1914: war has broken out across Europe and beyond. Nothing will ever be the same again for those caught up in the conflict. This collection of short stories explores how the First World War changed and shaped the lives of women forever. A courageous nurse risks her life at the Front Line; a young woman discovers independence and intrigue in wartime London; and a grief-stricken widow defends her homeland amidst the destruction of war. Through these and other tales, War Girls presents a moving portrait of loss and grief, and of hope overcoming terrible odds.
Young Maisie Halliday has escaped the grinding poverty of the northern town where she was born to live in the glittering world of professional dancing.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, she volunteers as an ambulance driver, finding joy both in helping the wounded during the Blitz and also in her friends among the other drivers in the Bloomsbury Auxiliary Ambulance Depot.
Maisie is at the Cafe de Paris nightclub when it is bombed. In the chaos, she attempts to help an injured man, and by this charitable act she becomes mixed up in what may well be a murder. A series of incidents, all connected to a handsome, arrogant American, throw Maisie's life into a dangerous spin. Is anything what it seems in wartime? With one serious misjudgement, Maisie risks losing everything she holds dear...
Born in pre-Revolutionary China and brought up in the Midlands, Esther Cheo Ying returned to China in 1949 after a traumatic childhood, convinced that there she would find the happiness and sense of belonging she longed for. Caught up in the turmoil of civil war and sympathetic to the Communist Revolution, she joined the Red Army and then stayed on to work in the new People's Republic. But despite her determination to make a new life in China could she truly be happy in a country which encouraged constant self-criticism and viewed her as a 'false foreign devil'?
Black Country to Red China is an extraordinary account of life before the Cultural Revolution, but it is also a fascinating insight into one woman's struggle to come to terms with your own identity.
Paul, the son of a Resistance fighter murdered in mysterious circumstances, meets Clara on an exchange trip to Bavaria in the 1960s. He is enthralled by the beautiful and self-possessed young woman and her fascination with photography, but as their relationship deepens he learns more about the tragedy that haunts her.
As their paths cross and intertwine in often unexpected ways over the years they each fulfil their own ambitions - Paul becomes a sculptor, she a photographer - but in their work, as in their lives, neither can escape the legay of horrors committed before their birth.
Monty and Ada last saw one another on the frontlines of the First World War, when Monty was a nurse and Ada an ambulance driver who drove like the devil. Now, the two friends have been reunited at crumbling Bleakly Hall, where Monty has been hired to look after the grumpy, gouty guests who have come to take the Hall's curative waters.
But the end of the Great War has brought changes for everyone at Bleakly, and not all of them are good. Monty, mourning the death of her beloved Sophia, has a score to settle with the elusive Captain Foxley; Ada misses her wartime sense of purpose; the Blackwood brothers must reinvent Bleakly for a new era; while Foxley has his own ways of keeping his demons at bay.
Newly married to the caring RAF pilot Jonathan Reece, Emma thinks that life couldn’t be better. But her happiness is short-lived: within months, Jon’s plane is shot down over France and he is declared missing, presumed dead.
Alone and with two children to care for, Emma’s first thought is how to support her family. But when she makes a new friend in the American businessman Jack Harvey, she is faced with a difficult decision. Should she take a last chance at happiness?
The second book in the ‘Emma’ trilogy – a warm, nostalgic saga, perfect for fans of Katie Flynn
(Note: previously published as The Bonds That Break by Linda Sole)
Raising three boys and running the Arcadia Hotel almost single-handed are enough to keep widow Kitty Ryan busy. She has no time for romance – unless it’s in the form of a rare evening out at the local picture house.
Then along comes John Mcleod, bringing with him a second chance at happiness. However, Kitty finds her sons unwilling to accept another man into their household.
Unless she can reunite her menfolk, the future looks set to be that of a family in conflict, in a world on the eve of war...
Discover the remarkable memoir by GI Bride and bestselling author Iris Jones Simantel.
Iris had escaped the Blitz but now lived in crippling poverty after the war - until a chance meeting changed her life. Aged just sixteen, she fell in love and married US soldier Bob Irvine. And soon after she set sail for a new life in America.
It was the 1950s, the land of hope, dreams and Doris Day movies. But Iris ended up in a cramped Chicago bungalow, shared with Bob's parents. With a baby on the way and a husband turning daily into a stranger, Iris was wracked by homesickness. Trapped and desperately lonely, she had to make a fresh start, in a country where hope and opportunity thrived.
In this dramatic sequel to the Sunday Times bestseller, Far From the East End, we follow young Iris Jones Simantel from London to New York, Chicago and Las Vegas in her struggle to find work, love and a sense of belonging in a foreign land.
Iris Simantel is the acclaimed winner of the Saga Magazine 'Life Story' competition, beating several thousand entries to publish her first memoir Far From the East End. Iris grew up in Dagenham and South Oxhey (with an evacuation to Wales in between) before marrying her GI husband Bob and moving to Chicago. She now resides in Devon where she enjoys writing as a pastime.
On an ordinary day in 1941, a letter arrives on the doormats of five young women, a letter which will change everything.
Lillian is distraught. And whether she tears, hides or burns the letter the words remain the same - she must register for compulsory war work. Many miles away, Emily is also furious - her dream job as a chef will have to be put on hold, whilst studious Alice must abandon her plans of college.
Staring at an identical letter, Elsie feels a kindling of hope at the possibility of leaving behind her brutal father. And down in London, Agnes has her own reasons for packing her bags with a smile.
Brought together at a munitions factory in a Lancashire mill town, none of them knows what lies ahead. Sharing grief and joy, lost dreams and gained opportunities, the five new bomb girls will find friendship and strength that they never before thought possible as they unite to help the country they love survive.
Praise for Daisy Styles
'A great read that I think will appeal to fans of wartime sagas and authors like Donna Douglas . . . From dances to disasters, encounters with handsome Yanks, rationing and relationships, The Bomb Girls has all the ingredients of an excellent wartime drama and I thoroughly enjoyed it!' Onemorepage.com
'The story is full of drama, love, heartbreak, friendship and in some part some comedy . . . It's full of twist and turns and is a real page turner' Laurahbookblog
It's 1945. World War II has just ended and twelve-year-old Rusty comes back home to Britain after being evacuated to the US. The greyness and bleakness of life in England is a shock, but even worse is adapting to the strict discipline of her family, including a brother she's never met, after the warmth and openness of her adopted American family. Rusty is sent to an horrific boarding school, before finally running away as her search for happiness becomes more and more desperate.
FOLLOWING ON FROM KATE EASTHAM'S DEBUT THE NIGHTINGALE NURSES
Liverpool, 1863, and Maud Linklater's life as a housemaid changes forever the day she takes little chimney sweep Alfie, to hospital. Helping to care for him on the ward, Maud is unexpectedly offered the opportunity to train in the newly opened Nursing School run by Ada Houston.
Maud instantly befriends the sweet, loving Alice, and chatterbox Edie, though it soon becomes clear Alice is troubled by a secret. But across the hall is the manipulative Nancy, who seems to get away with murder both on and off the ward.
Maud throws herself into the nursing, showing a particular talent for surgery, and continues to nurture the bond she has forged with young Alfie. But when Alfie goes missing, there is only one person she thinks can help find him, and that is Harry, the man whose affections she's been fending off for months.
Can Harry find Alfie before it is too late? And will Maud and her friends manage to qualify despite everything that has been thrown at them?
*PREORDER THE HEART-WARMING FIRST NOVEL IN KATE EASTHAM'S NURSING SERIES*
Ada Houston is alone.
Her grandfather has recently passed away and her brother is missing, last seen working on the Liverpool docks. Everyone assumes him to be dead.
But she will not give up hope.
Ada's determined search takes her to the Crimea where she joins the team of Florence Nightingale's nurses. She may have set off looking for her brother, but along the way Ada finds friends, romance and a new purpose in her own life in the most troubling and difficult of places.
Summer 1942. Britain is in the depths of war and the Women’s Land Army is hard at work looking after the farms while the men are away fighting. While patriotism, duty and a wonderful spirit of camaraderie sustain the Land Girls through tough times, it’s no surprise that love is also often on their minds.
For Yorkshire Land Girls and firm friends Grace, Brenda and Una, romance in wartime comes with a host of challenges. There’s a wedding to plan, but married bliss is threatened when the time comes for the groom to enlist. With lovers parted, anxious women have no idea whether they’ll see their men again. And while single girls dance and flirt, will they be able to find true love among the men who’ve stayed behind?
With the uncertainty of the times hanging over them and danger ever closer to home – can love stand the test of war?
A heart-warming, romantic story of friendship, camaraderie and triumph over adversity that fans of Donna Douglas, Daisy Styles and Call the Midwife will adore.
Mary Vale, a grand and imposing Mother and Baby Home, sits on the remote Fylde coast in Lancashire. Its doors are open to unmarried women who come to hide their condition and find sanctuary.
Women from all walks of life pass through Mary Vale, from beautiful waitress Emily, whose boyfriend has vanished without trace, to young Isla, cast out by her wealthy family after her first year at university goes horribly wrong.
Awaiting them is Nurse Ada and Sister Anne who work tirelessly to aid the mothers and safely deliver the babies. But the unforgiving Matron and Head of Governors, Captain Percival, have other, more sinister, ideas.
As war looms the women at Mary Vale must pull together for the sake of themselves and their babies and Ada and Anne must help protect their patients, no matter what the cost.
Praise for Daisy Styles
'This book brought home wonderfully the vivid camaraderie wartime women shared and their immense sacrifices on the Home Front. Well done Daisy for creating characters that are real women in the best sense. Funny, scheming, loyal and witty, but about all, hardworking and proud. An absolute joy to read' Kate Thompson, bestselling author of Secrets of the Singer Girls
'Feisty young women, a country house in wartime and a scheming aristocrat - all ingredients for a cracking story with truly endearing characters' Annie Murray, bestselling author of Now The War Is Over
In the Phoenix Munitions Factory everyone has their secrets . . .
As WWII rolls across Europe, Kitty boards a ship set for England; leaving her cruel father for war work in a munitions factory. She hadn't wanted to leave Ireland, but the money sounded too good to resist. And money is what she really needs right now, what with tiny baby Billy back in Dublin without a father.
In Lancashire Kitty settles into the hard work and soon makes new friends; the dazzling Gladys who is a talented musician, and the beautiful but nervous Violet who seems to be nursing a secret of her own. And then there is motherly Edna at the local chippy, always there for a cup of tea and a good natter when she yearns for home.
Working hard in the day and playing in the Bomb Girls Swing Band by night, on the surface, life seems to be looking up. But Kitty has kept a secret from her friends. Something she needs to figure out. And when a letter arrives from home, she realises she might need their help before it's too late and she loses her baby forever . . .
Praise for Daisy Styles
'All the ingredients for a cracking story with truly endearing characters' Annie Murray, bestselling author of Now The War Is Over
'An absolute joy to read' Kate Thompson, bestselling author of Secrets of the Sewing Bee
'Suppose you got stuck in here, and Clare there in your time. Just suppose you did?’
Charlotte Makepeace’s first day at boarding school is a bewildering blur of unfamiliar faces, timetables, rules and lists. All the other girls know the routine – and each other. No one invites her into their exclusive circles of whispers and giggles.
But on Charlotte’s very first night something mysterious starts to happen. She wakes up in the same bed, in the same dormitory, in the same school. But something has changed. Somehow Charlotte has slipped forty years back in time...
Includes exclusive material: In the Backstory you can learn what life was like during the First World War
Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time