My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 3 days
Pages - 496
Publisher - Orion
Source - Bought (I think ABE books )
Blurb from Goodreads
The first of the Liverpool Pearl Street novels set against the backdrop of the Second World War.
As Britain stands alone against a monstrous enemy, the inhabitants of Pearl Street face hardship and heartbreak with courage and humour.
The war touches each of them in a different way: for Annie Poulson, a widow, it means never-ending worry when her twin boys are called up and sent to France; Sheila Reilly's husband, Cal, faces the terror of U-Boat attacks; Eileen Costello is liberated from a bitter, loveless marriage when her husband is sent to Egypt and she goes to work in a munitions factory - and falls in love. And Jessica Fleming, down on her luck, is forced to return to the street she'd hoped never to see again.
Book one in the Liverpool Pearl Street series, I hadn't read (nor heard) of this author before but it was a bulk buy job. I got eight books for a bargain deal and just realised none of them are the next in the series lol, typical!
Set in Pearl Street we meet the families living there, Eileen and Sheila, sisters and both married, Eileen to Frank, Sheila to Cal. Their marriages could not be more different although on the surface it all looks fine. Set pre and just kicking off, World War Two we see the community as they are, gossiping, pulling together, judging all the usual in small communities. Some of the relationships are not what they seem and no matter how bad things are, a woman, especially a catholic one, must stand by her man, right?
I really like Eileen, she is strong and quite opinionated in a time when women were thought to be seen and not heard or only just to serve their men and have babies. Eileen has a strong personality and we see this throughout her personal choices and helping out with her family and friends. A good start to a trilogy and of course I will need to buy the others to see what is coming next for our people.
A different range of characters and issues, poverty, class divisions, grief, loss, violence, war, relationships, family, societal expectations, alcoholism and how things change as the war kicks off. 3.5/5 for me this time, hopefully not too long before I buy and get to read the next one.
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