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Christmas for the Shop Girls: Festive and heart warming – the new WW2 wartime saga in the uplifting historical fiction series

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30 review for Christmas for the Shop Girls: Festive and heart warming – the new WW2 wartime saga in the uplifting historical fiction series

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nicola

    I just adored this book. This was my first encounter with the shop girls and now realising there are other books in this series (and another to come!) I know I’m in for a treat. This book was such a fantastic read and an unexpected little gem of a find. It smashed all my expectations and I immediately felt myself being sucked into a wartime world with the shop girls and their dramas. It was beautifully and wonderfully written and I immediately grew attached to the characters as I got to know the I just adored this book. This was my first encounter with the shop girls and now realising there are other books in this series (and another to come!) I know I’m in for a treat. This book was such a fantastic read and an unexpected little gem of a find. It smashed all my expectations and I immediately felt myself being sucked into a wartime world with the shop girls and their dramas. It was beautifully and wonderfully written and I immediately grew attached to the characters as I got to know them more! It was a fantastic feel good read and left me grinning from ear to ear as I finished. The author has such a seamless way of transitioning between characters, it was effortless to read and the pages turned quickly and before I knew it, I’d read the whole book in two days! Now, don’t mind me whilst I endeavour to get my hands on all the other books in this series and continue my adventures with the shops girls whilst also counting down the days until the release of the next book in 2021. I couldn’t recommend this book enough! :)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    A department store with its variety of workers in the centre of the community will always be a source of interest and drama, and this novel features Marlow’s in April 1943. This novel is actually the fourth in the series, but I have had the pleasure of reading it as a standalone, so I can confirm that it is so well written that I enjoyed it. The main characters, Lily Collins and her mother Dora, her friends Gladys and Beryl, her “young man” Jim are very well described, and emerge as very vivid t A department store with its variety of workers in the centre of the community will always be a source of interest and drama, and this novel features Marlow’s in April 1943. This novel is actually the fourth in the series, but I have had the pleasure of reading it as a standalone, so I can confirm that it is so well written that I enjoyed it. The main characters, Lily Collins and her mother Dora, her friends Gladys and Beryl, her “young man” Jim are very well described, and emerge as very vivid three dimensional people. This is a book which works well in describing the ways that life continued on the Home Front during the Second World War as people grew used to a life of shortages, fear and even loss. Some of the events in this book are more momentous in people’s lives than others, but all are described well and clearly. The atmosphere of wartime, especially in a section which describes bombed London, is well conveyed, as is the general uncertainty of life. This is a well written and engaging book which I really enjoyed, and I was very pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this book. The book opens with Lily remembering the events of the previous Christmas Eve, when together with Jim they were involved in a bombing at Marlow’s. She recovered, but everyone present was badly affected, especially the owner of the shop, Mr Marlow. Other problems soon emerge, including the non arrival of London models for the store’s fashion show, which Jim is trying to organise. Lily, being one of the youngest sales girls, is drafted in as a model, much to the delight of those around her. A friend Beryl, is running a wedding hire shop, as dresses are difficult to obtain with coupons, and she is keen to advertise her services during the show. Their mutual friend Gladys is already getting excited for her forthcoming wedding marriage to Bill, a serving sailor who is currently away. A much less pleasant interlude is the arrival of Mr Marlow’s son Robert, who is dangerously involved in a black market operation and tries to involve Jim. Meanwhile Lily’s brother Reg is in the Army serving overseas, which is especially worrying for Dora who has coped bringing up three children alone. The author gradually introduces each character to the reader in the context of the novel so they fit in with the overall narrative, so even someone who has not read the previous books is not disadvantaged. This book covers the period from April 1943 to Christmas, and it covers a momentous time in Lily’s life in some ways, as well in the progress of the war. This is a well balanced novel which includes many life events and situations specific to war time, such as making friends with visiting soldiers and finding out long held secrets. This is a well constructed book which does not dwell in melodrama, but in natural developments based on realistic developments. The dialogue is realistic and often funny, with a real ear for differences in speech. Lily is a lovely character who has few illusions but is very caring towards her family and friends. I recommend this book to all readers who enjoy a wartime book with real warmth and insight into a large group of characters at a challenging time.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jaffareadstoo

    Marlow’s department store is a family run business and attracts as much local custom as rationing and the effects of WW2 will allow. This entertaining story features those who work at the store and takes us deep into their lives and loves. Throughout this lovely story there’s a great sense of atmosphere and an awareness of the strength of a community which looked out for everyone. This is evident whether it be organising a fashion show at the store and everyone stepping in to help, planning a wa Marlow’s department store is a family run business and attracts as much local custom as rationing and the effects of WW2 will allow. This entertaining story features those who work at the store and takes us deep into their lives and loves. Throughout this lovely story there’s a great sense of atmosphere and an awareness of the strength of a community which looked out for everyone. This is evident whether it be organising a fashion show at the store and everyone stepping in to help, planning a wartime wedding with all the uncertainty of finding the right wedding and bridesmaid dresses, or playing in a local cricket match. I particularly enjoyed getting to know shop assistant, Lily Collins and her friends, Gladys and Beryl, who are all doing their utmost to make the best of whatever life throws at them and I think that’s what’s so lovely about Christmas for the Shop Girls, it allows the spotlight to shine on a great set of characters and shares the minutiae of their lives with warmth, love and understanding. The author writes well and has captured the essence of this close knit community who were both working and living side by side. There's a nice sense of history, which brings to life not just the camaraderie and stoicism of the war years, but also highlights the importance of these family run stores where the workers became more like family members than employees, Although I am new to this wartime series, this is book four of five, I was able to pick up the story quickly and enjoyed how the author fed us snippets of information which give some background for new readers like me. Whilst the story is very much about life in this small Midlands town, there is a little focus on what’s happening with the war effort, and with their loved ones currently involved in the war effort, the story mentions briefly the events in the North Africa campaign which was, of course, coming to its conclusion in May 1943. Christmas for the Shop Girls is a lovely story from start to finish and I am sure that followers of series will love it too.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kiki Hempell

    Christmas for the Shop Girls feels like a warm hug in a time when everything in our own lives are not quite sure, but reading this, shows that there is more hope than one can imagine. There are many layers to this book, which unravels slowly like a present being unwrapped on Christmas Day and many twists and turns that are a nice surprise in some cases and sad in others. There are also a lot that can be learnt from this book, whether that is about the history of the time period, what it means for Christmas for the Shop Girls feels like a warm hug in a time when everything in our own lives are not quite sure, but reading this, shows that there is more hope than one can imagine. There are many layers to this book, which unravels slowly like a present being unwrapped on Christmas Day and many twists and turns that are a nice surprise in some cases and sad in others. There are also a lot that can be learnt from this book, whether that is about the history of the time period, what it means for friendships, relationships of all shapes and sizes and what it truly means to be in the spirit of Christmas in a time when they had to make the most of what they have got. The main thing that I loved from this book is the sense of family and how important loved ones are in a troubling time. We can have Christmas, presents, turkey, but the one thing that is truly significant is the people around us. That is what makes Christmas, love of all around. Even if it is a colleague at work giving you a cup of tea or a person to talk to. We are all different, but one thing that makes us the same is our compassion for others in times of hardship. What I found particularly poignant is Sam's compassion towards Lily and her family, the Canadian who had been stationed who somehow took it upon himself to help those who needed help in one of their most terrifying times. He risked everything he had to provide his friends with the best possible chance of being saved from something wrong. Because of how this book is mainly based around a department store, it is also nice to see stories of other characters who work there and what it means to them to be around people at this time. For instance, Gladys has an interesting piece about her and her upcoming nuptials which is probably very likely that this story was the same as many others at the time. It opens up a side where we realise how different this world is now in terms of acceptance and how far we go to do the right thing. But also how the worldview about certain topics that would have been seen as being taboo, has changed on how people can live their lives. Now that I finished reading this story, I have an overwhelming feeling like I need to read the previous instalments pronto. Like right now, just drop everything I'm doing at this very moment. If that doesn't show how much you need to read this, then I don't know what will.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Becca Adams

    Thanks to Random T Tours & Harper Collins for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I absolutely adored this book. The story is set during the Second World War. I really enjoyed reading like what it was like to live as the war was going on, I haven’t read many books set in WW2. The author talks about ration books and how they’d hardly ever have sugar. It’s something that seems crazy nowadays. I really felt for the characters. Especially for Gladys having the heartache Thanks to Random T Tours & Harper Collins for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I absolutely adored this book. The story is set during the Second World War. I really enjoyed reading like what it was like to live as the war was going on, I haven’t read many books set in WW2. The author talks about ration books and how they’d hardly ever have sugar. It’s something that seems crazy nowadays. I really felt for the characters. Especially for Gladys having the heartache of her partner fighting in the war. The characters were so likeable because they were all down to earth and really cared for each-other and helped each-other out in these hard times. This story was heartwarming and was such an easy read. I seemed to fly through the pages. It is full of romance, bravery and such exciting story lines. I was dying to find out what happened next. This book is actually the 4th in the series. I can’t wait to read the others now! Synopsis: For Lily Collins and her fellow shop girls at Marlow’s Department store, another Christmas with ration books, shortages of goods and staff – not to mention a store coping with war damage – will be a real challenge. But the girls rally round and put their worries aside to make this, the hardest wartime Christmas yet, one that their families, and their town, will never forget.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jeanie

    SUPERLICIOUS Once again the end of another brilliant book having read the 4 books back to back I feel as if lily Dora and Jim have become my friends I'm really going to miss then while I wait for book 5 in the series in this lots of skullduggery has taken place friendships made romance blossoming new baby's being created sad to leave my new firmed friends for a few was once again another outstanding book SUPERLICIOUS Once again the end of another brilliant book having read the 4 books back to back I feel as if lily Dora and Jim have become my friends I'm really going to miss then while I wait for book 5 in the series in this lots of skullduggery has taken place friendships made romance blossoming new baby's being created sad to leave my new firmed friends for a few was once again another outstanding book

  7. 4 out of 5

    Annette O'grady

    a very enjoyable read loved this book

  8. 4 out of 5

    MRS S A O'KANE

  9. 4 out of 5

    val davies&David Davies

  10. 5 out of 5

    Reg Lane

  11. 4 out of 5

    Peter Stephens

  12. 4 out of 5

    david alan kenyon

  13. 5 out of 5

    carol kay

  14. 5 out of 5

    Louise

  15. 5 out of 5

    barbara huartson

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alyson Douglas

  17. 4 out of 5

    Evelyn Leeman

  18. 5 out of 5

    MR J J VINTON

  19. 4 out of 5

    Glyn Davis

  20. 5 out of 5

    Trisha B

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eira Davies

  22. 4 out of 5

    rachael claire harvey

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sheila G Abbott

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carole Anne

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gwyneth M Edwards

  26. 5 out of 5

    b sinclair

  27. 5 out of 5

    ***Cheryl***

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mrs L Spike

  29. 5 out of 5

    Movita Fields

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Margaret Walton

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