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30 review for The Biscuit Factory Girls: A heartwarming saga about war, family and the importance of friendship

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stina

    I was excited to read THE BISCUIT FACTORY GIRLS by Elsie Mason but sadly it failed to live up to my expectations. I have read many a wartime drama set all over the UK and I love them all, but this one just didn't hit the mark with me. It was too slow to begin with, taking four chapters for Tom and Irene to travel to Tyneside and meet his family, then another couple for her to start work at the biscuit factory and endless vicious glaring from her sister in law for no real reason. And then, nothin I was excited to read THE BISCUIT FACTORY GIRLS by Elsie Mason but sadly it failed to live up to my expectations. I have read many a wartime drama set all over the UK and I love them all, but this one just didn't hit the mark with me. It was too slow to begin with, taking four chapters for Tom and Irene to travel to Tyneside and meet his family, then another couple for her to start work at the biscuit factory and endless vicious glaring from her sister in law for no real reason. And then, nothing really happened. It is supposed to be during the war but snitching and sniping seems to be more prevalent than air raids. I had no real sense of it being wartime and just didn't feel connected to the story or its characters in any way. I didn't like any of the family, except maybe Sam. Beryl was OK but advised Irene to make it up with bitchy Megan rather than get on the wrong side of her. Megan was a total bitch and Ma...I didn't much like her either. Tom featured so little he may not be there at all. Same with the rest of the menfolk. And when Megan sneakily opens Irene's mail and seals it back up again, there's no fallout from that...just a "like it or lump it" kind of attitude. I really didn't care much for the story, such as it was, or the people in it. In fact, I don't much care to outline the story either because it really just didn't do it for it. The mention of Catherine Cookson in the premise is what attracted me but it is nothing compared to her brilliant stories, so I fail to see how it can compare. I DNF at 50%...which by then, it should have well and truly enthralled me. And it didn't. I would like to thank #ElsieMason, #NetGalley and #Orion for an ARC of #TheBiscuitFactoryGirls in exchange for an honest review. This review appears on my blog at https://stinathebookaholic.blogspot.com/.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    I have wanted to read this book since i added it to my wishlist on amazon(but price put me off) to see it on Netgalley i was elated. Irene and Tom Farley have travelled north to Tom's home town after their wedding as Irene is determined to live with Toms family.As they arrive so have the bombs and tom is worried about his family and hurries to the streets he grew up in,he see's his home is still standing.Tom takes Irene into his family home and as they are greeted by all his family Irene sees a I have wanted to read this book since i added it to my wishlist on amazon(but price put me off) to see it on Netgalley i was elated. Irene and Tom Farley have travelled north to Tom's home town after their wedding as Irene is determined to live with Toms family.As they arrive so have the bombs and tom is worried about his family and hurries to the streets he grew up in,he see's his home is still standing.Tom takes Irene into his family home and as they are greeted by all his family Irene sees a little lady sitting and knows this is her mother-in-law Ada Farley.This book is full of action most of it in the farley home women clash but to have a sister-in-law who hates you without knowing you hurts Irene.I have loved reading this story strong women and the end had me in tears.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Shreedevi Gurumurty

    A heartfelt saga full of hope, love and the importance of friendship in wartime.Can Irene find a new home by the docks? Newly married to dashing RAF officer, Tom, Irene Farley leaves behind her safe countryside life in Holt,Hunworth to move in with his family by the docks in South Shields.Little prepares her for the devastation the Jerry bombers have wreaked on the Sixteen Streets or that they'd be living under her mother-in-law's roof, alongside Tom's 3 brothers and their wives! Irene's only es A heartfelt saga full of hope, love and the importance of friendship in wartime.Can Irene find a new home by the docks? Newly married to dashing RAF officer, Tom, Irene Farley leaves behind her safe countryside life in Holt,Hunworth to move in with his family by the docks in South Shields.Little prepares her for the devastation the Jerry bombers have wreaked on the Sixteen Streets or that they'd be living under her mother-in-law's roof, alongside Tom's 3 brothers and their wives! Irene's only escape is her job at the local Wight's Biscuit Factory packing up a little taste of home for the brave boys fighting for King and country across the channel.As the threat of war creeps ever closer to the Sixteen Streets, the biscuit factory girls bond together,because no one can get through this war alone.Tyneside is a conurbation of the River Tyne north and south banks in North East England which includes the City of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (north bank).The people of the Tyneside area are called 'Geordies', and they have a reputation for their distinctive dialect and accent.South Shields is a coastal town in England's North East at the mouth of River Tyne, some miles from Newcastle upon Tyne.Historically part of County Durham, and it's part of the metropolitan borough of South Tyneside. South Shields suffered many air raid alerts and a lot of people were killed.Many houses were damaged, particularly by incendiary bombs and parachute mines.The town also lost more seafarers than any other port in Britain during WWII.Tyne Dock is a neighbourhood within the town. Overall, Tyneside was strategically targeted by the Luftwaffe because it is a major coal production and a steel and shipbuilding site.The Newcastle Blitz occurred between July 1940 and December 1941.Meanwhile, Hunworth is a village within the civil parish of Stody in the English county of Norfolk.The nearest town is Holt.Biscuit factories existed to produce treats to provide a welcoming touch of home to soldiers serving overseas, and they can dip the biscuits in their teas.Any food packages were welcome to supplement the soldier's meagre rations.

  4. 5 out of 5

    booklover BEV

    I loved reading this book. Tom and Irene Farley newly weds travel to Tyneside South Shields for Irene to stay with his family. War is raging and Tom has to report back to airbase in Lincoln and Grantham, he would prefer her to go to hunworth in Norfolk where she would be safer but Irene wants to get to know his big family and settle in to welcome her husband home when this war is over. She's in for a big shock when they arrive Tyneside docks getting bombed due to the ship building industry fille I loved reading this book. Tom and Irene Farley newly weds travel to Tyneside South Shields for Irene to stay with his family. War is raging and Tom has to report back to airbase in Lincoln and Grantham, he would prefer her to go to hunworth in Norfolk where she would be safer but Irene wants to get to know his big family and settle in to welcome her husband home when this war is over. She's in for a big shock when they arrive Tyneside docks getting bombed due to the ship building industry filled with greasy pall of smoke over the rooftops, has she made a big mistake luckily his family home was still standing, time for her to meet Ma Ada and all the family three brothers and wives. She was here to fit in. From Sunderland myself I found this book a fascinating read as I share many visits to south shields over my years, the shops and market ,beach all familiar to me. Ma Ada insisted she has to work for her keep and gets started in the wights biscuit factory this is a big difference from been a land girl. As we continue with the story its brings it all to life how they all managed, I enjoyed every bit of this book right to the end. A superb read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rick Cross

    Elsie Mason's THE BISCUIT FACTORY GIRLS is a gem of an historical novel about life in wartime northern England during WWII. If you enjoy unexpectedly poignant tales about the human condition, about the resilience of the heart and simple joys of everyday life, or if you're a fan of graceful period dramas such as Britain's LAND GIRLS and HOME FIRES or the Oscar-nominated film HOPE AND GLORY, you will not soon forget Irene Farley and her fellow biscuit factory girls. When dashing young soldier Tom Elsie Mason's THE BISCUIT FACTORY GIRLS is a gem of an historical novel about life in wartime northern England during WWII. If you enjoy unexpectedly poignant tales about the human condition, about the resilience of the heart and simple joys of everyday life, or if you're a fan of graceful period dramas such as Britain's LAND GIRLS and HOME FIRES or the Oscar-nominated film HOPE AND GLORY, you will not soon forget Irene Farley and her fellow biscuit factory girls. When dashing young soldier Tom Farley brings his new bride Irene home to the Sixteen Streets in South Shields, Tyne, her life will never be the same. Here among the boisterous Farleys, somewhere between the lulling ocean surf and the steady drumbeat of war, between the smoke-and-ash stench of German air raids and the tantalizing aromas wafting from the famous Wight’s biscuit factory, Irene will find her place in the world, weaving herself into the tapestry of this quiet little town with so many vivid and memorable characters on all sides. A grand, timeless story of one woman's spirit, integrity and self-discovery. Loved it like mad, and can't wait for more from this promising new series!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paul Arvidson

    The Biscuit Factory Girls by Elsie Mason This is a compelling tale of love and family in war torn 1942 South Shields. It follows the story of country girl Irene, newly married to Tom, who flies Lancaster Bombers. When Irene decides to move to the north-east to be with Tom’s family to help them in the war, she finds the close dwellings of the Sixteen-streets oppressive and difficult. She must learn to adapt and find wonder and friends there too if she is to survive the war intact. This is an epic The Biscuit Factory Girls by Elsie Mason This is a compelling tale of love and family in war torn 1942 South Shields. It follows the story of country girl Irene, newly married to Tom, who flies Lancaster Bombers. When Irene decides to move to the north-east to be with Tom’s family to help them in the war, she finds the close dwellings of the Sixteen-streets oppressive and difficult. She must learn to adapt and find wonder and friends there too if she is to survive the war intact. This is an epic tale, by Mason, deftly told with a beautiful attention to historical detail and language but never taking her eye off the characters who are nuanced, alive and completely captivating. One of those books that the characters stay with you, long after you’ve turned the last page.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I do like a book that you feel that you can visualise quite easily the characters speaking in the local accent and even getting the 'pet' names, you can tell that the author was from the area - Elsie Mason has got this spot on with this book. I thoroughly enjoyed every character from Irene to her formidable mother in law Ma Ada (who had a heart of gold) to eccentric Arthur. The story rolled easily through the pages showing us how diverse South Shields was from the biscuit factory to the shipyard I do like a book that you feel that you can visualise quite easily the characters speaking in the local accent and even getting the 'pet' names, you can tell that the author was from the area - Elsie Mason has got this spot on with this book. I thoroughly enjoyed every character from Irene to her formidable mother in law Ma Ada (who had a heart of gold) to eccentric Arthur. The story rolled easily through the pages showing us how diverse South Shields was from the biscuit factory to the shipyards during the War. We were able to dip in and out of all their lives but still the main story was kept in tact. There is so much more to learn about these people as they are warm characters.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Bilton

    This book arrived yesterday and I am already seven chapters in! Sometimes a story grabs you from the first page - this one certainly did. I immediately recognised the characters and wanted to find out more about them. It has everything I enjoy that makes a good read- family saga, loveable and unlikeable characters, accurate references to a time recent enough for many of us to still relate to.Elsie Mason can tell a cracking story with humour, heart and intelligence. I am already looking at the se This book arrived yesterday and I am already seven chapters in! Sometimes a story grabs you from the first page - this one certainly did. I immediately recognised the characters and wanted to find out more about them. It has everything I enjoy that makes a good read- family saga, loveable and unlikeable characters, accurate references to a time recent enough for many of us to still relate to.Elsie Mason can tell a cracking story with humour, heart and intelligence. I am already looking at the sequel. Read this, you wont be disappointed.

  9. 5 out of 5

    LESLEY PARKER

    Didn't get on with this read at all ...I did manage to get through it but it was a struggle ....I couldn't find a single character I sympathized with ...all the men were a bit soft and the women were all intent on being crowned Miss Bitchy 1942 .....I suppose Bella was the only one in the story that you could feel for .... Didn't get on with this read at all ...I did manage to get through it but it was a struggle ....I couldn't find a single character I sympathized with ...all the men were a bit soft and the women were all intent on being crowned Miss Bitchy 1942 .....I suppose Bella was the only one in the story that you could feel for ....

  10. 4 out of 5

    Liane

    Enjoyable insight into a poor but hospitable family during the war. There were no plot twists but the characters were believable. I felt there may have been more background into Megan's hated of Irene and Tom and Bella relationship. Enjoyable insight into a poor but hospitable family during the war. There were no plot twists but the characters were believable. I felt there may have been more background into Megan's hated of Irene and Tom and Bella relationship.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it’s interesting characters from all areas of the country and world. They all had believable backgrounds and were linked together in a story that I really did enjoy from the first moment I opened it to read. I would highly recommend this to read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline Smith

    I truly enjoy this book can't wait to read next one I truly enjoy this book can't wait to read the next one in this series would love to know how she has written I truly enjoy this book can't wait to read next one I truly enjoy this book can't wait to read the next one in this series would love to know how she has written

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Garner

    Wartime drama,set in the North of England during the bombing of the shipyards. Good characters and family life is well portrayed.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    This was a really great saga that once I started it I didn’t want to put it down. The characters were all great and a great story. I recommend this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Barry Moore

  16. 4 out of 5

    Peter Anderson

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa-Ann Dowsett

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Seaton

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lorna

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  21. 4 out of 5

    kathleen harper

  22. 4 out of 5

    Susan Roche

  23. 4 out of 5

    Winnie Razey

  24. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Bennett

  25. 4 out of 5

    lesleyfry

  26. 5 out of 5

    c crowfoot

  27. 5 out of 5

    Marian Szijarto

  28. 5 out of 5

    pat smith

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andrea garvock

  30. 4 out of 5

    Graham carter

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