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War Girls

Adèle Geras (Author) , Melvin Burgess (Author) , Berlie Doherty (Author) , Mary Hooper (Author) , Anne Fine (Author) , Matt Whyman (Author) , Theresa Breslin (Author) , Sally Nicholls (Author) , Rowena House (Author)

As featured on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour.

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.

Shipyard Girls at War

Nancy Revell (Author)

'The first was brilliant,the second was fantastic, and looking forward to the third now. Full of secrets, heartaches, and love and hope. And above all a beautiful ending.' - 5 star real reader review

1941: it takes strength to work on the docks, but the war demands all hands on deck and the women are doing their best to fill the gap.

Rosie is flourishing in her role as head-welder while still keeping her double life a secret. But a dashing detective is forcing Rosie to choose between love and her duty.

Gloria is hiding her own little secret – one that if found out, could not only threaten her job, but her life.

And the shipyards are proving tougher than Polly ever imagined, while she waits for her man to return home safely.

Join the shipyard girls as they journey through the hardships of life, love and war.

Black Country to Red China

Esther Cheo Ying (Author)

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.

Clara's Tale

Pierre Péju (Author) , Euan Cameron (Translator)

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.

Birdsong

Sebastian Faulks (Author)

A novel of overwhelming emotional power, Birdsong is a story of love, death, sex and survival. Stephen Wraysford, a young Englishman, arrives in Amiens in northern France in 1910 to stay with the Azaire family, and falls in love with unhappily married Isabelle. But, with the world on the brink of war, the relationship falters, and Stephen volunteers to fight on the Western Front. His love for Isabelle forever engraved on his heart, he experiences the unprecedented horrors of that conflict - from which neither he nor any reader of this book can emerge unchanged.

Bleakly Hall

Elaine di Rollo (Author)

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.

The Biscuit Girls

Hunter Davies (Author)

Ivy, Dulcie, Barbara, Ann, Dorothy and Jean all had different reasons for applying to work at Carr’s biscuits, but once they had put on their overalls and walked through the factory gates they discovered a community full of life, laughter and friendship.

To those who didn’t know, the biscuit factory that towered over Carlisle might look like just another slice of the industrial North, a noisy and chaotic place with workers trooping in and out at all hours. For the biscuit girls it was a place where they worked hard, but also where they gossiped, got into scrapes and made lifelong friends. Outside the factory walls there might be difficult husbands or demanding kids, and sometimes even heartbreak and tragedy, but they knew there would always be an escape from their troubles at Carr's.

Some, like Barbara, only applied because she needed the extra cash, until things got a bit easier at home. Her supervisor cross examined her about who would be looking after the kids while she was at work, but let her have the job. Like many of the women who joined up ‘temporary’ Barbara went on to stay at Carrs for 32 years.

Beginning in the 1940s, these heartwarming and vividly-remembered stories have all been told by the women themselves to Hunter Davies.

Back Home

Michelle Magorian (Author)

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.

The GI Bride

Iris Jones Simantel (Author)

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.

The Bomb Girls

Daisy Styles (Author)

**THE CODE GIRLS IS AVAILABLE TO BUY NOW - AND DON'T FORGET TO PREORDER THE BOMB GIRLS' SECRETS!**

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

Looking at the Stars

Jo Cotterill (Author)

What if the only thing you had left were the stories in your head?

Amina’s homeland has been ravaged by war, and her family is devastated . . .

The women of the family – Amina, her two sisters and their mother – have no choice but to leave their home town, along with thousands of others, and head for a refugee camp.

But there are even more challenges ahead . . .

The Bomb Girls’ Secrets

Daisy Styles (Author)

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

Christmas with the Bomb Girls

Daisy Styles (Author)

**Preorder the new novel from Daisy Styles now!**

Christmas time with our favourite Bomb Girls at the Phoenix Munitions Factory

Christmas time is approaching at the Phoenix Munitions Factory and Gladys, Kitty, Edna and the rest of the Bomb Girls are determined to make this a year to remember.

With Myrtle's health in decline, Edna's love life beginning to take flight, a shy new arrival in their midst and continual hard work on the factory floor, life is never quiet in Pendle. But Gladys, back from performing for the troops on the front, is sullen and sad and her friends are sure she is hiding something.

What exactly happened while Gladys was away? Will she be bought back to life by her old friends? And will the Bomb Girls be able to provide a wonderful Christmas all round?


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

'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 parts comedy . . . It's full of twists and turns and is a real page turner' Laurahbookblog

Charlotte Sometimes

Penelope Farmer (Author)

'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

The Mill Girls of Albion Lane

Jenny Holmes (Author)

On the cobbled streets of a Yorkshire mill town in 1931, Lily Briggs does all she can to keep trouble at bay for her and her family.

She works hard at Calvert Mill to make ends meet and take care of her parents and younger siblings. Saturday nights at the dance hall and dressmaking with her two best friends keep Lily upbeat, and now there’s a blossoming romance with childhood friend Harry Bainbridge to put an extra spring in her step, too.

But then a run of misfortune threatens Lily’s work, home and personal life, and she has to rely on the community at the mill to rally together for support. With so many others to worry about, will Lily always put them first or can she find her own happy ending?

A heart-warming, nostalgic tale of triumph over adversity that readers of Katie Flynn, Donna Douglas and Call the Midwife will adore.

The People of Forever are not Afraid

Shani Boianjiu (Author)

Longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction

Yael, Avishag and Lea grow up together in a tiny, dusty village in Israel. They attend high school, gossip about boys, and try to find ways to alleviate the universal boredom of teenage life. Then at eighteen they are conscripted into the army.

Yael trains marksmen, Avishag stands guard watching refugees throw themselves at barbed-wire fences and Lea, posted at a checkpoint, imagines the stories behind the familiar faces that pass by her day after day. All of them live in that single intense second before danger erupts, all of them trying to survive however they can…

Shortlisted for The Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize

Shipyard Girls in Love

Nancy Revell (Author)

Is all fair in love and war?

Set during World War II in the heart of Sunderland's shipbuilding yards, Shipyard Girls in Love follows Nancy's girls Gloria, Rosie, Polly and Bel. They're navigating their way through the war, and troubles in love.

Secrets of the Shipyard Girls

Nancy Revell (Author)

Sunderland, 1941
As the world war continues, the shipyard girls find themselves fighting their own battles.

Gloria is smitten with her newly arrived bundle of joy, but baby Hope’s first weeks are bittersweet. Hope's father is missing at sea, and with their future as a family so uncertain, Gloria must lean on her girls for support.

Meanwhile, head welder Rosie has turned her back on love to keep her double life secret. But her persistent beau is determined to find out the truth and if he does, it could ruin her.

And there is finally a glimmer of hope for Polly and her family when Bel and Joe fall in love. But it isn’t long before a scandalous revelation threatens to pull them all apart.

As the shipyard girls face hardships at home, their work and friendships give them the strength to carry on.

In Love

Alfred Hayes (Author)

Hayes's masterpiece is an exquisite depiction of a doomed love affair set in noirish, 1950s New York.

In a Manhattan bar, a middle-aged man tells a pretty girl a story: of how he fell into a relationship with a lonely young divorcee; of how one night she was offered a thousand dollars to sleep with a stranger; and of how he and she would subsequently betray each other in turn. In Alfred Hayes's exquisite novella, love - in all its bewildering turns of longing, elation, heartbreak and regret - is dissected with unforgettable honesty and heartbreaking clarity.

Bluebirds

Margaret Mayhew (Author)

1939 - Officer Felicity Newman and a ragtag group of young women arrive at RAF Colston. They are the first of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force: brave female pilots ready to do their bit.

But Station Commander, David Palmer, doesn't want them. They're a nuisance, unable to do the work of men, and they would undoubtedly fall apart if the station was bombed.

Felicity is determined to prove the worth of her 'Bluebirds'. There's Anne, who loves to dance but finds herself peeling vegetables in the station kitchens. Winnie, longs to work on the aeroplanes themselves but meets rejection at every turn. And Virginia, who is desperate to build a new life for herself.

As the war goes on, so the girls make their mark - behaving heroically under fire, supporting the pilots with their strength, loyalty, and often their love - a love sometimes tragic, sometimes passionate, but always courageous.

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