ABOUT THE BOOK
Manchester, 1923: Jess Mason is determined to make her own way in the world.
When a misunderstanding on a job application means she’s appointed manager for Holly Lodge, a home for old soldiers, she must convince the owner that she can run things just as well as any man – if not better.
Tom Watson has not been the same since the war. Traumatized by his experiences on the battlefield, he has vowed to himself that he must go through life alone. But when he takes on the job to renovate Holly Lodge and meets Jess, all the walls he built around himself start to come crumbling down.
As challenges arise in the opening of the new soldiers’ home, Jess must fight tooth and nail to hold on to her precious new role. And as her and Tom grow closer, she can’t help but wonder if there is room in her life for both love and the career she’s always dreamt of.
PUBLISHED BY CORVUS
This is Book 4 in The Surplus Girl series – but easily readable as a standalone – and it’s set in 1923 as we follow these characters we’ve grown to love as we watch over their lives during and after the war. And the author has done another wonderful job of transporting us right back in time, as we get a real sense of the battles women of the time faced with ideas of what they should and shouldn’t be doing, especially where it concerns working.
And Jess, especially, is faced with these attitudes when she becomes manager at a home for old soldiers. Having to work doubly as hard to prove herself, she is no shrinking violet in knowing what needs to be done and I just loved her positive ‘can do’ attitude. Although women like her could then be seen as ‘pushy’ – women really couldn’t win either way!!
Work is needed to be carried out at the home, and that introduces us to Tom, who is a wonderful soul and is a great sounding block for Jess, but you always get that sense that he is holding something back.
There’s always drama right around the corner, and I loved seeing how the women faced up to things when they showed up! There’s also a really good feel about showing the realities of humanity, good and bad, and gave me all the feels when you saw good things start to happen to good people!! It really does restore your faith in humanity.
It was also lovely to catch up with characters from previous books, especially Prudence and Patience, and seeing what life was throwing at them and that’s what I love about this series! You feel a real connection with the characters you’ve been introduced to and just want to keep following their stories as new chapters begin for them. Highly recommended if you love a wonderful, historical saga!!
My thanks to the author for an advanced reader copy, in return for a fair and honest review!