Fiction Book Reviews

Historical Fiction | Christmas at Woolworths by Elaine Everest

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Having enjoyed The Woolworths Girls by Elaine Everest last year, when I received Christmas at Woolworths I was eager to find out what the characters were up to this time 🙂

Paperback: 416 pages

Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (2 Nov. 2017)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1509843655

ISBN-13: 978-1509843657

Best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda are brought together by their jobs at Woolworths. With their loved ones away on the front line, their bonds of friendship strengthen each day. Betty Billington is the manager at Woolworths, and a rock for the girls, having given up on love . . . Until a mysterious stranger turns up one day – could he reignite a spark in Betty?

As the year draws to a close, and Christmas approaches, the girls must rely on each other to navigate the dark days that lie ahead . . .

With so much change, can their friendship survive the war?

I knew I was in for an interesting time when the story begins with Freda riding a Triumph motorbike on her way to Canterbury.  She has something to deliver as well as looking for Betty and Maisie (intrigue! why is she riding a motorbike and why are Betty and Maisie in Canterbury and not Erith??).  My interest was piqued.

It was so easy to get back into this world.  I didn’t realise how much I had taken the characters to heart in The Woolworths Girls!  Elaine Everest brings these characters alive with their fighting spirit and looking out for each other.

The story takes us from Easter 1942 and ends at Christmas with plenty of threads which are underpinned and drawn together by WWII.  There’s a suspicious figure following Betty around, strange goings on where Pat and the children are staying in Cornwall, a new character with a mysterious past, Ruby has a new love interest and Maisie and Freda both have emotional experiences (for very different reasons).   Vera is still just as annoying (the community in Alexandra Road are tolerant but there comes a point … )!  Woolworths is important although less scenes take place there.

I enjoyed this story more than the first and look forward to reading more from Elaine Everest.  I think Christmas at Woolworths would make a fabulous TV series!  Highly recommended.

pssst you don’t have to read the first book to make sense of this second story.

Connect with Elaine

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I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting and being out in nature are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school. I'm passionate about early help and sharing strategies with families to empower and help build resilience. I'm a member of of my Local Authority's Early Help Operational Board, working alongside other professionals to instigate change and growth.

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