#BookReview CHRISTMAS WITH THE RAILWAY GIRLS by MAISIE THOMAS @MaisieThomas99


ABOUT THE BOOK

The brand new festive Railway Girls novel set in Manchester during WWII. Perfect for fans of Nancy Revell, Daisy Styles and Margaret Dickinson.___________________


Manchester, 1941

Christmas is the season for family and friends, and this year the railway girls will need each other more than ever.
Cordelia appears to have the perfect life. When her daughter Emily arrives home unexpectedly, she can’t wait to introduce her to her friends. But when things don’t go to plan, Cordelia must decide where her loyalty lies.
Things aren’t going too smoothly for Alison either. Her beloved boyfriend has yet to propose, but there’s a charity fundraiser dance and she’s dressed up specially. Surely, tonight must be the night.
Colette’s friends are envious of her devoted husband; he meets her after every shift on the railway, and accompanies her around town. But Colette has a secret, one that will change her life—if only she knew who to confide in.


With the festive season fast approaching, the railway girls are hoping for some Christmas magic…

PUBLISHED BY CORNERSTONE

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon


MY REVIEW

This was another emotional installment in this wonderful Railway Girls series, and it just transports you back in time and puts you right amongst an amazing group of women who are breaking free from the traditional role that they’ve played for so long, and doing their bit for their country during a very turbulent time in our history. And in their roles on the railways, they discover in themselves a different side to them and it’s wonderful to watch them flourish with their new responsibilities and the confidence it gives them all – all while dealing with their own personal issues and the prejudices of some of those around them.

There’s a number of stories in this part of the series – Cordelia, on the outside, looks like she has the perfect life, and her young daughter has also returned home wanting a role in working so that throws up new challenges for the family. Alison has the perfect boyfriend and she’s eagerly awaiting his proposal, planning her new life with him and wondering what the future has in store for them. And Collette is the envy of her friends, with an attentive husband, but she has a secret that she’s scared to share with anyone. Behind closed doors things can be very different!

And it’s the friendships between the women that stand out one more – they become more than just work colleagues, and they pick up on changes in each others behaviour, forever watching out for one another.

I love the way that there’s always a great cast of characters – different age groups facing different issues, but all against the backdrop of never knowing what the war will bring to them next alongside the attitudes of others who still don’t see the role of women as more than just homemakers.

It’s a book that made me cheer and cry – you’re really put through the full range of emotions! The characters are so relatable and easy to identify with. They are all going through such a changing time in history and it’s wonderful to see them evolving while dealing with ‘life’! The author has a great way of telling their stories and it’s always a delight to be in the company of these women as they watch their roles in the world change. Another wonderful read!


★★★★★


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

#BookReview THE RAILWAY GIRLS IN LOVE by MAISIE THOMAS



The brand new Railway Girls novel set in Manchester during WWII. Perfect for fans of Nancy Revell, Daisy Styles and Margaret Dickinson.
___________________

Readers LOVE the Railway Girls:

Gripping and intriguing’
‘Great story lines’
Exceptional story . . . a must-read
Poignant
Emotional . . . strong women’

ABOUT THE BOOK 

Love is in the air, and together the railway girls can overcome even the hardest of times.

Mabel has finally put the past behind her, and her relationship with the dashing Harry is stronger than ever. That is, until an old flame shows up, leaving Mabel questioning her future.

Meanwhile Joan has made amends with Bob – if only she could do the same with Gran. And there’s still that family mystery she wants answer to, isn’t there?

As a mother and grandmother, Dot Green has always put her family first. Her job as a parcels porter has brought new purpose to her life, so is it finally time to start following her heart . . .

Life as a railway girl is busy but as war rages on and air raids disrupt daily life, the women realise they need each other more than ever, especially when there might be wedding bells on the horizon. 

PUBLISHED BY ARROW


PURCHASE LINK


Amazon


MY REVIEW

It feels wonderful to be back in the company of The Railway Girls once more, and in this 3rd book in the series, we get to witness more of the day to day goings on in the life of these women as they cope with life during the war, alongside their own personal dramas – and there’s always lots going on in their work and family lives to explore!

Life in Manchester in 1941 is ticking along – the women are settling in their new roles, and are just happy to be doing what they can to help at this time. They feel useless when they’re not doing anything, so their new jobs give them a purpose. It still doesn’t get any easier though living life with the fear of air raids on a daily basis, but it has to! And Mabel, Joan and Dot are finding life is not getting any simpler!

You really get a great sense of the time with the way the story is written, and get to experience life in the 40’s through these women and the issues facing them at the time. Shocking secrets from the past are also revealed and goes to show that what you believe to be true is not always as it seems, and that support of family and friends really comes to the front throughout as events play out.

This series never seems to disappoint with the drama and history, and showing that life for these women is anything but simple, and I love losing myself in their stories in each book. Can’t wait for more!!


★★★★★

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

#BlogTour SECRETS OF THE RAILWAY GIRLS by MAISIE THOMAS #BookReview

A huge delight to be taking in this wonderful Blog Tour today for SECRETS OF THE RAILWAY GIRLS by MAISIE THOMAS. My thanks to the author and Rachel at Arrow Publishing for letting me be part of this tour and sharing my thoughts on the latest installment from The Railway Girls!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Manchester, November 1940

As the war continues and secrets threaten the railway girls, they will discover the true meaning of friendship.

For Dot, her job on the railways is everything. Transporting parcels around the country gives her pride that she is doing her bit for the war effort, but a growing friendship causes problems when home and work collide.

Joan loves her boyfriend Bob dearly, but when tragedy strikes, her heart is torn apart and she is forced to make a decision that could hurt those she loves most.

Meanwhile Mabel has finally found a place to call home and her relationship seems to be going from strength to strength. However, the relentless bombing in the Christmas blitz is about to destroy everything she holds dear and she will need her friends’ courage and generosity now more than ever.

Brought together by their work on Manchester’s railways, the three women find that with the support and encouragement of each other, they can get through even the most challenging of times.

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maisie Thomas was born and brought up in Manchester, which provides the location for her Railway Girls novels. She loves writing stories with strong female characters, set in times when women needed determination and vision to make their mark. The Railway Girls series is inspired by her great aunt Jessie, who worked as a railway clerk during the First World War.

Maisie now lives on the beautiful North Wales coast with her railway enthusiast husband and their two rescue cats. They often enjoy holidays chugging up and down the UK’s heritage steam railways.

MY REVIEW

The girls are back and it’s so lovely to be reunited with them once more in this stunning series.  With the war ramping up around them, times are proving tougher than ever so to see these women having to face up to really serious times was just so gripping and emotional!  There may have been tears shed on my part! That’s how involved I’ve become in the lives of the railway girls!!

This book is a great look at the lives of normal people during the war – how life carries on despite the fear and danger they are all surrounded by.  The women are working harder than ever with the threat of bombing getting closer and closer.  

But real life has to continue as normal as possible, so the women are having to face  problems at home, dealing with grief and they’re still up against a few derisive attitudes from men at them working on the railways.

I found this book to be more dramatic than the last book and shows that the girls are having to grow up fast with what they’re facing and dealing with.  Really enjoyed seeing how the war was impacting on them day to day with rationing, and just how the s*** that life throws at you doesn’t let up in the midst of a war!  

Work for these girls is a distraction from the horrors and the support they receive from one another is so touching. They’ve become like family to one another and are always there when needed.

I’m hoping there’ll be more visits back to the railway girls as I just adore seeing them and how their lives continue to chop and change so dramatically, whilst counting on those around them to be supportive and show what real friendship is all about.

Loved it!!!

★★★★★

#BookReview THE RAILWAY GIRLS by MAISIE THOMAS #TheRailwayGirls

ABOUT THE BOOK

The first novel in the utterly brilliant Railway Girls series. Perfect for fans of Nancy Revell and Ellie Dean.

In February, 1922, at the western-most entrance to Victoria Station in Manchester, a massive plaque was unveiled. Beneath a vast tiled map showing the lines of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway network, a series of seven bronze panels recorded the names of the men of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway who gave their lives for King and Country in the Great War – a total of 1,460 names.

In March, 1940, a group of women of varying ages and backgrounds, stand in front of the memorial, ready to do their bit in this new World War…
_________________________________________

Mabel is determined to make a fresh start as a railway girl where no one will know the terrible thing she did and she can put her guilt behind her… Or is she just running away?

Meanwhile Joan will never be as good as her sister, or so her Gran keeps telling her. A new job as a station clerk could be just the thing she needs to forget her troubles at home.

And Dot is further into her forties than she cares to admit. Her beloved sons are away fighting and her husband – well, the less said about him the better. Ratty old sod. She is anxious to become a railway girl just like her dear mam – anything to feel she is supporting the sons she prays for every night.

The three women start off as strangers, but soon form an unbreakable bond that will get them through the toughest of times…

PUBLISHED BY ARROW

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon £6.99

whsmith  £5.94

hive.co.uk  £6.85

MY REVIEW

What a way to start a new series! Maisie Thomas has created an amazing set of characters that get you on side straight away as they start their new lives working on the railways during the war.


And it’s definitely a new experience for them, and the men they are working alongside! The attitudes of the time come across in volumes as they are looked down on by some, many thinking that they can’t possibly do a job as well as a man – and not only from co-workers, it’s from the men in their own families too! A time when women ‘knew their place’ and men wouldn’t even lift a finger around the house. So to get these girls doing a variety of jobs in the railway sector in the North West allows you to see the prejudices they faced both at home and at work.

Mabel, Joan and Dot are the main characters but we also get to follow other women they meet along the way, and as they’re all at different stages of life we get to see the different aspects they all face with this new way of life. What they all have in common though is their resilience and a desire to stand on their own 2 feet and that’s what is brilliant about this book. They face up to their challenges and don’t run away from things even if it is tough. The bond between the women is also really strong as they know they are all in the same boat. Dot was one of my favourite as she took no prisoners!! Despite the attitudes she faced from certain male co-workers she was determined to prove them wrong!

It was also fascinating to see how the attitude of their families changed over time, as at the beginning they thought they were bringing shame on the family by wanting to work! Even having painted toenails was seen as a disgrace at the time so heaven forbid that a ‘woman’ was to be seen working on the railway! Nowadays they would have had such pride in these women wanting to work at such a time and do their bit!

There was a great mix of drama and humour throughout the book, and it all felt so relatable! These were women you could imagine yourself wanting to hang out with and I’m so excited to see what else this series has in store for us!!


★★★★★