#BlogTour THE GIFTS BY LIZ HYDER #BookReview @LondonBessie #TheGifts @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Delighted to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the fabulous THE GIFTS by LIZ RYDER.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Tracy of Compulsive Readers for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

October 1840. A young woman staggers alone through a forest in Shropshire as a huge pair of impossible wings rip themselves from her shoulders.

Meanwhile, when rumours of a ‘fallen angel’ cause a frenzy across London, a surgeon desperate for fame and fortune finds himself in the grips of a dangerous obsession, one that will place the women he seeks in the most terrible danger . . .

THE GIFTS is the astonishing debut adult novel from the lauded author of BEARMOUTH. A gripping and ambitious book told through five different perspectives and set against the luminous backdrop of nineteenth century London, it explores science, nature and religion, enlightenment, the role of women in society and the dark danger of ambition.

PUBLISHED BY MANILLA PRESS

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

MY REVIEW

From the author of Bearmout, comes this immensely enjoyable and atmospheric novel which brilliantly conveys the frustration of the female characters and demonstrates the undertones of how women were treated and dismissed so easily by society at the time.

There’s a real ethereal feel to the story from start to finish and the story of the fallen angels who appear at various points add a unique twist to the tale.  Set in 19th century London, the buzz is created by the appearance of these fallen angels who captivate and fascinate those who hear of them. No more so than those in the medical world who are overwhelmed with ideas of how these ‘angels’ can further their careers and standings.  They will go to desperate lengths to be the star of the show and make their names, no matter the cost.

It’s a book that crosses the historical element with a little magical realism to brilliantly. Set against the backdrop of showing how women were not being taken seriously no matter how well they excelled in their field, whilst the men were front and centre and using the subjects as a competition – a way to show off and claim the plaudits.

The female characters were so absorbing and watching their stories evolve was expertly crafted to give a wonderful flow and link to the overall sense of the time.  And any book that has gardening and auriculas mentioned is going to be a big hit for me!!

It’s also a book that angers as you witness these women just seen as possessions devoid of any rights and the way they were just used was indicative of the time and gives the story a great anchor as you find yourself willing the tide to turn!!

Captivating, unique and wonderful!!

★★★★★

#BookReview THE GIFT by RA WILLIAMS @wearewhitefox @BlackCrow_PR


ABOUT THE BOOK


A lush historical adventure that’s equal parts Gothic horror as it is tale of lost love, this first book in THE GIFT trilogy follows an optimistic yet cautious American ethnologist on her journey from St Dunstan’s Prep in Michigan, to the warm tropical shallows off the coast of Honduras, and the tors of Germany’s Externsteine, uncovering clues to the identity of the man who saved her from the Crimen one fateful night. All clues lead to Folkestone, England where she is reunited with the man she has sought for nearly three decades. But, is their reunion the end, or merely the end of the beginning?

The North Atlantic, 14 April 1912.

Amid the chaos of the sinking Titanic, a young Eleanor Annenberg meets the eyes of a stranger and is immediately captivated. As the ship buckles around them, she follows him down into the hold and finds him leaning over an open sarcophagus, surrounded by mutilated bodies. She catches but a glimpse of what lies within before she’s sucked into a maelstrom of freezing brine and half-devoured corpses.

Elle is pulled out of the water, but the stranger – and the secrets she stumbled upon – are lost. Unintentionally, however, he leaves her a gift; one so compelling that Elle embarks on a journey that pulls her into a world of ancient evils, vicious hunters and human prey to find the man who saved her that fateful night.

From trench warfare at Cape Helles in 1915 to a shipwreck in the tropical shallows off the Honduran coast, from a lost mine beneath the towering Externsteine in a Germany on the verge of war to the gothic crypts of Highgate Cemetery in London, Elle gets closer to a truth she has sought for most of her life. But at what cost? Gifts, after all, are seldom free.


PUBLISHED BY WHITEFOX PUBLISHING


PURCHASE LINK


AMAZON

MY REVIEW


I love reading books that are a little bit different, and that’s definitely what you get with this one! It’s part historical, part gothic horror and full on adventure!! Ooh and it has maps!! Always a big plus with a big sprawling kind of story!

The story starts aboard the Titanic, where Eleanor is captivated by a stranger. What she finds beneath the decks when she follows him down there is the stuff of horror – and the fun and games begin with the author taking the reader on an epic journey across the globe, over many years and you’re always guessing as to what role Eleanor has to play and what she saw that night has in store for her as she moves forward with her life.

She is one of those characters that definitely grows on you as you get to know more about her. She isn’t afraid to ruffle feathers and there’s always that sense that some want her stopped as she may be interfering in things! And this is what sets up the story nicely for the rest of the trilogy to come and I look forward to seeing what adventures the author takes us on next in this raw, mysterious and dark journey!


★★★★

#BlogTour THE MAN IN THE BUNKER by RORY CLEMENTS #BookReview @ZaffreBooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n



Delighted to be with you today as part of the Blog Tour for the gripping THE MAN IN THE BUNKER by RORY CLEMENTS.
My thanks to the author, publisher and Tracy of Compulsive Readers for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!


ABOUT THE BOOK


WHAT IF HITLER HAD SURVIVED?

In the gripping new spy thriller from the Sunday Times bestselling author of Hitler’s Secret, a Cambridge spy must find the truth behind Hitler’s death. But exactly who is the man in the bunker?

‘MASTER OF THE WARTIME SPY THRILLER’ – FINANCIAL TIMES
________________

Germany, late summer 1945 – The war is over but the country is in ruins. Millions of refugees and holocaust survivors strive to rebuild their lives in displaced persons camps. Millions of German soldiers and SS men are held captive in primitive conditions in open-air detention centres. Everywhere, civilians are desperate for food and shelter. No one admits to having voted Nazi, yet many are unrepentant.

Adolf Hitler is said to have killed himself in his Berlin bunker. But no body was found – and many people believe he is alive. Newspapers are full of stories reporting sightings and theories. Even Stalin, whose own troops captured the bunker, has told President Truman he believes the former Führer is not dead. Day by day, American and British intelligence officers subject senior members of the Nazi regime to gruelling interrogation in their quest for their truth.

Enter Tom Wilde – the Cambridge professor and spy sent in to find out the truth…

Dramatic, intelligent, and brilliantly compelling, THE MAN IN THE BUNKER is Rory’s best WWII thriller yet – perfect for readers of Robert Harris, C J Sansom and Joseph Kanon. 


PUBLISHED BY ZAFFRE BOOKS


PURCHASE LINK


AMAZON


MY REVIEW


This is Book 6 in the Tom Wilde series, and my first! So that shows how it can be read as a standalone! And now I’ve got the enjoyment of the rest of the series to catch up with as I found this to be such an intriguing and fascinating subject to have a story based around! The What If subject is one of those conspiracies that still does the rounds now, so the author has done a brilliant job within this series of using that as the backdrop for a new adventure!


This is set just after the war, so the world is waking up again and trying to move on but life is still pretty brutal in many parts of the world with unresolved anger.  Tom Wilde is trying to live a normal life again, but that is blown out of the water when 3 men show up on his doorstep wanting his help in finding out just what happened in ‘that’ bunker where no body was ever found.


So he has to travel to Germany, interrogate those close to Hitler and others at the top to find out if they know more than they are letting the world believe.   


You get a real sense from the story that many people are still on edge after what they’ve been through for the past few years, and many want revenge for what has happened to them or those they love.  Wilde has a tough job ahead of him getting through to people and trying to work out who he can trust and who is telling the truth.


There’s also a side story featuring the character of Lilly too, a woman who had a fling with a german officer and has been shunned by her own family, and it really hit home how the war had split family and friends.


As I said, this was my first book in the Wilde series and I just loved the whole feel and pace of the storytelling so I’m eager to go back and see where the rest of the series took the character!  It is a smart and dramatic piece of historical fiction.


★★★★

#BookReview THE WOLF AGE by TORE SKEIE #nonfiction #history #TheWolfAge



ABOUT THE BOOK


A thrilling work of popular history that gives a new perspective on the Viking-Anglo conflicts and brings the bloody period to life.

In the eleventh century, the rulers of the lands surrounding the North Sea are all hungry for power. To get power they need soldiers, to get soldiers they need silver, and to get silver there is no better way than war and plunder. This vicious cycle draws all the lands of the north into a brutal struggle for supremacy and survival that will shatter kingdoms and forge an empire.

The Wolf Age takes the reader on a thrilling journey through the bloody shared history of England and Scandinavia, and across early medieval Europe: from the wild Norwegian fjords to the wealthy cities of Muslim Andalusia. Warfare, plotting, backstabbing and bribery abound as prize-winning historian Tore Skeie weaves together sagas and skaldic poetry with bold dramatization to bring the world of the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons to vivid life.

‘Skeie has a unique ability to conjure images of the richest detail, everything from chaotic battles to the period’s exhausting day-to-day life’ A-MAGASINET

Author:


Tore Skeie is one of Norway’s most acclaimed historians, having written several prize-winning and bestselling works of medieval history. Tore is known for his eye for historical and human drama, while his books have been praised both for their thrilling style and the way they challenge traditional nation-oriented historical narratives. The Wolf Age was a bestseller in Norway, won the prestigious Sverre Steen award and is the first of Tore’s books to be translated into English.


PUBLISHED BY PUSHKIN PRESS

PURCHASE LINK


publisher website

MY REVIEW

Oh how I wish I could turn back the clock and tell the younger me who thought history was boring that it was anything but!! This was a wonderfully absorbing look back at the extraordinary times of the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons – Game of Thrones seems very tame compared to some of the tales of the goings on during the 10th and 11th centuries in this book!!

The author has extensively researched the goings on of the time and presents it in such a fantastically relatable way that I couldn’t put it down! It reads just like a novel, and knowing these things happened just make it even more astounding! There’s a great overview of the characters involved, and the chronology of the events that unfolded and it was just utterly fascinating!

The story ebbs from England to Scandinavia and Medieval Europe and the action never stops! From feuding Kings to raiding Vikings, this is a brutal and political history showing the benefits of alliances and showing the treachery of others, all in the pursuit of power. You can just picture the sight of the ships venturing in to the estuaries and coastal towns around England and there’s also mention of the archeological finds relating to ships of the time and it has just made me so intrigued to find out more about the time .

It features some amazing characters, with amazing names such as Harald Bluetooth, Sweyn Forkbeard, Olaf, Cnut… extraordinary names for extraordinary people! Their quests are epic and often brutal. There’s also a look at the rituals of the time, and the ever changing religions and beliefs of the people of the time. Life was brutal and the intensity of the raids and destruction was just shocking to read about.

A must read for all lovers of all things historical!!

★★★★★

#BookReview YOURS CHEERFULL by A.J.PEARCE



ABOUT THE BOOK


From the author of the “jaunty, heartbreaking winner” (People) and international bestseller Dear Mrs. Bird, a new charming and upliftingnovel set in London during World War II about a plucky aspiring journalist.

London, November 1941. Following the departure of the formidable Henrietta Bird from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the challenge of becoming a young wartime advice columnist. Her relationship with boyfriend Charles (now stationed back in the UK) is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty, still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, is bravely looking to the future. Together, the friends are determined to Make a Go of It.

When the Ministry of Information calls on Britain’s women’s magazines to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort, Emmy is thrilled to be asked to step up and help. But when she and Bunty meet a young woman who shows them the very real challenges that women war workers face, Emmy must tackle a life-changing dilemma between doing her duty and standing by her friends.

Every bit as funny, heartwarming, and touching as Dear Mrs. BirdYours Cheerfully is a celebration of friendship—a testament to the strength of women and the importance of lifting each other up, even in the most challenging times.


PUBLISHED BY PICADOR


PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

MY REVIEW

I listened to the audio version of this book.

Having loved Dear Mrs Bird, I was so pleased that the characters would be back for another installment, and it hasn’t let me down! It’s one of those ‘nice’ books that are a pleasure to read. You enjoy the characters so much that they become like friends as you watch over their progress.

This book is set a few months after DMB, and life at the magazine during the war continues to throw up new issues and challenges for the staff. And with it being a magazine for women, the focus on the role of women during the war is top priority, so that sets Emmy off to look at new ways of incorporating the lives of women as she forges on with her journalist career.

There’s still a snobby attitude by some towards the ‘Friend’ magazine, and that only just makes those working there more determined to do the best for their readers. The advice column is still a major success and it is giving women a voice. And with the magazine asked to help get women to help out with the war effort, I loved seeing how creative Emmy and the others were in finding ways to show the impact that women can have in a positive way.

The research and attention to detail was top notch once more, and really bought home the issues facing women at the time – dealing with worrying about their loved ones, whilst trying to carry on as normal and raise their families not knowing what was round the corner. And proving the power of coming together to raise awareness and fighting for their rights. Some things never seem to change… unfortunately!

Looking forward to book three already…. if there is to be more!!

★★★★

#BookReview WINDSWEPT by ANNABEL ABBS #NonFiction #Windswept



ABOUT THE BOOK


Annabel Abbs’s Windswept: Walking the Paths of Trailblazing Women is a beautifully written meditation and memoir that reflects on that most fundamental way of connecting with the outdoors: the simple act of walking. In absorbing and transporting prose, Abbs follows in the footsteps of groundbreaking women, including Georgia O’Keeffe in the empty plains of Texas and New Mexico, Nan Shepherd in the mountains of Scotland, Gwen John following the French River Garonne, Daphne du Maurier following the River Rhône, and Simone de Beauvoir—who walked as much as twenty-five miles a day in a skirt and espadrilles—in the mountains and forests of France. These trailblazing women were reclaiming what had historically been considered male domains.

The stories of these incredible women and artists are laced together by the wilderness walking in Abbs’s own life, beginning with her poet father who raised her in the Welsh countryside as an “experiment,” according to the principles of Rousseau. Windswept is an inventive retrospective and an arresting look forward to the way walking brings about a kind of clarity of thought not found in any other activity, and how it has allowed women throughout history to reimagine their lives and break free from convention. As Abbs traces the paths of these exceptional women, she realizes that she, too, is walking away from, and towards, a very different future. Windswept crosses continents and centuries in an arresting and stirring reflection on the power of walking in nature.

PUBLISHED BY TWO ROADS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

Blackwell’s

hive.co.uk

MY REVIEW

Just glorious!! I found this book to be inspiring, thought provoking, educational, fascinating and just wonderful!

The author uses her own life experiences, especially when she found herself in hospital unable to walk, to explore the art of walking and the fact that there was very few books around by women about walking and their adventures, when there are so many by men. With extensive research she uncovers some amazing characters – many of whom I had heard nothing about – and has brought their stories to life by challenging herself to walk the routes they did in the past, and this really just makes this book so immersive and inspiring.

The women she features are Frieda Lawrence, Gwen John, Clara Vyvyan, Nan Shepherd, Simone de Beauvoir, Georgia O’Keefe, but there is also reference to Daphne Du Maurier and Emma Gatewood.
All very different women but all sharing a deep passion for walking, exploring – and shockingly for women – walking by themselves!! The shame!! But in their adventures they enjoyed the freedom it gave them and allowed them to find their own minds, and the author shared these feelings as she uses each chapter to share her walk, alongside that of the woman she was walking in the footsteps of. There’s a look back in time to the lives of these amazing women, their trials and tribulations, the scandals, alongside her own experiences and thoughts on the changes over time as to the attitudes towards a variety of different topics.

It explores the benefits to your health of walking, the stories of the kindness of strangers met along the way, the pitfalls and reality of walking in the middle of nowhere by yourself, and the overwhelming sense of achievement and confidence these women had when they had finished a walk. And how eager they were to go on other adventures. Some weren’t afraid to go against convention, some lost their families over their actions, but most were just inspired by the solace they felt while walking, despite all of them having a real strong attachment to ‘home’ and realising just how little they needed in their lives.

I learnt so much about these women as the author relayed their stories, alongside her own walking experiences and how that time alone gave her time to think over her life choices. Reading about these women, inspired me to research a little more about them and their work and it’s been enlightening to learn more about these amazing women. The way the author connected with each woman also made this more of an experience as she wanted to feel what

It is one of those books that inspires, educates and just makes you want to walk!! To use your time wisely, and when you get the chance to grab that time for yourself and go out exploring, no matter how near or far!

★★★★★

#BookReview THE LAMPLIGHTERS by EMMA STONEX



ABOUT THE BOOK 


They say we’ll never know what happened to those men.

They say the sea keeps its secrets…

Cornwall, 1972. Three keepers vanish from a remote lighthouse, miles from the shore. The entrance door is locked from the inside. The clocks have stopped. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a mighty storm, but the skies have been clear all week.

What happened to those three men, out on the tower? The heavy sea whispers their names. The tide shifts beneath the swell, drowning ghosts. Can their secrets ever be recovered from the waves?

Twenty years later, the women they left behind are still struggling to move on. Helen, Jenny and Michelle should have been united by the tragedy, but instead it drove them apart. And then a writer approaches them. He wants to give them a chance to tell their side of the story. But only in confronting their darkest fears can the truth begin to surface . . .

The Lamplighters is a heart-stopping mystery rich with the salty air of the Cornish coast, and an unforgettable story of love and grief that explores the way our fears blur the line between the real and the imagined.

PUBLISHED BY PICADOR

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

Blackwell’s

MY REVIEW

Holy Moly!! This is one of those books that leaves you feeling bereft when it ends! The characters take over your every thought and you’re left experiencing every kind of emotion as you read their stories unfold in front of your eyes. And all set against the backdrop of an imposing lighthouse and the unpredictability of the sea.

The story is told as now and then! Looking back at the families of the men who worked on the lighthouse and how they dealt with the mystery of the men’s disappearance on one fateful night. There’s no sign of a struggle, they left no trace behind … so where did they go and what happened to them? The book is based on a real life event, but the author has a wonderful time reimagining the events surrounding the disappearance and the impact on the families left behind.

With the story being told from both the viewpoint of the men as they worked on the lighthouse, and to the women dealing with life married to them and the years that followed after their disappearance, you really get a wonderful sense of how the isolation the men often felt, alongside how the women coped and tried to come to terms with their lives after – their own theories of what happened and the letters shared between the women as their friendships shattered.

There’s so much going on within each chapter and revelation. I loved the way the story came back to life as the mystery was looked into by a writer who wanted to try and get to the bottom of it all. Old wounds are reopened and feelings have to be confronted.

A wonderfully evocative book that has a little bit of every genre in it and I adored every single second of it!!

★★★★★

#BookReview A HISTORY OF WHAT COMES NEXT by SYLVAIN NEUVEL @MichaelJBooks

ABOUT THE BOOK


Imagine everything you thought you knew about human progress was wrong. What would you do?

Mia is not sure what she is, but she isn’t human. Smarter, stronger than her peers, all she knows are the rules: there can never be three for too long; always run, never fight.

When she finds herself in Germany, 1945, she must turn the Nazi’s most trusted scientist with an offer: abandon the crumbling Nazi party, escape Germany with your life, come to work for the Americans building rockets.

But someone is watching her work. An enemy who’s smarter, stronger, decidedly not human and prepared to do anything to retrieve something ancient that was long lost.

If only she had any idea what it was . . .

PUBLISHED BY MICHAEL JOSEPH

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

blackwell’s

goldsboro books – signed edition

MY REVIEW

This was an exciting and imaginative piece of speculative fiction, that features some really strong female characters, who are front and centre of the plot to try and save the world – despite the humans doing their best to destroy it all with the advancement of rocket technology.

The women, mothers and daughters, are seen at various times throughout history, but the main characters, Mia and her mother Sara, are based around Germany in 1945 as the world is busy destroying itself with another war, and the race is on to expand the rocket technology to cause even more destruction. The women work on the premise ‘Take Them to the Stars’, and you watch as they try and engineer their way into a male dominated world to try and steer humans to a different path. Added to the mix is ‘The Tracker’ whose task over the years is to stop these women, by any means necessary, and it really is often a race against time to save themselves or those around them when the tracker closes in on their new location.

What I loved about this book is the pure strength of the characters – with history repeating itself over and over – we see these women faced with constant hurdles, and their own emotions of anger at the world they witness. We get to see the impact of wars on the countries after the events, how it affected the population and how the bond between mother and daughter never waivers. There’s more show of humanity in their behaviour than amongst the humans they encounter at times!

This was a book with a great mix of sci-fi and history, and I found it to be really compelling and had a great ‘spark’ about it. There’s also some fascinating author notes at the end, along with a playlist that really added something extra to the whole reading experience.

★★★★

My thanks to Lucy at Penguin Randomhouse for sending me an advanced copy to read in return for a fair and honest review.

#BlogTour CROW COURT by ANDY CHARMAN #BookReview #CrowCourt @AndyCWriter @unbounders @RandomTTours

Delighted to be sharing my thoughts on CROW COURT today on the fabulous Blog Tour! My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of  Random Things Tours for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

‘Debut novels shouldn’t be this perfectly formed. Its subject is historic, yet its exploration of morality feels utterly modern. A rarity in historical fiction: it truly places you in the here and now of a world once removed. Crow Court already looks, feels and smells like a classic’ – Ben Myers, author of The Gallows Pole and The Offing 

‘Inventive, original and deeply moving. There is a warmth and humanity, an acceptance of the vagaries and challenges of life’ – Alice Jolly, author of Mary Anne Sate, Imbecile

Unbound’s lead fiction title for 2021: a stunning debut from a breathtakingly assured new voice in fiction Spring, 1840. In the Dorset market town of Wimborne Minster, a young choirboy drowns himself. Soon after, the choirmaster—a belligerent man with a vicious reputation—is found murdered, in a discovery tainted as much by relief as it is by suspicion. The gaze of the magistrates falls on four local men, whose decisions will reverberate through the community for years to come.

 So begins the chronicle of Crow Court, unravelling over fourteen delicately interwoven episodes, the town of Wimborne their backdrop: a young gentleman and his groom run off to join the army; a sleepwalking cordwainer wakes on his wife’s grave; desperate farmhands emigrate. We meet the composer with writer’s block; the smuggler; a troupe of actors down from London; and old Art Pugh, whose impoverished life has made him hard to amuse. Meanwhile, justice waits… 

‘A confident and exciting debut: exactly observed, densely textured and richly flavoured, Crow Court is throbbing with life’ – Rick Gekoski, author of Darke 

‘This clever narrative is both page-turning and original – an innovative and beautifully-written historical novel that features an array of diverse characters and voices from its vividly-realised Dorset setting’ – Jane Harris, author of Sugar Money

 ‘A gripping mystery, beautifully teased out over several decades, full of intrigue and ambiguity’ – Andy Hamilton, author of Longhand

 Published by UNBOUND

PURCHASE LINKS

hive.co.uk
blackwell’s

About the author: 


Andy Charman was born in Dorset and grew up near Wimborne Minster, where Crow Court is set. His short stories have appeared in various anthologies and magazines, including Pangea and Cadenza. Crow Court is his first novel, which he worked on at the Arvon course at The Hurst in Shropshire in 2018. Andy lives in Surrey and is available for interview, comment and events

.MY REVIEW


I was drawn to this book because of the links to Wimbourne, a place where I spent many happy holidays as a child, and it was brilliant to be transported back in time for this ‘history mystery’ that had me anxiously turning the pages to see how things would pan out for all the characters.  And it was a novel experience not to be having much sympathy for the choirmaster victim!! His death shook the local community albeit tinged with relief, but as the story evolves and widens you see behind the facade and the beliefs, and get the reality of someone abusing their power but people keeping quiet about it.  


When a choirboy drowns in Wimbourne, nobody has any idea of the chain of events that  his death will lead to.  But the whispers begin and we get to see various stories of local characters who are linked with the tragedy and how the gossip affects them and their behaviour. 

The story is told in such a way that you get a real feel for the history of the times – the goings on, the way of life and the local dialect used, which has a handy glossary at the back of the book so you can understand phrase used a little more!


There are many secrets being kept and many ‘naysayers’ who won’t even entertain the idea that the claims about the choirmaster and his ‘indiscretions’ – even as a reader, you are really left doubting the rumours at times, and struggle to pin down the accused as they all have seemingly good stories behind them!  So what really did happen that night?!  There’s always more to the story than meets the eye!


I really loved the pace of this story.  The language did take some getting used to, but once I was accustomed to it I really felt that I was on the fly on the wall watching the crime being solved in front of me.  The different storylines are woven together very carefully and link brilliantly together! An impressive debut!
★★★★★

#BookReview THE SURPLUS GIRLS’ ORPHANS by POLLY HERON @CorvusBooks @SusannaBavin

ABOUT THE BOOK

Manchester, 1922

Molly Watson has had enough. Engaged for the last three years to a penny-pinching pedant, she finally decides she’d rather be a ‘surplus girl’ than marry a man she doesn’t truly love. Aware of the need to support herself if she is to remain single all her life, Molly joins a secretarial class to learn new skills, and a whole world opens up to her.

When she gets a job at St Anthony’s Orphanage, she befriends caretaker Aaron Abrams. But a misunderstanding leaves them at loggerheads and damages her in the eyes of the children she has come to care about so deeply. Can Molly recover her reputation, her livelihood and her budding friendship before it’s too late?

PUBLISHED BY CORVUS

AUTHOR WEBSITE

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON


MY REVIEW

The second book in The Surplus Girls series, and another brilliant storyline that centres around the women after the war and the expectations that were placed on them by their family and society, no matter what their own hopes and dreams were!

Molly is the main character in this book and she has a spirited story to tell. She is back working at the local sweet shop and engaged to a man whose behaviour will leave you aghast as it did me! But it was the respectable thing for her to do, to tow the line, to marry, to become a mother.. so when Molly decides she wants more for herself it really is frowned upon.

I loved her determination so she sets out to improve her education and prospects and ends up working at the local orphanage, where a whole other set of emotional circumstances let you see another side of life at the times. The story of some of the children -especially Danny – is enough to break your heart and as Molly spends more time with them, along with Aaron the caretaker, they open others’ eyes to the plight of these children and to ‘think outside the box’, so to speak, in how to get through to them and make their lives better.

Molly is a really wonderful character, especially in the era the story is set in. She has a belief in herself and she doesn’t just want to settle for the norm! She wants choices and a future and seeing how others perceive her because of these decisions is quite enlightening and makes you cheer her on even harder!

A wonderful read and highly recommended!

★★★★★

My thanks to the author and publisher for the advanced reader copy, in return for a fair and honest review.