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Some of you might remember that last Christmas, I selected 3 festive books that I wanted to read and promised to write a review of them once I had read them. If you have not seen that post I will link it here.
Christmas At Woolworths by Elaine Everest
Even though there was a war on, the Woolworths girls brought Christmas cheer to their customers. Best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda are brought together by their jobs at Woolworths. With their loved ones away on the front line, their bonds of friendship strengthen each day. Betty Billington is the manager at Woolworths, and a rock for the girls, having given up on love… until a mysterious stranger turns up one day – could he reignite a spark in Betty? As the year draws to a close, and Christmas approaches, the girls must rely on each other to navigate the dark days that lie ahead. With so much change, can their friendship survive the war?
I was really looking forward to reading Christmas At Woolworths, having grown up in a time when I could still remember the shop from childhood. I have to be honest though, the story was really slow to start off and I found it difficult to remember who was who. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’d mentioned in my original blog post that I would read this book to review, I would have moved onto something else.The book is part of a series so perhaps I should have read them in order of their release date which might have made it a bit easier to understand from the outset.
As I mentioned above, I did feel the need to persevere with the book and I’m glad I did because it comes alive in the middle. I had never read any books by Elaine Everest before and was unsure if I would like her style of writing. It has such a lovely underlying story within the book which had me wishing I was part of the close knit community I was reading about. The style of writing ended up complimenting this and left me feeling very festive by the end of it.
Christmas With The Bomb Girls by Daisy Styles
Christmas is approaching at the Phoenix Munitions Factory and it’s going to be a year to remember, but with trouble ahead can their wishes still come true? A factory floor might not be their first choice of a place to spend Christmas, but pulling together and making do is exactly what the Bomb Girls are best at. Gladys, back from singing for the troops in Europe, quiet as she takes her place on the cordite line. Her old friends are determined to bring back her spark while they work hard to help their country, as the threat of danger grows ever-closer.
What dark secret lies in Gladys’s heart? Will the girls see out another year in a country at war? And, if everyone does their bit, despite the worry, pain and toil, will the Bomb Girls be able to provide a wonderful Christmas for all?
Christmas With The Bomb Girls is again part of a series but this time, I had actually read all of the previous ones and loved them. Over the last few years, I’ve felt like I’ve really got to know the characters, almost as if they were my friends. I do think this is the type of book where you need to have read the other ones in the series first to really understand how much the characters have evolved over time and therefore why they react to certain situations in the way in which they do. Personally I think Daisy Styles is an amazing writer and Christmas With The Bomb Girls had me gripped right from the start due to a secret that I wanted to uncover. You don’t actually find out what the secret is until the middle of the book but throughout the story, there were some unexpected turns that sometimes made me laugh, sometimes made me cry and even sometimes shocked me. I just keep wanting to read more and found that I couldn’t put the book down.
Winter On The Mersey by Annie Groves
Kitty has seen her fair share of tragedy and instead of thinking about romance, is determined to do her bit for King and country. Her life as a WREN means she is kept busy much of the time, but when Kitty finds herself stationed back home on Merseyside, she meets up again with Frank Feeny, the brave young officer who has always held a place in her heart. Britain is on the verge of victory, but will Kitty embrace the future and learn to love again?
The last book in the festive trio that I chose to read and review was Winter on the Mersey. I have been a huge fan of Annie’s books for a long time and hers were actually the first adult fiction books that I read and I’ve been hooked ever since. Usually with her books, I tend to get straight into them and read them any spare moment I get, however on this occasion, I did find it a bit slow to start with and I had huge difficulty in placing all of the characters because there are so many to remember. Having said this, I did get into the story by the middle and found a few twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting. The story hit home to me just how turbulent, tragic and sad some events in the Second World War really were.