Books

The Allotment Girls By Kate Thompson

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Before picking The Allotment Girls book up, I had never heard of the author Kate Thompson. Whilst you should never judge a book by its cover, it was that which drew me into purchasing this book. This was before I gained an interest in gardening, so I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it.

The Allotment Girls By Kate Thompson Book Cover

The Blurb

Hope can grow anywhere…

During the Second World War, life in the iconic Bryant & May match factory is grimy and tough. Annie, Rose, Pearl and Millie carry on making matches for the British Army, while bombs rain down around them.

Inspired by the Dig For Victory campaign, Annie persuades the owners to start an allotment in the Bryant & May factory grounds. With plenty of sweat and toil, the girls eventually carve out a corner of the yard into a green plot full of life and colour.

In the darkest of times, the girls find their allotment a tranquil, happy escape. Using pierced dustbin lids to sieve through the shrapnel and debris, they bring about a powerful change, not just in the factory but also in their own lives.

As the war rages on, the garden becomes a place of community, friendship – and deceit. As the garden thrives and grows, so do the girls’ secrets…

My Thoughts

Despite the blurb, the book actually starts in 1897, 42 years before that outbreak of the Second World War. Whilst it only lasts for one chapter, it grips you and makes you want to read on. From the second chapter onwards, the book is set in the 1940s. I found myself constantly thinking of how it links back to the beginning of the story. Personally, I’m a very nosy person. I always want to uncover the secrets so I felt compelled to continue reading on.

What I wasn’t prepared for was how much I could connect with this book on a personal level. Throughout the story, there was an underlying theme which is briefly touched on throughout the book. This is that you never know what goes on behind closed doors. As well as this, its about how far people will go to cover it up. It really proved to me that we are shaped by things that have happened in our past.

Like with many books, tragedy strikes and just when you think the worse, happiness shines through. Despite the title of this book, it’s more about the girls lives rather than the allotment they care for. This book has such a heart-warming ending. I found myself actually crying with joy, which is something books rarely do to me. However, this joy soon turns to upset when I read the last chapter. The match girls, one explosive summer that changed the course of history. It transpires that part of The Allotment Girls book is based on a true and harrowing story.

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Mother’s Only Child By Anne Bennett

The Lodger By Louisa Treger

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22 thoughts on “The Allotment Girls By Kate Thompson

  1. I know that I’d pick this up and not put it down till I was done. I love the theme that you never know what’s going on behind closed doors – isn’t that the truth!
    Rosie

  2. I love your reviews, thank you! I think this sounds like a great book, and I love the themes you’ve discussed. You never know what’s going on with someone behind closed doors x

  3. This is such a nice review! It sounds like an easy read and a book that I would enjoy. I really like reading books set in the time period of WWII so it sounds perfect for me!

  4. It sounds like a really hope-filled book, and we could all use a heavy dose of hopefulness right now! Even though I don’t typically enjoy historical fiction, I might like this one!

  5. I am loving the spring sunshine I am getting here in Virginia; almost seventy degrees today with a refreshing breeze, so books are busy piling onto my spring reading list! Two of them are not yet out, so I am delighted by this book. It sounds inspiring and empowering, with maybe a dash of betrayal and sadness thrown in!
    Thanks for sharing such a lovely review! I enjoy gardening; it is one more way to be patient for the golden outcome. <3

  6. This sounds like a really great book! It’s a glowing review – it’s not necessarily something that I would normally opt to pick up myself but after reading this I would x

  7. This definitely sounds like a book I would enjoy, I love books set during the 1940s! Thank you for sharing, it’s going straight on my books to read later pile x

  8. This sounds like a beautiful story of finding hope in one of the most difficult times. I can’t imagine living through the war, but I love the idea of demonstrating that you CAN find light in the darkness (even if you have to create it yourself). That’s a concept that can be applied to any stage of our lives.

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