support her and root for her and her comrades throughout all of her missions and assignments.

With a thrilling story of one woman and her determination to commit herself to the Allied cause, and show that a woman can do as much, if not more than the men around her, Lottie Beauchamps War by Paula Napier is a very difficult novel to put down. As a fan of World War Two aviation historical fiction, this novel was an absolute joy to read, and I found myself lost in the world of Lottie Beauchamp and the trials she went through to not only serve her country, but to show that she was no less of a soldier just because she was a woman. This is a novel that begs to be read and re-read, and I cannot wait to rejoin Lottie when I inevitably re-read this book in the near future.


“Lottie Beauchamp's War” by Paula Napier receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award of excellence from the Historical Fiction Company



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