Welcome. I wanted to share with you the Amish fiction novels that are releasing on Tuesday, March 28. They are Plain Missing by Emma Miller, Marrying Jonah by Amy Lillard, A Mother's Love by Charlotte Hubbard, and The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis.
The Shipyard Girls at War by Nancy Revell is the second book in The Shipyard Girls series. It is December 27, 1940 when Isabelle “Bel” Elliot receives a telegram notifying her that her husband, Teddy was killed in action. Bel is devastated and does not know how she will carry on without her husband. Bel and Teddy have a little girl, Lucille (two and a half years old). Thankfully, they live with Teddy’s family. Bel grew up with the Elliot children: Teddy, Joe (his twin brother) and Polly. Polly works as a welder at the Sunderland shipyard along with Angie, Gloria, Dorothy, Martha, Hannah, and Rosie. Soon after Teddy passes away, his twin brother, Joe comes home. He suffered a leg injury and can no longer serve in the war. Because Teddy and Joe are twins, Bel has trouble with his presence in the household. To make matters worse, Pearl, Bel’s estranged and unwanted mother, shows up unexpectedly. Bel’s grief turns to anger and she lashes out at everyone in the house. Polly is glad for the overtime in the shipyard. It gets her out of the house and away from the tense atmosphere. The ladies at work are more than coworkers, they are close friends (a type of family in a way). When Helen, the boss’s daughter and interim manager, sets out to get rid of the group, they band together. Rosie has a secret that she cannot share with the group and would ruin her life if it became common knowledge. But she cannot help but dream of a different future when she starts going to tea with DS Peter Miller. Gloria worries about her expanding waistline exposing her secret. She also lives in fear that her husband, Vinnie will appear at home and start in on her with his fists again. Hannah wants to help the war effort, but her strength makes it difficult for her to do her share as a welder. Each person has their trials, but together they will make it through the war.
Shipyard Girls at War is an engrossing novel. It has likeable (real life) characters, and I appreciated the angle of females working in a shipyard. It is not something I have seen in the numerous books that have been published over the last two years set during World War II. Shipyard Girls at War is the second book in the series and you really do need to read The Shipyard Girls (first book in this series). Otherwise, you will be a little lost in the beginning. The author does an amazing job at capturing the time period and locale. Her descriptive writing makes me feel like I am in England during the war. I cannot imagine being a welder on a ship. It sounds like a hard and difficult job. Plus, the ladies had to endure the males with their catcalls, groping, pranks and insults. We are introduced to two new characters in this book—Pearl and Joe. It was interesting to find out more about Bel’s past and how she came to be involved with the Elliott family. I give Shipyard Girls at War 4.5 out of 5 stars. There are a couple of slow sections, but they are few. They are mostly the “thinking” areas as I call them. It is when a character is contemplating a subject for a long period of time (or feels like it). The story had a great ending, but readers are left with some unanswered questions. Will DS Miller keep pursuing Rosie? Did Jack survive the downing of his ship? Can Pearl change her ways? Will Tommy make it through the war and home to Polly? Unfortunately, we must wait until Secrets of the Shipyard Girls comes out in September (09/21).
If you do enjoy Nancy Revell's novels, I recommend the books by Donna Douglas and Ellie Dean. I hope you have a pleasurable day. I am currently reading Marrying Jonah by Amy Lillard. I will return on Sunday with a new book review. Take care and Happy Reading!