My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2 days
Pages - 480
Publisher - Quercus
Source - Amazon
Blurb from Goodreads
Gosport, 1943, and even in the middle of war the local pub provides a warm welcome, thanks to its trio of barmaids. A heartwarming saga for fans of Sheila Newberry and Daisy Styles.
Ruby has been living and working at the Point of No Return pub since her parents were killed by a bomb. She loves the bustle of the pub; it helps take her mind off worrying about her fiance, Joe, away fighting in France.
The only thing Ruby doesn't like about the Point is Sylvie. This singing siren may have a beautiful voice, but she's out for all she can get, including Joe.
Finally, there's Marge, a true party girl. She's a great friend to Ruby and makes sure they have fun, going out to dances and flirting with all and sundry, but she's not as fond of her other role as a mother to two young children.
The three of them face many obstacles to fulfilling their dreams, but the bonds of friendship and camaraderie that hold the Point together will keep them going through the darkest of times.
Ruby is a sweet girl, devoted to her man Joe soon to be husband who is away fighting in the war. Working in the bar along with her best friend Marge, mum and provider for her family as her husband is less than useless and finally Sylvia. Sylvia is beautiful, ambitious and always had her eye on Joe, she has no scruples and will stop at nothing to get her prize, Joe! Trying to make a living, stay out of the bath of dropping bombs and just get through the day to day we follow the three ladies and their stories.
I like Ruby, she is such a sweet girl and finds herself in the predicament so many did in those times and tries to keep her mind and spirits up. Marge is a poor soul, lively, working to the bone trying to find a snatch of enjoyment whilst her husband has all but abandoned her to look after the kids and her gran. Sylvia I despised, she is a horror, her beauty is skin deep only she is a nasty individual who is so self involved no one and nothing gets between her and what she needs. We get a bit of an insight into what made her so and I felt for her but as an adult she makes choices and her behaviour is deplorable.
It is a story about lives during the war, the struggles, survival, rationing, friendship, love, loss, grief, anger, death, loyalty and then some. Archer covers a host of topics and emotions in her books, creating characters that whether you love or hate you just want to keep reading. Some of the actions of the characters enraged me or irritated me and you just wanted to shake them or shout nooooooooooo, engaging! This isn't my first by this author and it won't be my last 3.5/5 for me this time.