#BlogTour #Review – The Woolworths Girls by Elaine Everest

The Woolworths Girls

ELAINE EVEREST

A heart-warming story of friendship, love and family set against the backdrop of WWII

The Woolworths Girls is a fascinating and well-researched fictional account of day-to-day life working at one of the country’s most iconic shops, told by a real ‘Woolworths Girl’.

Can romance blossom during times of trouble?

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It’s 1938 and as the threat of war hangs over the country, Sarah Caselton is preparing for her new job at  Woolworths. Before long, she forms a tight bond with two  of her colleagues: the glamorous Maisie and shy Freda.

The trio couldn’t be more different, but they immediately form a close-knit friendship, sharing their hopes and dreams for the future.

Sarah soon falls into the rhythm of her new position, enjoying the social events hosted by Woolies and her blossoming romance with young assistant manager, Alan.

But with the threat of war clouding the horizon, the young men and women of Woolworths realize that there are bigger battles ahead.

It’s a dangerous time for the nation. 

It’s a perilous time to fall in love . . .

 

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Main Market Ed. edition (5 May 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144729548X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447295488

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Elaine Everest was a ‘Woolworths Girl’in the 1960s. Speaking of her time working there, Elaine has said ‘At that timeWoolworths was the place to workThe Woolies Saturday girls looked down on those who were not employed by the well-knowchain of stores. We worked hard for our £1.00 – even though we only received 19 shillings and nine pence (old money!) as thruppence was deducted for that magical NI stamp. If we ‘worked the week’ in school holidays, we earned a whole five pounds and ten shillings for a five and a half days’ hard graft. Yes, I look back on those times with nostalgia but earning our first wage packet was an important milestone for us girls… But then it seems to be the same for many people who have told me that they too worked at Woolies. I only learnt recently that my sisterinlaw and also a cousin’s wife worked their Saturdays at Erith Woolies in the Sixties, and yes they smiled too as they thought back to those days.

Elaine was born and brought up in the North West of Kent and love to write stories set around Erith and Slade Green – places I know so well. It is heart-warming to know that many people look back with fondness to the town, the people and a life long gone.

Twenty years ago I moved a few miles away from Erith and now live in Swanley with my husband, Michael, and Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Henry, where I write nostalgic stories set in and around the county.

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The writing school: www.thewriteplace.org.uk

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My Review

The Woolworths Girls is one of those books that as soon as you see the cover and peek inside you just know you are going to love it!

Set in 1938, Sarah has left her parents’ home in Devon and is starting a new life in Erith with her Nan. She applies for a sales assistant job at the large Woolworths store. While waiting for the interview she meets Freda and Maisie .. will all three girls be taken on? A young man in the assistant manager role also takes her eye .. Alan is charming and calls her Sixpenny.
 
Anyone who is old enough will have fond memories of Woollies in some shape or form and for it to be the basis of this story is quite a unique twist. As time goes on and we get to know all three of the girls and their families and how they all intertwine as the story unfolds is delightful. Ruby the grandmother is a true matriarch and holds the folk together.
 
With the the impending threat of war some decisions are made rather quickly and it gallops along but ultimately this is about the extreme sense of belonging among friends and family. How in times of need there is always someone to fall back on.
 
I loved the nostalgia throughout, the simplicity of life in those days and all the characters had such depth. The author manages to draw the reader into the web and explain thoroughly each one. 
 
Inevitably with war there is drama and heartache but this isn’t dwelled upon too much because Woolies again is the pivotable role.
 
An astonishing book that will have you yearning for those simple days, well written, one minute smiling the next an overwhelming sadness strikes. I enjoyed every minute of it. Many thanks to the author and Pan Macmillan for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest opinion. stars-5-0._V192197110_

 

 

 

 

3 thoughts on “#BlogTour #Review – The Woolworths Girls by Elaine Everest

  1. Another ‘lost’ institution that holds so many fond memories and The Woolworths Girls reminds us of gentler times, hard as they were. Not an innocent age but surely one of which we can all be proud. It’s all there is this delightful book.

    • You are welcome .. I enjoyed a trip down memory lane, used to love going into Woolies as a kid with my Nan, she remembered the ‘everything for sixpence’ times! Then as I grew up, got married etc it was always a ‘go to’ shop for anything. Still mourn the loss of it now xx

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