• Where the Sky Begins

  • A Novel
  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Emma Griffiths
  • Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (656 ratings)

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Where the Sky Begins  By  cover art

Where the Sky Begins

By: Rhys Bowen
Narrated by: Emma Griffiths
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Publisher's Summary

A woman’s future is determined by fate and choice in a gripping WWII novel about danger, triumph, and second chances by the New York Times best-selling author of The Venice Sketchbook and The Tuscan Child.

London, 1940. Bombs fall and Josie Banks’ world crumbles around her. Her overbearing husband, Stan, is unreachable, called to service. Her home, a ruin of rubble and ash. Josie’s beloved tearoom boss has been killed, and Josie herself is injured, with nothing left and nowhere to go.

Evacuated to the English countryside, Josie ends up at the estate of the aristocratic Miss Harcourt, a reluctant host to the survivors of the Blitz. Awed as she is by the magnificent landscape, Josie sees opportunity. Josie convinces Miss Harcourt to let her open a humble tea shop, seeing it as a chance for everyone to begin again. When Josie meets Mike Johnson, a handsome Canadian pilot stationed at a neighboring bomber base, a growing intimacy brings her an inner peace she’s never felt before. Then Stan returns from the war.

Now a threat looms larger than anyone imagined. And a dangerous secret is about to upend Josie’s life again. Her newfound courage will be put to the test if she is to emerge, like a survivor, triumphant.

©2022 Janet Quin-Harkin, writing as Rhys Bowen (P)2022 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Where the Sky Begins

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Probably the worst Rhys Bowen book I have read

Compared to all her wonderful books, this one seems to be something she might have written in high school. There was not a whole lot of plot, the characters were fairly shallow, and there was no excitement or suspense in the book. Very amateurish. I am returning this book for the credit.

22 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Great narration, the story was disappointing

I really enjoyed the different voices the narrator gave the characters. They were fun, varied, and entertaining. They were the main reason I kept listening, other wise I would have put the book down. My main gripe with this story was the main character. I really wanted to like her. She started off strong, but as the book progressed I was very disappointed with the main character’s choices and the supporting characters’ reactions to some of the said choices. I feel that the author could have done a lot with the plot line (which was entertaining )without compromising her main character’s ethics . Unfortunately, this was not the case, so the story fell flat for me

17 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I've been a Rhys Bowen fan for many years.

I have read all her books - or listened to them. I like the characters Ms. Bowen developed, but it seemed to me that this book has a simplified dialog and story. It didn't really take away from the twists of the story, but it made it a little more predictable.
I will continue to be a Rhys Bowen fan and read what she writes.

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Women can be both strong and kind

The main character takes the reader on an improbable journey through WWII in England. Throughout her story, her strength slowly seeps through all of the events that happen. Although, her physical strength is evident, her emotional intelligence and kindness also lends to her strength as a woman to survive in those harrowing times. I really enjoyed reading about a character who was able to be kind and tough. A lot of strong female leads tend not to have both traits. I enjoyed the audible version as the reader brought the characters to life.

12 people found this helpful

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Love love love

Ryan Bowen can’t write a bad book. I have read most everything she’s written too. Another lovely story I won’t forget. Highly recommend.

10 people found this helpful

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Great story!

I really enjoyed this book. The story was well told and very satisfying. I loved the characters. Some plot twists were a bit predictable but this does not detract from the enjoyability factor.

9 people found this helpful

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Great Read

This was a great story. I think the characters were well developed . Great story.

8 people found this helpful

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Wonderful WWII Historical Novel

It gave the courage and suffering of the civil population of England a human face. They somehow persevered and brought others along with them. Strangers, aliens and small children, the elderly all sacrificed to support one another. It was a beautiful story with lots and of twists and turns. I really loved it!

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A lovely story

I always enjoy stories by Rhys Bowen, but this one was particularly lovely.
Josie Banks doesn’t have the greatest life and doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere in her life.
A bombing of both her job and home in London by the Luftwaffe sets into motion a new path for Josie in The country, Lincolnshire.
The cast of characters which pass through her days in exhale are rich and invite you to care about each of them.
Although I figured out the “villain” very early on,it didn’t detract my enjoyment or interest in the story. It still remained to see how the identity would be revealed and what would happen as a result to dear Josie.
Overall this is a well written book that draws you in from the first word.
Curl up in your favorite spot and definitely read this book!!!

7 people found this helpful

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Another great story by Rhys Bowen

Loved it! Narration was excellent. Didn’t want to stop listening. Can’t wait for her next book.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Linda
  • 11-21-22

Nice bit of escapism

Not my usual genre, but well-written and performed. Listened to it across a few days of miserable, depressing weather and it was just the thing. A little formulaic, but happy ending guaranteed.

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  • Dudley
  • 08-08-22

A great story

This Bowen has written another incredible story. This, with the beautiful narration, makes for a fabulous experience.

1 person found this helpful