The Orphanage Girls by Mary Wood @Authormary @RandomTTours @panmacmillan #saga #historicalfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Orphanage Girls by Mary Wood. I have read and always loved this author’s books and also the books she writes under Maggie Mason.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my wonderful PB copy of the book from the publisher – Pan Macmillan.

Children deserve a family to call their own.

Ruth dares to dream of another life – far away from the horrors within the walls of Bethnal Green’s infamous orphanage. Luckily she has her friends, Amy and Ellen – but she can’t keep them safe, and the suffering is only getting worse. Surely there must be a way out of here?

But when Ruth breaks free from the shackles of confinement and sets out into East London, hoping to make a new life for herself, she finds that, for a girl with nowhere to turn, life can be just as tough on the outside.

Bett keeps order in this unruly part of the East End – and takes Ruth under her wing alongside orphanage escapee Robbie. But it is Rebekah, a kindly woman, who offers Ruth and Robbie a home – something neither has ever known. Yet even these two stalwart women cannot protect them when the police learn of an orphan on the run. It is then that Ruth must do everything in her power to hide.

Her life – and those of the friends she left behind at the orphanage – depends on it.

MY REVIEW


I have read and enjoyed several books by this author and I know I am going to be on a heart-warming and heart-breaking journey. This book was definitely that.

The author gets straight to it with this story of Ruth Faith. An orphan in Bethnal Green’s Orphanage. It should be a place of security but not so in this case. Set in the early 1900s the author relates how orphans were treated by the staff, how they are seen to be the lowest of the low and are abused, tortured and sometimes worse!

The one thing that gives Ruth hope is that she is almost at an age to leave the home for good. She can then find work and a place to live for her fellow friends at the orphanage. However, Ruth needs to survive to stand any chance of starting a new life.

The author has once again created a story that is heartbreaking but also one that is full of hope. SHe does write some amazing sagas and I think this one is one of the tougher ones as far as the content is concerned. I am aware of the history of orphanages and how life was almost too much for its innocent residents. The author has captured the main fears, challenges, difficulties and so much more as she tells the story of Ruth and her friends.

This isn’t just about Ruth, although she is the main focus. There are several other characters such as Robbie, Hettie, Horacio, Rebekah, Bett and many more. As this is set in London, the author brings in the Cockney pride and the sense of looking out for each other. It gives some of the characters a real boost instead of feeling alone and out on a limb.

This is a fabulous read, yes it does have some tough moments but the author also brings so many other things into her story. There are social expectations, a sense of family, and community spirit but also racism, abuse, corruption and other awful things. I will say though, that the author doesn’t linger too much or over-describe things, enough to make you aware.

If you are a fan of historical fiction, sagas and stories that revolve around small close-knit communities then this is a book for you. If you have read any of this author’s previous books and enjoyed them, then you know you are getting to enjoy this one as well. It is a book I would definitely recommend. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1945, the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary’s family settled in Leicestershire after the war ended.


Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool, United Kingdom during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’.


After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels
Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle.


Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.
When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening.

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The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen @greerkh @sarahpekkanen @panmacmillan @RandomTTours #psychologicalthriller #domesticthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. This is a fabulous psychological thriller that is twisted and full of secrets. This writing duo definitely do make a Golden Couple!

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for the e-copy of this book from Pan MacMillan.

If Avery Chambers can’t fix you in ten sessions, she won’t take you on as a client. She helps people overcome everything, from domineering parents to assault. Her successes almost help her absorb the emptiness she feels since her husband’s death.


Marissa and Mathew Bishop seem like the golden couple until Marissa cheats. She wants to repair things, both because she loves her husband and for the sake of their 8-year-old son. After a friend forwards an article about Avery, Marissa takes a chance on this maverick therapist, who lost her license due to controversial methods. When the Bishops glide through Avery’s door and Marissa reveals her infidelity, all three are set on a collision course. Because the biggest secrets in the room are still hidden, and it’s no longer simply a marriage that’s in danger.

MY REVIEW

I have just read the synopsis for this book and it reminded me what a concise and interesting one it is. It is definitely what attracted me to this book. It implies secrets, not just from the couple but also from the maverick therapist that they go to see. Why would a couple who appear to be a perfect match, or “Golden Couple” need to see a therapist and why choose one that has lost her license?

I really don’t know who to start with for this review, the Bishops or the Therapist. The therapist is Avery Chambers, and yes she does have secrets, she lives alone and she checks around her very carefully. All the why’s will soon become apparent as the story progresses.

The Bishops, Marissa and Matthew have a son. Both parents work, have an affluent lifestyle, they need to have money to pay the fee to see Avery. Their lifestyle is almost choreographed into things that are “Instgramable”, you know the perfectly decorated house with the right decor. Always dressed smartly and holiday in the best locations. So, what is their secret, who has the secret, and are they willing to let their secret be known?

This was a fabulous read and a first for me from this writing duo. This is a domestic thriller that had me hooked. The authors started the story calmly, made the introductions and then came the first meeting for the Bishops and Avery.

From this point on the pacing gradually picks up, details are given and hints of the past are teasingly dropped onto the pages. I soon started to see the dynamics between this golden couple, Matthew so busy with work, meetings and trips with Marissa being the home organiser and also running her own shop, although she does have help from Polly in the shop. A non-stop world of family, business and travel doesn’t always leave much time for husband and wife time.

I really like the character of Avery, she comes across as being a no-nonsense woman, she doesn’t beat around the bush and wants to get to the bottom of the secrets. She is strong enough in herself to decide which people she will take on, it is almost like people have to pass her interview for her to then see them. She has her own treatment plan, 10 steps that are guaranteed to work!

There are some other players who have smaller roles, and rather than spoil it I will leave them to introduce themselves. Let’s see if you work out the liars from the truth-tellers, the cheaters from the good’uns. I thought I had people sussed! That’s all I am saying about me and my pathetic theories.

This is a tense and tight thriller, it is brilliantly paced and it added an exciting addictiveness to it. I needed to know all the details, the juicy bits, the why’s and wherefores. The author’s collaboration is fabulous and the story flows s well. There is some back and forth between characters and also timelines, this fills in details and makes for some incredible jaw-dropping moments. I didn’t see the final few chapters coming, that caught me on the hop.

If you are a fan of a domestic thriller that is tense and teasingly addictive then you really do need to pick up The Golden Couple. It is a cracking read and one I would definitely recommend.

ABOUT THE AUHTORS

Greer Hendricks spent two decades as an editor. Prior to her tenure in book
publishing, she earned her Master’s in journalism from Columbia University. Her
writing has appeared in the New York Times, Allure and Publishers Weekly. Greer
lives in Manhattan with her husband and two children.


Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of eight
solo novels. A former investigative journalist and feature writer, she has published
her work in The Washington Post, USA Today, and many other publications. She is
the mother of three sons and lives just outside Washington, D.C.


Together, they have written the New York Times bestselling novels The Wife
Between Us, An Anonymous Girl, and You Are Not Alone. The Golden Couple is their
fourth novel.

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The Secret Path by Karen Swan #NetGalley @panmacmillan #romance #contemporaryfiction #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The Secret Path by Karen Swan. This was a book I requested to read via NetGalley from Pan MacMillan Publishers. A fabulous story that had me hooked from the first few pages.

In Costa Rica, amid startling white beaches and hot, dense rainforests, the luxurious world of the super-rich butts up against something darker, something sinister. . .

Tara Tremain has worked hard to leave the controlling grasp of her extremely affluent family far behind. With her own career in medicine, she doesn’t need the Tremains’ expectations weighing her down anymore. But pulled back into the family’s orbit one last time for an unmissable party in the jungles of Costa Rica, she finds herself flung into action: a local boy is desperately ill and she must trek for days into the jungle to save his life.

What Tara could never have predicted is that the one person who can help her in this impossible journey is Alex Carter, the man who destroyed her life ten years ago . . .

MY REVIEW

Tara Tremain struggled so much after she realised that Alex had used her that she threw herself into work and only went through the motions of being in a relationship. Working hard as a consultant rather than taking the easy route and living off her parent’s fortune. Her life is a series of long hours, headaches and not much else.

Her family used to vacation in Costa Rica, but since Alex now lives and works there she has not visited for many years. A conservation project to protect an area of rainforest is now due to be handed over to the Costa Rican government, a ceremony that means Tara will return to the area. She is hoping she won’t bump into her ex.

This is a fabulous story and one that had me hooked. The story of Tara and Alex and their time together sounded idyllic, and the author managed to put a wonderful twist into their relationship, one that left Tara reeling. The author then fast forwards a few years, Tara her current boyfriend and others make the journey for a few relaxing days before the all-important ceremony. The author gave some wonderful descriptions of the area, the basic huts and I love the sound of being in an area with no phone signal.

While many believe that the conservation project is for the good of the country, there are some tensions surrounding it. The author gives a view of both sides of the fence and the problems that exist. While it may sound like paradise, the jungle is not safe. It’s not just the animals you have to keep an eye out for the plants are just as dangerous. I loved the descriptions of the jungle areas and the author gave a wonderful image of being surrounded by the greenery and the non-stop sounds.

While this is a romance and contemporary fiction story, there is also a twist of mystery that emerges and this leads to some heart in the mouth moments for a couple of the characters. I loved the pacing of this book and also the various threads that had been woven into it.

A wonderful story that has romance, love, loss and hope. I would definitely recommend it.

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She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker – Chan @panmacmillan @MantleBooks #NetGalley #historicalfantasy #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker – Chan. This is the first book in The Radiant Emperor series and ios set in China in1345. It is a reimagined story from history and I adored this a lot. My thanks to Pan Macmillan and Mantle Books for accepting my request to review this title via NetGalley.

She’ll change the world to survive her fate . . .

In Mongol-occupied imperial China, a peasant girl refuses her fate of an early death. Stealing her dead brother’s identity to survive, she rises from monk to soldier, then to rebel commander. Zhu’s pursuing the destiny her brother somehow failed to attain: greatness. But all the while, she feels Heaven is watching.

Can anyone fool Heaven indefinitely, escaping what’s written in the stars? Or can Zhu claim her own future, burn all the rules and rise as high as she can dream?

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan is a re-imagining of the rise to power of Zhu Yuanzhang. Zhu was the peasant rebel who expelled the Mongols, unified China under native rule, and became the founding Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. 

MY REVIEW

The synopsis for this book mentions how it is based on Zhu Yuanzhang, a peasant born in 1328 who led the rebels who brought the end of Mongolian rule in China. This story is a reimagining or alternative version of Zhu and the rise to power.

So how is this reimagining? A young peasant girl decides she wants to live, she doesn’t want to be nothing, she wants to be something. In fact, she wants greatness and for all to know her name. The only way this can happen is she takes on the identity of her dead brother Zhu.

Set in the 1300s this is a story that I absolutely loved. I really like the idea of a woman having the nerve to rise to power especially in a time when women have no power or status, are possession and should bear the next generation of sons. Having a character that has the temerity and the nerve to make her own way in this male-dominated world was great.

As this is a reimagining of a historical period, it means the book falls into a category of historical fantasy, and to a point yes it is fantasy but it is also fabulous reading for those who love historical fiction. AS soon as I started this book and read the first couple of sentences I knew I was going to enjoy reading it. Those opening lines were ideal for drawing me in.

As this is set in the 1300s there is a lot of turmoil in the Mongolian/ Chinese areas, under the Khanate, Mongolia wanted to extend its reach and the size of the kingdom. China was a country that has had a lot of turbulent times, Mongolian rule is just one of those times.

The author created a fabulous set of characters who all have their own desires, some more honest than others but very few I would call trustworthy. The middle ages are about power, land, resources, armies, feuds and dominance. Sides and allegiances can be swapped in a blink of an eye. Families are even worse.

I did like that the author decided to choose a female to be the main protagonist, especially when women hold such a low status in this era. I really enjoyed following the journey from peasant girl to a monk and then the story that followed.

I adored everything about this book, it was also incredibly difficult to put down once I had started it. As this is the first book in The Radiant Emporer, I will be looking forward to continuing the story of Zhu in the next book.

I liked this a huge amount and it is one I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my review, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Yours Cheerfully by A.J Pearce #histfic #NetGalley @panmacmillan #publicationday #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Yours Cheerfully by A.J. Pearce. This is the second book in The Emmy Lake Chronicles. I loved the first book Dear Mrs Bird and this second book is just as good.

My thanks to the publisher Pan Macmillan for my advanced e-copy that I requested via NetGalley. This book is also #3 in the #20booksofsummer reading challenge.

From the author of the “jaunty, heartbreaking winner” (People) and international bestseller Dear Mrs. Bird, a new charming and uplifting novel set in London during World War II about a plucky aspiring journalist.

London, November 1941. Following the departure of the formidable Henrietta Bird from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the challenge of becoming a young wartime advice columnist. Her relationship with boyfriend Charles (now stationed back in the UK) is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty, still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, is bravely looking to the future. Together, the friends are determined to Make a Go of It.

When the Ministry of Information calls on Britain’s women’s magazines to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort, Emmy is thrilled to be asked to step up and help. But when she and Bunty meet a young woman who shows them the very real challenges that women war workers face, Emmy must tackle a life-changing dilemma between doing her duty and standing by her friends.

Every bit as funny, heartwarming, and touching as Dear Mrs. BirdYours Cheerfully is a celebration of friendship—a testament to the strength of women and the importance of lifting each other up, even in the most challenging times. 

My Review…

I have been waiting for a follow on to Dear Mrs Bird and Yours Cheerfully is a fabulous 2nd book in The Emmy Lake Chronicles.

Emmy Lake wanted to be a war journalist, she did get a job but not quite the one she imagined. It was for an Agony Aunt Column in a magazine called the Woman’s Friend. Set during WWII Emmy is making her way in the magazine world. this magazine is a small friendly publication that is full of tips on clothing, making the best of what you have, gardening, cookery and of course advice.

The Ministry call on magazines to help recruit more women to work in a bid to help out the war effort. A chance meeting with Anne a mother of two gives her an insight into women working in the factories. the women are determined in doing their bit, but they feel they are being treated as men would be and that fact hey they have children and homes to look after is not being taken into account. This sets Emmy on something of a mission as the factory women become friends, she still has to be careful about what she writes due to censorship.

I loved how the author has continued the story of Emmy and also her good friend Bunty. There is enough information given to get an idea of the first book, but I would recommend reading it as it was such an excellent one.

Once again the author includes a letter from readers who seek advice during a worrying time. For young girls working for the first time, for mothers who have children to care for alone, she touches on how widows are treated and the conditions that women who are effectively single parents during wartime deal with in life.

The author has brought the style of the magazine, which was seen as one of the little publications for older readers into the forefront. Giving Emmy a larger role so that she is able to really get to grips with the working woman life. There is politics, there is a certain amount of elitism and snobbery and there is the old boy’s brigade that comes into play. But during all this, the author does remember that Emmy has a life outside of the magazine. One that involves her boyfriend Charlie.

Once again the author has created such an addictive read. She deals with issues of the day in such a way as it makes the reader care about the issues. Some of the things I was not aware of and it has been an enlightening read as well as an emotional one. It does have its moments of sadness but also many moments of hope. A gorgeous story and one for those who like historical fiction during WWII. It is one I would definitely recommend.

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Secrets of the Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood @Authormary #panmacmillan @RandomTTours #histfic #saga #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Secrets of the Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood. I am a huge fan of this author and her books and this is the second book in the series.

My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my copy of this fabulous book.

A heart-warming saga about female friendship from the bestselling author of The Jam Factory Girls.
Secrets of the Jam Factory Girls is a moving saga novel of friendship set in the heart of pre-WWI London from
bestselling author, Mary Wood.


Elsie’s worked her way up at Swift’s Jam Factory from the shop floor to the top, and now it’s her time to shine. But
when she’s involved in an incident involving her half-sister Millie’s new husband, she is forced to keep it secret – the
truth could threaten their sisterly bond.


Dot is dogged by fear, coming to terms with her mother’s rejection of her. She should be enjoying the happiness she
craves with her beloved Cess; instead, she’s trapped in an asylum, haunted by the horrifying cries of inmates. All she
wants is to get married, but what chance is there for her if she’s locked away?


Millie is trying to build a life with her new husband. But the man she loves is not all he seems . . .


Can the Jam Factory girls create the future they all deserve?


This historical saga series begins with The Jam Factory Girls.

My Review…

This is the second book in the Jam Factory Girls series and it does continue on from the previous book, but you could read it as a stand-alone, but you would miss out on a great story and intro to the girls.

Life has changed for Elise and Millie as their sisterly bond becomes closer. In fact, the bond between Cess, Bert and all the characters becomes closer. Within this closeness, there is still the feeling of not belonging as Millie has lived a very different lifestyle to that of her new fond family. These differences can be overcome and realisations are discussed as each person finds where they feel more at home.

This closeness is going to be tested, and not in a way I had ever envisioned. I don’t ever read the synopsis for any of this authors books, I just know I want to read them and that is just what I do. The Jam Factory is improving, and not just in the profits but also in production since Elsie and Millie have had more of an input. Working conditions and the health and well being of their mostly female staff has worked wonders.

With the slowly changing attitudes, things do have the appearance of looking up, there is however the old fashioned attitude that is still very strong, an attitude of ” this is how things have always been” still has a firm foothold. Challenging this attitude both on the work and homelife front is something that will be a strength of will.

This is a wonderful historical fiction that I adored, as I mentioned this is a continuation and it was great to catch up with the girls and their families. The author really does encompass so many things in the time of the setting. Hints and nudges towards working condition, family life, status, a little of the politics and of course it is all wrapped up in a wonderful story.

the author never makes things easy for her characters, or for that matter her readers as she does put us all through the wringer. I did find this book angered me a lot as the attitudes of the time and of particular characters are so bloody-minded and it is the strength of the writing that brings out the feelings.

A superb read as always from a fabulous author. If you are a fan of historical fiction, sagas and family dramas from a time gone by then you are going to get on so well with this author. I would definitely recommend this book.

About the Author…

Born the thirteenth child of fifteen to a middle-class mother and an East End barrow boy, Mary Wood’s family was poor, but rich in love. Mary raised four children and has numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


An avid reader, she first put pen to paper in 1989 and is now a full-time novelist. She is the bestselling author of
numerous books, including The Abandoned Daughter and The Brave Daughters.

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Can You See Me Now by Trisha Sakhlecha @TrishaSakhlecha @RandomTTours @panmacmillan #mystery #crime #thriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for Can You See Me Now by Trisha Sakhlecha. This was a fabulous book and I would like to say a huge thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Blog Tours for my spot on the tour and for arranging for my copy from the publisher Pan MacMillan. It wasn’t until I read Trisha’s bio below that I realised that this book is based on an actual event!

From Trisha Sakhlecha,Can You See Me Now? is a gripping psychological suspense thriller about a young Indian woman, now a government minister, whose past secrets are about to reverberate into the present and shatter her life. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell and Erin Kelly.

Fifteen years ago, three sixteen-year-old girls meet at Wescott, an exclusive private school in India.
Two, Sabah and Noor, are the most popular girls in their year. One, Alia, is a new arrival from England, who feels her happiness depends on their acceptance.

Before she knows it, Sabah and Noor’s intoxicating world of privilege and intimacy opens up to Alia and, for the first time, after years of neglect from her parents, she feels she is exactly where, and with whom, she belongs.

But with intimacy comes jealousy, and with privilege, resentment, and Alia finds that it only takes one night for her bright new world to shatter around her.

Now Alia, a cabinet minister in the Indian government, is about to find her secrets have no intention of staying
buried . . . 

My Review…


I absolutely adored this book and the author has done such a brilliant job of creating a story that is full of intrigue and mystery.

The story is told in two different timelines. One is the present the other is 15 years ago while three girls were at a prestigious school in Delhi. The girls are Sabah, Noori and Alia. Alia is the newest member of the group and for the first time in her life, she feels that this is a group to which she should belong.

The past is one that builds a picture of school life for the girls and shows the dynamics between the three of them. Building on their characters and personality traits, the author gradually weaves in an air of mistrust and jealousy. Close friendships are only close when secrets and trust are kept intact, but when a comment is let loose then cracks start to form.

In the present, Alia is a politician, a position she has worked hard to for over the years, Sabah is a documentary filmmaker wanting her next story. There are things in the past that have never been fully revealed. Yet there are some things that are starting to surface.

This is such a brilliantly addictive read. I really enjoyed the dual timeline format of this story. The author used it to great effect, providing links and also reasons for mistrust in the present. The mystery behind an event in the past was one that was gradually teased out. There were several little subplots that gave more suspicions and doubt and it wasn’t until much later int he story where things were finally brought to a conclusion.

Very enjoyable from start to finish. Gripping throughout and one I think readers of crime, mystery thrillers would enjoy. One I would definitely recommend.

About the Author…

Trisha Sakhlecha grew up in New Delhi and now lives in London.  For her new novel, she draws upon a true story – a famous scandal that erupted at her own high school and which changed India.  She works in fashion and is a graduate of the acclaimed Faber Academy writing course. In the past, Trisha has worked as a designer, trend forecaster, and lecturer.  She is the author of Your Truth Or Mine? www. trishasakhlecha.com or on Instagram @trishasakhlecha Critical acclaim for Tisha Sakhlecha

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The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood @Authormary @panmacmillan #hist/fic #saga #bookreview

I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood. I was so surprised and absolutely delighted when a copy of this book landed on my doormat, so my huge thanks to Pan Macmillan for my amazing book post.

Any regular visitors to my blog may be aware that I am a big fan of Mary’s work, she also writes under the pseudonym Maggie Mason. This author definitely knows how to write a saga, so if you love your historical fiction then you need to check out some of her books.

Let’s look at the first in this new trilogy by Mary…

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The Jam Factory Girls is an uplifting and emotional novel of friendship set in the heart of pre-WWI London from bestselling author, Mary Wood.

Life for Elsie is difficult as she struggles to cope with her alcoholic mother. Caring for her siblings and working long hours at Swift’s Jam Factory in London’s Bermondsey is exhausting. Thankfully her lifelong friendship with Dot helps to smooth over life’s rough edges.

When Elsie and Dot meet Millie Swift, they are nervous to be in the presence of the bosses’ daughter. Over time, they are surprised to feel so drawn to her, but should two East End girls be socializing in such circles?

When disaster strikes, it binds the women in ways they could never imagine. Long-held secrets are revealed that could change all their lives…

Purchase from Amazon UK – Mary’s book are very accessible and you usually see them in the supermarket and you can of course order them from your local book seller.

My Review…

It is always an absolute treat to read a book by this author, especially when I get to read the first book in a new trilogy. The Jam Factory Girls is the first in this new trilogy and it is a wonderful book from start to finish.

This book introduces two Eastend girls Elsie and Dot, and also the Jam factory owners daughter Millie. An unlikely friendship blooms between these girls, they just get on so well. Millie’s friendship would be looked down upon by her parents just as the girls’ friendship with Millies would be. In an era when social classes are still very evident, and classes should not mix it is an unusual relationship, to say the least.

For me, Elsie was the main character of the three and her story is told more so than the others, but the author knows how to weave a tale that involves the three. Hardship, poor working conditions and living conditions are described and show that even when times are tough, there are always those that are in a worse condition.

The over-riding feeling through this book is one of friendship, loyalty and wanting to do the right thing. Not always easy when a good deed can be seen as charity and pride is a priority. The story tells of not just the friendship between the girls but also includes the going on in the factory, the rise of women calling for their own rights in the workforce.

This is an absolutely fabulous book and one that I adored. The author has once again transported me back in time and delivered such a heartbreaking at times story, but one that also injects hope for the future into it. If you are a fan of sagas and historical fiction then this is a book that is definitely one that should be on your list. If you have read any of this author’s books then you know you are going to be in for a wonderful read. The Jam Factory Girls is a book I would definitely recommend. 

About the Author…

Mary Wood

Born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1945, the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary’s family settled in Leicestershire after the war ended.

Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’.

After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels

Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle.

Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.

When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening. One of her favourite pastimes is interacting with her readers on her Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/HistoricalNovels
And on her web page: http://www.authormarywood.com
She is also on Twitter: @Authormary

Mary welcomes all contact with her readers and feedback on her work.

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Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Abandoned Daughter by Mary Wood @Authormary @panmacmillan @EllisKeene #Review #Giveaway

I am delighted to be sharing my review for The Abandoned Daughter by Mary Wood. Whether this author writes as Mary Wood or as Maggie Mason I absolutely adore her books. The latest is another book that had me in tears yet again! Mary just manages to create characters that I care about and I cannot help but feel for.

Mary is generously running a Giveaway. To be entered into this just comment below. All comments on my Blog require my approval. Once I have approved your comments Mary will then be able to see them and enter you into her draw.

This Giveaway is run by Mary and she will get in touch with the winner direct. Me And My Books is not responsible for the Giveaway or the dispatch or the prize.

Now then, let’s have a look at The Abandoned Daughter and see what it is all about 🙂 xx

Voluntary nurse Ella is haunted by the soldiers’ cries she hears on the battlefields of Dieppe. But that’s not the only thing that haunts her. When her dear friend Jim breaks her trust, Ella is left bruised and heartbroken. Over the years, her friendships have been pulled apart at the seams by the effects of war. Now, more than ever, she feels so alone.

At a military hospital in France, Ella befriends Connie and Paddy. Slowly she begins to heal, and finds comfort in the arms of a French officer called Paulo – could he be her salvation?

With the end of the war on the horizon, surely things have to get better? Ella grew up not knowing her real family but a clue leads her in their direction. What did happen to Ella’s parents, and why is she so desperate to find out?

The Abandoned Daughter by Mary Wood is the second book in The Girls Who Went To War series.

The Abandoned Daughter is available in ebook and paperback now.

This is the second in the Girls Who Went To War series and while I have not yet read the first book it has no way marred my reading of The Abandoned Daughter. Though I will say I will be buying the first.

The author does put her characters through the proverbial mill and also characters that I care about. Elle is such a lovable and sweet character and my goodness does she have so much thrown at her. Pain and suffering seem to follow her, just I thought she was going to have a happy life something goes wrong. A phrase that I have heard many times and also that the author used in her book was the one about “God only gives you what he knows you can deal with”. This is something that does sum up Elle to a tee. Even so, how a person could deal with losing so much!

The story is not just about Elle, it is about her friends and her time as a nurse. I should explain that the story begins as World War I, Elle is a nurse at the battlefield hospitals. After the war ends and Elle returns home things at first start to go well. There is mention of the struggle that returning troops found and this I found very interesting. Many soldiers finding themselves homeless, ill and well… lost.

The struggles at home take on a different route to what I expected, but thank goodness for Rowena. Everyone should have a Rowena in their lives and I adored her. The author adds so many social and economic problems for the time to her stories. It is such a useful thing as not only does it fit with the setting of the book it also highlights the struggles of others.

Elle is such an amazing character who really is pushed to the limits of endurance. I had my heart in my mouth so many times as I wondered how or if she would cope with everything.

This author is an absolute delight to read. She creates characters that I care about with plot lines that touch the heart. Emotional is something I expect and tears from me seem to be a given whenever I read her books. She creates stories that keep me eagerly turning pages and often until the early hours of the morning.

If you love historical fiction and family sagas you will love Mary Wood and also Maggie Mason.

The Abandoned Daughter is a book I would Highly Recommend.

Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’. 

After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels 

Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle. 

Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.

When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening. One of her favourite pastimes is interacting with her readers on her FacebookWebsiteTwitter

Mary welcomes all contact with her readers and feedback on her work.

See what other Book Blogger think by following the Blog Tour

#BlogTour : The Street Orphans by Mary Wood @Authormary : #BookReview

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I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts for “The Street Orphans” by Mary Wood as part of the blog tour. Published in eBook, paperback and audio formats. My thanks to Mary and also Kate at Pan Macmillan for my copy of this book and my spot on the tour.

Synopsis:

The Street Orphans is an emotional story set in 1850s Lancashire, from Mary Wood, the author of In Their Mother’s Footsteps and Brighter Days Ahead.

Born with a club foot in a remote village in the Pennines, Ruth is feared and ridiculed by her superstitious neighbours who see her affliction as a sign of witchcraft. When her father is killed in an accident and her family evicted from their cottage, she hopes to leave her old life behind, to start afresh in the Blackburn cotton mills. But tragedy strikes once again, setting in motion a chain of events that will unravel her family’s lives.

Their fate is in the hands of the Earl of Harrogate, and his betrothed, Lady Katrina. But more sinister is the scheming Marcia, Lady Katrina’s jealous sister. Impossible dreams beset Ruth from the moment she meets the Earl. Dreams that lead her to hope that he will save her from the terrible fate that awaits those accused of witchcraft. Dreams that one day her destiny and the Earl’s will be entwined.

My Thoughts:

Now I know of the name, have seen a few books but have never read a book by this author. Looking through her books there is definitely a theme of historical based family sagas and social history. The Street Orphans is one that falls into these categories.

The story is of Ruth, a young woman with a club foot in 1850’s Lancashire. Her disability gives cause for concern for people as she is seen as “different” and therefore cannot be trusted and quite possibly a witch. A time where superstition and stigma are attached just as quick as mud to a shoe.

I loved this book and for so many reasons. I like to be taken into a the social aspects of a story and the contrasts between the various classes is wonderful. She explains within the story how stereotypes and stigmas cause mistrust and twists perceptions. This is very evident with another character, Katerina. Her parents have a mixed background marriage and the expectations of wealthy and titled as well as untitled people have their own set of problems. Arranged marriages for financial security, business deals, social status are among some of the challenges that are set out.

I really liked the way the author has used the local dialect for some of her characters. For me this worked really well and showed an emphasis on the differences between the locals and some other characters.

As with many things then as is now, power is an all-encompassing beast. The more you have, the more you can lose. The more you have, the more you want. This is played out really well within one of the plots of the story. Even though we follow the story of Ruth there are other stories that cross and intertwine with hers.

The story takes you into a world that is tragic, heartbreaking, cruel and nasty but it is gently balanced with a heartwarming and hopeful thread. I went through quite a few emotions with this story from shock and horror at some of the treatment and opinions, heartbreaking moments as things for the characters changed and the consequences that followed.

As I mentioned earlier, this is my first experience with this author and if this book is anything to go by i will be reading more. I would have quite happily sat and read tis book in a day if I had started it earlier, as it was I read it over two evenings. It was a story that caught me right from its shocking start and kept my attention throughout.

It is an amazing story with some wonderful characters and fantastic dialogue and setting descriptions. The plot took me through the highs, lows and some of the characters I loved some I loathed as I was transported back to the Victorian era of Lancashire. This author knows how to write a good story and I would highly recommend this book for readers of historical fiction, historical romance, social history,

About the Author:

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Born in Maidstone, Kent, in 1945, the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary’s family settled in Leicestershire after the war ended.

Mary married young and now, after 54 years of happy marriage, four children, 12 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, Mary and her husband live in Blackpool during the summer and Spain during the winter – a place that Mary calls, ‘her writing retreat’.

After many jobs from cleaning to catering, all chosen to fit in with bringing up her family, and boost the family money-pot, Mary ended her 9 – 5 working days as a Probation Service Officer, a job that showed her another side to life, and which influences her writing, bringing a realism and grittiness to her novels

Mary first put pen to paper, in 1989, but it wasn’t until 2010 that she finally found some success by self-publishing on kindle.

Being spotted by an editor at Pan Macmillan in 2013, finally saw Mary reach her publishing dream.

When not writing, Mary enjoys family time, reading, eating out, and gardening.

Follow Mary on – Website – Twitter

GIVEAWAY ALERT ……Mary is running a giveaway and will offer a signed copy of the book to be drawn from those leaving a comment on the site.

Disclaimer: I am not involved in any way with this giveaway. The author will contact any winners directly. Any responsibility for the prize lies with the author.

See what other Book Bloggers think by following the tour

The Street Orphans - Blog tour 2018.jpg

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or a share would be great 🙂 xx