When My Ship Comes In by Sue Wilsher book review

 

when my ship comes in

When My Ship Comes In written by Sue Wilsher, publisher Sphere, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover, paperback and audio download format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

If you love Call The Midwife, you won’t be able to resist this heartwrenching emotional saga set in 1950s Essex.

Keep the family together, that’s what her old mum always said. Put up and shut up. And that’s what everyone else did around there.

Essex, 1959. Flo earns her money as a scrubber, cleaning the cruise ships and dreaming of a day when she might sail away from her life in the Dwellings, the squalid tenements of Tilbury docks. Then the Blundell family are evicted from their home.

Fred, Flo’s husband, finds work at Monday’s, a utopian factory town. Suddenly, it seems like everything is on the up for Flo Blundell and her children. Even Jeanie, Flo’s sulking teenage daughter, seems to be thawing a little in her shiny new surroundings.

But when Flo’s abusive husband Fred starts drinking again, he jeopardises the family’s chance to escape poverty for good.

Flo is faced with a terrible decision. Must she fight to keep her family together? Or could she strive for the life of her dreams – the kind of life she could have when her ship comes in?

1950s woman with gloves and handbag

I read this debut novel by Sue Wilsher back in in January but I wanted my review to be posted near the release date of the paperback which was a mere few days ago.

This was such a raw, honest story of life as it really was back in 1959.  The story is set at Tilbury Docks, Essex but it could be set anywhere in the country as families, men and women, had certain roles to play back in that era. Women had a hard life back in the 50’s, some worked to help with the housekeeping funds but they were also expected to cook, clean and look after the children around their work schedule.  The men went to work and very often visited a public house before coming home to dinner of the table.  It was just the way of the world back then but Flo was a very strong minded lady and had to find a way of swimming with the world on the cusp of change in women’s equality at work.

After Flo’s husband Fred lost his job at the docks he reluctantly found work at a leather goods factory in a nearby town.  This was a self-made town that the owner of the factory had built.  Mr Monday Senior, of Monday’s Leather Goods, had a vision of a factory making quality goods with his employees living in purpose built houses encased in their own village which included bars, sports facilities and events were held bringing the workforce together as a team.

Flo loved it at Monday’s she had managed to get a job herself and soon picked up the skills required and was encouraged to train to further her career.  This was totally unheard of for a woman to be given training for promotion and in a way Flo felt like a ‘guinea pig’ but she relished the studying.

This was a new style of working ethic for Fred but at first he settled in well however, eventually his old habits slithered back in causing a whole heap of trouble.  Flo was left in despair and turmoil over her marriage and the safety of her family.  Should she give up her dreams of her career and a better life for her family?

Sue Wilsher had cleverly told this story in two different voices.  The voice of Flo, the wife and mother and the voice of Jeanie, the 15 year old daughter refusing to be moulded in the ‘woman of the 50’s figure.’  I loved the struggle felt in this storyline, it was quite emotional to read at times due to the honesty of the author’s words.  A remarkable debut novel that awakens a time and an era when struggles were a daily occurrence for many.  I was hoping for an epilogue as I love to know how the characters developed but this is just my preference.  I look forward to more from Sue Wilsher. 4.5/5*

To find out more about Sue Wilsher please visit the following pages:

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/SueWilsher

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/SueWilsherWriter/

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Penhaligon’s Attic by Terri Nixon book review

penhalligans-attic

Penhaligon’s Attic written by Terri Nixon, publisher Piatkus, is available in ebook and paperback format from 1st December 2016.

To pre-order/buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Penhaligons-Attic-Penhaligon-Terri-Nixon/dp/0349412650/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1480362559&sr=1-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

1910. Anna Garvey arrives in Caernoweth, Cornwall with her daughter and a secret. Having come from Ireland to take up an inheritance of the local pub, she and her eighteen year-old daughter Mairead are initially viewed with suspicion by the close-knit community.

Anna soon becomes acquainted with Freya Penhaligon, a vulnerable girl struggling to keep her family business afloat in the wake of her grandmother’s death, and starts to gain the trust of the locals. As their friendship deepens, and Freya is brought out of her shell by the clever and lively Mairead, even Freya’s protective father Matthew begins to thaw.

But when a part of Anna’s past she’d long tried to escape turns up in the town, she is forced to confront the life she left behind – for her sake and her daughter’s too . . .

vintage-shells

This was a wonderful family saga set in Cornwall in the early 1900’s.

Anna and her teenage daughter, Mairead, escape a secret that they hope has been left hidden in Ireland. They take the long, cold journey across the sea and counties to relocate in the small, rugged coastline village in Cornwall. Anna has a long-lost family business back in the village and hopes to be able to move easily back into it without upsetting the current residents.

The village is quite a close-knit community, especially with the fishermen. One of the fishermen is Matthew Penhaligon. Matthew had it all: a beautiful wife, doting daughter, a job he loved working out on the sea. But he had another love 8 years ago which nearly cost him everything he had.

Can this close knit community trust the new outsiders? Will Anna and her daughter Mairead be able to keep their dark secrets hidden? Can Matthew keep his demons in the past?

The village has seen many changes over the years and business owners (including Matthew’s parents own, Penhaligon’s Attic a wonderful bookshop) are facing hard times. With the changes in industry and economy can the bookshop survive in this unknown future?

A lovely story of grief, hardship, community spirit, dark secrets, love and hope set in a wonderful idyllic location.

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.

About the Authorterri-nixon

Terri was born in Plymouth in 1965. At the age of 9 she moved with her family to Cornwall, to a small village on the edge of Bodmin Moor, where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one’s ever offered to pay her for doing those.

Since publishing in paperback for the first time in 2002, Terri has appeared in both print and online fiction collections, and is proud to have contributed to the Shirley Jackson award-nominated hardback collection: Bound for Evil, by Dead Letter Press. As a Hybrid author, her first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, published by Piatkus Entice (a digital-first imprint of Little, Brown,) and short-listed in the “Best Historical Read” category at the Festival of Romance 2013. The sequel, A Rose in Flanders Fields, was published by Carina UK (a digital-first imprint of HarperCollins) and was short-listed in the same category in 2014.

Terri’s self-published Mythic Fiction series set in Cornwall, The Lynher Mill Chronicles, has now been launched. Books one and two are available in print and e-book, and the third book in the series is due for release in June 2015.
Terri now lives in Plymouth with her youngest son, and works in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don’t possess pens.

Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon. She is represented by the Kate Nash Literary Agency.

To find out more about Terri please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.terrinixon.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/TerriNixon