The Butlin Girls by Elaine Everest blogtour/book review

butlin girls

The Butlin Girls written by Elaine Everest, publisher Pan, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

‘Molly Missons gazed around in awe. So this was Butlin’s. Whitewashed buildings, bordered by rhododendrons, gave a cheerful feeling to a world still recovering from six years of war. The Skegness holiday camp covered a vast area, much larger than Molly expected to see.

Molly Missons hasn’t had the best of times recently. Having lost her parents, now some dubious long-lost family have darkened her door – attempting to steal her home and livelihood…

After a horrendous ordeal, Molly applies for a job as a Butlin’s Aunty. When she receives news that she has got the job, she immediately leaves her small home town – in search of a new life in Skegness.

Molly finds true friendship in Freda, Bunty and Plum. But the biggest shock is discovering that star of the silver screen, Johnny Johnson, is working at Butlin’s as head of the entertainment team. Johnny takes an instant liking to Molly and she begins to shed the shackles of her recent traumas. Will Johnny be just the distraction Molly needs – or is he too good be to be true?

butlin girls tour poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Elaine Everest’s latest novel, The Butlin Girls.

This was a wonderful trip back in time to post war Erith, SE London and to Skegness in Lincolnshire.  A cosy romance novel filled with nostalgic charm, childhood idealisms, family saga, a time of new beginnings and hope for all after a country wreaked with war.  A time of renewed optimism and prosperity, a time when Billy Butlin opened his doors again at his flagship camp in Skegness bringing families and holiday makers together giving them a week of respite and good old fashioned fun and comfort.  This all sounds so cosy and lovely but our leading ladies in this novel escaped to work at Butlins to hide a traumatic time in their past.  However, the past anxieties weren’t too far away and Butlins wasn’t the protected haven for all.

Following the untimely death of her parents Molly was struggling with her grief and now she was facing a possibility of becoming homeless as a distant relative turns up laying claims to the inheritance.  The relatives also bring fear and danger of a different kind to Molly’s life and Butlins was the much needed escape for Molly.

Upon arriving at her new workplace and home Molly makes friends with her new roommates and fellow red coaters Bunty and Plum.  Unbeknown to each of the girls they are all hiding a secret heartache.  As their friendships blossom the girls gain strength within each other and “a problem shared is a problem halved” springs to mind.  Will the girls; Molly, Bunty and Plum cope with their new careers or will the past threaten their futures?

I particularly loved Elaine Everest’s style of writing for this novel it literally felt like I was stepping back in time, the style was very different to modern romcoms and chicklits of today but that particular style of writing wouldn’t work at all for this period saga.  This was a wonderful heart warming in abundance family and friendship saga.  It was my first introduction to Elaine Everest’s work and after enjoying this novel I decided to invest in her debut novel, The Woolworths Girls.

To find out more about Elaine Everest and her books please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.thewriteplace.org.uk/

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

The Wedding Girls by Kate Thompson book review

the-wedding-girls

The Wedding Girls written by Kate Thompson, publisher Pan Macmillan, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

It’s 1936 and the streets of London’s East End are grimy and brutal, but in one corner of Bethnal Green it is forever Hollywood . . .

Herbie Taylor’s photography studio is nestled in the heart of bustling Green Street. Tomboy Stella and troubled Winnie work in Herbie’s studio; their best friend and hopeless romantic Kitty works next door as an apprentice dressmaker. All life passes through the studio, wishing to capture that perfect moment in time.

Kitty works tirelessly to create magical bridal gowns, but with each stitch she wonders if she’ll ever get a chance to wear a white dress. Stella and Winnie sprinkle a dusting of Hollywood glamour over happy newly-weds, but secretly dream of escaping the East End . . .

Community is strong on Green Street, but can it stand the ultimate test? As clouds of war brew on the horizon, danger looms over the East End. Will the Wedding Girls find their happy ever afters, before it’s too late?

vintage singer sewing machine

The Wedding Girls is a wonderful story that I thoroughly enjoyed.  The beautiful cover cleverly hides a raw, insightful, inspiring, hopeful, gripping, romantic story that will stay with you for a long time.

The story is set in 1936 in one of the most deprived areas of East End, London.  Families were living in cramped, damp, broken properties and were struggling to find work to feed their children.  Although, this sounds quite depressing the morale of the inhabitants, especially the women, was far from bleak.  There was a true camaraderie between all who lived in the area and the community spirit was sorely tested when fascist blackshirts moved into the neighbourhood and started to wreak havoc to lives and livelihoods.  The quiet streets of Bethnal Green had soon turned into a political war field and danger had been delivered right up to their doors.

The three main characters; Kitty, Winnie and Stella are best friends born and bred in the East End and now working in the wedding industry.  Kitty is an apprentice dressmaker creating beautiful wedding gowns to all the hopeful brides-to-be and Winnie and Stella work for Herbie Taylor’s photography studio.  Herbie Taylor’s photography studio is a place of old fashioned charm that treats each wedding couple as royalty when they step forth into the studio for their wedding day photos.

Kitty is quite shy and has dreamed of one day being  courted and swooned in her own romantic wedding. Winnie is going steady with Treacle, a local lad that is besotted with her.  Stella is very independent and headstrong and has her own dreams of leaving the East End and travelling with her camera.

The girls lives are suddenly thrown into chaos with the political clashes in the streets.  However, the war is not just in the streets for Winnie as for years she has been hiding a traumatic and terrifying secret.  This secret is dangerous and unpredictable.

The Wedding Girls, as the three best friends are known, bring much needed joy, colour, glamour and romance to the area during a time of political and social unrest.

A fabulous story that had me gripped.  I loved how the author, Kate Thompson, incorporated in her story a pivotal moment in East End history.  Fictional books really do bring history to life.  This was a story full of solidarity.  A story that doesn’t hide the ugliness of life.  A story bringing much hope.  A story to warm your heart.  Just brilliant 5/5*

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

To find out more about Kate Thompson and her books please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.katethompsonmedia.co.uk/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/katethompson380

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