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Book Review | A Christmas Wish for the Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell

We’re delighted to be sharing Elena’s thoughts on A Christmas Wish for the Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell.

This is book 9 in the Shipyard Girls series.

Read our thoughts about Nancy Revell books, The shipyard Girls series.

Book cover A Christmas Wish for the Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell
  • Publisher : Arrow (1 Oct. 2020)
  • Language : English
  • Paperback : 480 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 178746427X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1787464278

Sunderland, 1943: As Christmas approaches in the shipyards, everyone is hoping for a little magic…

Helen would love to find the courage to tell the dashing Dr Parker of her true feelings for him. But how can she when he clearly has eyes for someone else?

More than a year has passed since Bel’s wedding to sweetheart Joe. She knows she has much to feel thankful for and yet there is still one burning desire which she cannot ignore.

And as Polly grows with child, she hopes against hope for a safe delivery – and that her husband Tommy can soon return from the front line to meet their new arrival.

There will be storms to weather, but guided by their strength and friendship there is still hope for each of the shipyard girls that their Christmas wishes will come true.

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Book Review

This is the first of the Nancy Revell books I have read in the continuing story of the shipyard girls and their personal and work lives during the Second World War. It didn’t disappoint.

Main character Helen is the shipyard manager. She has finally plucked up the courage to confess to Dr Parker that she is in love with him but when she goes in search of him to declare her feelings, she sees him in an intimate embrace with Dr Claire Eris and therefore pushes her feelings aside, not realising that he is desperate to tell her that he’s in love with her too. Are they destined always to be just friends?

Bel is still reeling from her mother’s news. Can Pearl and Bel bring down the might of the Havelocks?

Polly is heavily pregnant and on her own since her husband Tommy has gone to fight in the war. Will he make it back to see her and his baby in one piece? 

Alongside the main characters there are also the stories of the other shipyard girls – head welder Rosie, Dorothy, Angie and Hannah. We learn about Dorothy’s beau Tommy, Angie’s romance with the posh Quentin and that Hannah’s family are Jews imprisoned in a concentration camp.

Despite not having read any other book in the series (there are nine altogether) I quickly worked out who was who and the characters’ backgrounds, such is the author’s skill at describing her characters. Her knowledge and research of the era and subject are excellent and shine through the pages of the book.

There is so much that I learned about – for example the importance of the shipbuilding industry in Sunderland at the time and the way that women rallied together during war time to take on typically male jobs. Even the shipyard boss is female and I loved this. 

I found it so clever how each character (and there are lots) had their own story and struggles and the author really paints a picture of each one so that if, like me, you’ve never read another book in the series you can still become invested in the story and enjoy it. 

There were many things I loved about A Christmas Wish for the Shipyard Girls, for example, the character depiction of Pearl is hilarious and larger-than-life and I enjoyed seeing her triumph over Charles. The love story between Helen and John is brilliant and I’m desperate to find out what happens next for them. I even enjoyed hating Miriam (nasty piece of work) and Charles (pure concentrated evil). Claire too is a horrible character hellbent on becoming John’s wife and therefore ruining any chance of him and Helen getting together. 

The author builds up so much description of all the characters and executes it so brilliantly that I couldn’t put the book down, I loved it so much.

I’m most definitely reading the next instalment and I’m only sorry I didn’t start reading the series any sooner!

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Pages in the mindfulness activities printable workbook

Author photo Nancy Revell

Nancy Revell is the pen name of writer and journalist Amanda Revell Walton, who has worked for the national press for the past 25 years, providing them with hard-hitting news stories and in-depth features. She has also worked for just about every woman’s magazine, writing amazing and inspirational true life stories. Twitter @arevellwalton

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