#BlogTour #Review ~ When We Danced at the End of the Pier by @SandyTaylorAuth @bookouture

Brighton Girls Trilogy Book 1

Brighton 1930: Maureen O’Connell is a carefree girl, but her family is on the brink of tragedy, war is looming and life will never be the same again.

Jack and Nelson have always been dear friends to Maureen. Despite their different backgrounds, they’ve seen each other through thick and thin.

As Maureen blossoms from a little girl into a young woman, the candle she’s always held for Jack burns bright. But just as she’s found love, war wrenches them apart. The man she cherishes with all her heart is leaving.

When the bombs start to fall, Maureen and her family find themselves living in the most dangerous of times. With Jack no longer by her side and Nelson at war, Maureen has never felt more alone. Can she look to a brighter future? And will she find the true happiness she’s dreamt of?

An utterly gripping and heart-wrenching story about the enduring power of love, hope and friendship during the darkest of days. Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries, Diney Costeloe, Kitty Neale and Ellie Dean.

UK  Amazon UK
US  Amazon US

About the author
Sandy Taylor grew up on a council estate near Brighton. There were no books in the house, so Sandy’s love of the written word was nurtured in the little local library. Leaving school at fifteen, Sandy worked in a series of factories before landing a job at Butlins in Minehead. This career change led her to becoming a singer, a stand up comic and eventually a playwright and novelist.
 
My Review
I will say up front I adore books by Sandy, this is the third in the ‘See Saw Lane’ trilogy that I have read and I am left bereft at finishing it. As I neared the end I was eeking out my reading purely to keep the magic going for as long as possible. This is truly a ‘hangover’ book, ie: whatever comes next has so much to live up to because I am still in this books’ world. At times like this ideally I would like a period of reflection before having to move on to another book, but as a reviewer I don’t have the luxury of time.

This drew me in from the first sentence, the love shines through, Maureen and her family are the stars of the story. The unbreakable bond between Maureen and her sister Brenda is so endearing, the relationship with their Da, he worships his angels. I love the amount of play time they had with him, running on the downs, playing on the beach, him making a doll’s house for Christmas etc .. mum was the strength of the family and worked tirelessly often against the odds to ensure they were all cared for.

Maureen spies the boy next door, Jack when she is about eight years old and vows to her friend Monica that he will be the love of her life. Nelson is Jack’s friend but he has his own troubles .. the little group are firm friends and we follow their journey throughout the book.

It’s 1930’s Brighton, times are hard, war is looming. I particularly loved the references to Brighton, I have lived near there most of my life so I could visualise all the places mentioned, knew the distance they walked from one place to another, recognise the street names, cafes and cinemas etc, this truly bought the book to life for me.

A deeply moving, heart wrenching tale that spans many years. Tragedy befalls so many but love and friendship endures so much when it is tested to extreme limits. There are glimpses of humour all be it based on a serious nature, the long running comments about ‘two doors’ down dead dog’ lifted my spirits when the book was almost too emotional to continue. My parents lived in this era so it particularly bought back memories of their stories of rations, gas-masks, air raids, bombs etc.

It explores friendship, romance, family loyalty, faith all in a way that ensures the reader is included. The title relevance is so poignant, a beautifully sentimental book that will be enjoyed by anyone who likes to immerse themselves in a saga.

I truly hold the other two books in the series with great affection but this one excelled itself, it was an absolute privilege to be able to read an ARC. Thanks to Netgalley, Bookouture and the author .. I read and reviewed this voluntarily

 

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2 thoughts on “#BlogTour #Review ~ When We Danced at the End of the Pier by @SandyTaylorAuth @bookouture

    • I totally agree with you, I have enjoyed the trilogy & if I had time would re-read over & over again xx

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