Fiction Book Reviews

Saga | The Surplus Girls | Polly Heron

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We’re delighted to be sharing Alice-Jane’s thoughts on The Surplus Girls by Polly Heron.

The Surplus Girls is the first story in a trio of sagas following three Surplus Girls – those women whose dreams of marriage perished in the Great War, after the deaths of millions of young men, and the new lives they forged for themselves.

We also have a paperback copy to giveaway to one of our UK readers. Don’t miss it!

After the loss of war, can there be hope for the future?

Manchester, 1922.

Belinda Layton is a surplus girl. One of the many women whose dreams of marriage perished in the Great War, with the death of her beloved fiancé, Ben. After four years of mourning, she’s ready to face the future, even though Ben’s family is not happy to see her move on, and her own only cares about getting hold of her meagre factory wages.

Then, Belinda joins a secretarial class and a whole new world opens up to her as she quickly finds herself drawn to beguiling bookshop owner Richard Carson. But after all the loss and devastation she has experienced, can she really trust him with her heart?

Book cover for The Surplus Girls by Polly Heron

The Surplus Girls by Polly Heron is published by Corvus (2 January 2020) and is available to purchase in digital, paperback and audiobook formats.


The Surplus Girls is a thoroughly heart-warming romantic story of love and honour and a woman’s rigid place in society.

For heroine Belinda Layton, her struggles to reach higher than her dictated social standing hinder her chances of bettering her life, particularly in a society that has very limited marriage prospects due to the many male lives lost in the war.

The chauvinistic lives led by all in the 1920’s make it an extremely trying and difficult situation for any girl wishing to work and become self-sufficient.

For Belinda though the added struggles of her family and the harsh realities of a male dominated hierarchy, mean she has to find a means of balancing work, family and romance. Her mother’s dependence and expectation on her daughters to provide for the men only add to Belinda’s determination to step away from this lifestyle.

The First World War left so many scars even to those who didn’t fight as they deal with grief and then for Gabriel Linkworth- memory loss.

I would heartily recommend this moving tale of one young woman’s battle to move on with her life in a steadfast direction.

Alice-Jane guest reviewer on Jera's Jamboree

The author is offering a paperback giveaway to one of our UK readers. Click here to enter.

Author photo Polly Heron

Polly Heron has worked as a librarian specialising in work with schools and children, an infant teacher, a carer and a cook. She lives in Llandudno in North Wales with her husband and two rescue cats, but her writing is inspired by her Mancunian roots. She enjoys reading, gardening, needlework and cooking and she loves living by the sea.

I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 9+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.

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