After the loss of war, can there be hope for the future?
Belinda Layton is a surplus girl. One of the many women whose dreams of marriage perished in the Great War, with the death of her beloved fiancé, Ben. After four years of mourning, she’s ready to face the future, even though Ben’s family is not happy to see her move on, and her own only cares about getting hold of her meagre factory wages.
Then, Belinda joins a secretarial class and a whole new world opens up to her as she quickly finds herself drawn to beguiling bookshop owner Richard Carson.
But after all the loss and devastation she has experienced, can she really trust him with her heart?
The first in a trio of sagas set during the early 1920s, following three Surplus Girls – those women whose dreams of marriage perished in the Great War, after the deaths of millions of young men, and the new lives they forged for themselves.
Captivating & Enthralling!
This is a great read, and in preparing for this review post I’ve discovered it’s first in a trilogy so now I’m really excited!
Belinda Layton was looking forward to a rosy future with her fiance, Ben, until the horrors of the first World War put paid to their plans. Bel finds herself living with Ben’s mother and grandmother who have more than most .. but life is hard. Four years after the war has finished and they are still in deepest mourning and expect Bel to follow suit, but she’s young and wants a better future for herself – is that so wrong?
As you probably know by now, I have a fondness for domestic fiction set around both world wars, and this is an excellent example of something that little bit different. Polly Heron spins a fine tale, showing an understanding of the hardships of the working classes and how hard it was for anyone, but especially women, to better themselves. Society was very different almost a century ago, and the author demonstrates this perfectly in a wonderful story of a young woman who wants just that little bit more, aiming for a better life than her mother before her. This is a well written, enthralling read which captivated my attention from first to last. I found myself rooting for Bel and, despite the setbacks she faces, desperately wanted her to succeed. A riveting read, fully worth four shining stars and recommended by me as a series well worth following.
My thanks to publisher Corvus for my copy via NetGalley; this is – naturally – my honest and unbiased review.
Tags: historical fiction, post-WWI
- Format: ebook, paperback
- Size: 365 pages
- Publisher: Corvus
- Publication Date: 2 January 2020
- Links: Goodreads
- Google Play
- Barnes & Noble
- W. H. Smith
Polly Heron lives on the beautiful North Wales coast with her husband and their two rescue cats. She is originally from Chorlton-cum-Hardy in Manchester, where her family has lived for several generations and which provides the setting for her family sagas.
The Surplus Girls series focuses on the young women whose lives were changed for ever by the Great War. The huge loss of life among the soldiers meant that many girls lost potential husbands and a generation of young women found themselves in the position of having, without the necessary training or education, to face a future of fending for themselves.
Polly Heron also writes as Susanna Bavin.