Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Railway Girls by Maisie Thomas

The Railway Girls (Railway Girls 1) by [Maisie Thomas]
Good Day!  There are some delightful new books coming out in June.  Some of the new releases are The Grim Reader by Kate Carlisle, A Gilded Lady by Elizabeth Camden, Daddy's Girls by Danielle Steel, Game of Dog Bones by Laurien Berenson, A Sprinkling of Murder by Daryl Wood Gerber, Murder in the Scottish Shire by Traci Hall, Still Knife Painting by Cheryl Hollon, and The Last Curtain Call by Juliet Blackwell.  Once again, I have managed to request too many books (40 at last count).  How can you resist requesting a book that you really want to read?  I am weak!
Photographic Print: Women Rail Workers Standing at Work on Engine of Train, During WWI at Great Northern Railway : 24x18in
Female train workers during WWII
The Railway Girls by Maisie Thomas has Mabel, Joan, Dot, and other ladies volunteering to work for the railway during World War II.  Mabel is eager to escape her hometown so she can get a fresh start away from the memories and the guilt.  Joan and her sister were raised by their grandmother.  Gran praises her sister, but Joan does not live up to her grandmother’s expectations.  Joan wants to obtain a position and show what she is capable of to herself and her family.  Dot has raised two boys who are now married with children of their own.  Dot’s sons are off fighting.  She takes care of the home and her critical husband, Reg.  Dot is the mothering type and likes to be helpful.  Each of these women who are different ages and from different social classes, come together to do their bit for the war.  This group of diverse women start off as strangers, but they soon become close friends who stand by each other through thick and thin.  The Railway Girls is the first book in the Railways Girls series.  There is a great cast of characters in this historical novel.  I thought the characters were realistic and relatable.  They come from different social classes and each have a different reason for volunteering.  Dot was my favorite.  She is such a kind woman who loves her sons and their families. I could understand why she wanted to get out of her home each day.   I did feel that Dot was taken advantage of by her daughter’s in-law.  We get to follow the women through their day to day lives.  Each of them want to help the war effort and are excited to be working for the railway.  The women are assigned different jobs.  I like that we get to see the various positions people work to keep the trains running.  I could tell that the author did her research for this book.  The author took us back in time with the clothing, buildings, the various battles and war engagements, and the men’s attitudes towards women in the workplace.  Maisie Thomas’ detailed descriptions brought the scenes and characters to life.  I did wish that the pacing had been a little peppier.  The story got bogged down with the minutia of the ladies lives (a little too much detail).  I enjoyed seeing the ladies come together as a group and grow as individuals.  It was not easy living during World War II in England with bombings, rationing, and the extra work they had to take on.  The Railway Girls is an emotional story with strong women who want to support their country during trying times.
Servicewoman with a female porter, Waterloo Station, 1942. Helen Madeleine McKie
Female train porter
The Railway Girls is available from Amazon* (ebook).  Paperback version will be available September 1.  The next book in The Railway Girls series is Secrets of the Railway Girls which publishes September 17.  I appreciate you stopping by today and reading my review.  Tomorrow I am sharing Killer Chardonnay by Kate Lansing.  It is the premiere of A Colorado Wine Mystery series.  I hope that you have a stellar day.  Take care, stay safe and Happy Reading!


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