Saturday, July 25, 2020

The Girls of Victory Street by Pam Howes

The Girls of Victory Street (The Bryant Sisters #1)
Hello!  I hope everyone is enjoying their Saturday.  I am working on transplanting spider plants and ferns into my front yard under the oak tree.  Spider plants send off shoots that blossom and become new plants.  Once they have good roots, I cut them off from the mother plant and give them a new home.  We have an overabundance of ferns in the backyard, so I thought I would relocate some of them.  I am using plants that handle the drought since we have long, dry spells.  I am on the hunt for colorful drought resistant plants (my mother says there is too much green).  My blue fescue seeds are still the only ones bearing fruit.
14x12 inch (363x312 mm) frame with high quality print (other products available) - Girls feeding a machine at the Bryant & May match factory, in Bow, East London, at the time a tax on matches was being discussed in the budget. Date: 1916 - Image supplied by Mary Evans Prints Online - #MediaStorehouse - 14"x12" inch Frame and mount made in the UK
Bryant & May Match Factory (where girls worked in book)
The Girls of Victory Street by Pam Howes takes us back to February of 1939 in Liverpool, England where Bella Rogers is fourteen.  When Bella turns fifteen, she will need to quit school and begin working along with her two friends, Edith Potts and Fran Jackson.  She sings in the school and church choir with them as well as Bobby Harrison.  A few weeks before her fifteenth birthday, Bella and Bobby are offered scholarship with the Maia Choir.  It will give them a chance to perfect their singing voices and perform.  After her fifteenth birthday, Bella along with Fran and Edith begin work at Bryant & May, the match factory.  The morale becomes low in the factory after England declares war on Germany.  To help alleviate it, the three girls begin singing which lifts the workers spirits.  After performing at the factories Christmas party, the three girls now called The Bryant Sisters get a job at the British Legion Club in Speke on Saturday’s where Bobby sometimes performs with them.  Not long after Bobby and Bella begin courting, Bobby enlists in the RAF.  He promises to write.  The Bryant Sisters get a job touring with other acts to perform for serviceman.  Bella fails to hear from Bobby and becomes heartbroken. She soon meets Earl Franklin, an American soldier and musician.  Will Earl be able to capture Bella’s heart?
Frances Langford performs in USO show with Bob Hope, North Africa, 1943
The Girls of Victory Street by Pam Howes is the beginning of The Bryant Sisters series.  I enjoyed reading this engaging historical novel.  I thought the characters were well-developed and the author captured the time-period.  Historical events are mentioned along with rationing, Anderson shelters, items in short supply, movies, and popular books.  The author definitely did her research for this book.  The story focuses on Bella, but we also learn about her family and her two friends, Edith Potts, and Fran Jackson.  Bella has a beautiful voice that happens to harmonize with that of the handsome Bobby Harrison.  The three girls work at the Bryant and May match factory until they are recruited to perform.  I enjoyed reading about the girls’ journey.  The story also includes romance, grief, and heartbreak.  The Girls of Victory Street is a story of love, hope, friendship, and family.  I thought the author provided a realistic story as well as a relatable one.  We get to see the struggles people faced before and during the war.  I am eager to read the next book in The Bryant Sisters series.  The Girls of Victory Street is a charming and touching story with snappy singers, a wronged romance, fine friends, silk stockings, and a wretched war. 
A concert given by ENSA (Entertainments National Services Association) to people sheltering in Aldwych station on 9th October 1940.
The Girls of Victory Street can be obtained through Amazon*.  This book is available through Kindle Unlimited.  You can find Pam Howes historical novels here.  Thank you for dropping by today.  Tomorrow I am featuring Someone's Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass.  I hope you have a relaxing day.  Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader
1947, Four children reading comics by a store display window, New York City. Photo by Ruth Orkin
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