Saturday 17 October 2020

The Deptford Girls

The Deptford girls


Patricia McBride

When I saw the title of this book I knew I had to read it as I come from South East London myself, but I was a bit apprehensive as this is the fourth book in a series. I was assured by the author that it could be read as a stand-alone and I wasn’t disappointed! I got into it from page one and thoroughly enjoyed it! You can read my review below.

A country at war. Friends in trouble. A fascist traitor. Stepping up can only lead Lily to danger.

Rescuing friends or spotting spies; Private Lily Baker always gets involved.

While London burns she looks out for workmates and girlfriends but also uncovers a web of deception at the Depot where she works.

When the ruthless suspect knows she’s closing in, she must act fast to unmask the traitor and save her friends, herself, and the brave soldiers overseas whose lives are at risk.

The Deptford Girls is the fourth in the Lily Baker wartime series. This heart-wrenching story features courage, friendship, betrayal, compelling characters, and a captivating plot.

If you like vivid stories that take you right into the world of the characters, you’ll love The Deptford Girls. Cuddle up with a cuppa and enjoy this exciting, warm-hearted read.


Lily, along with her friends Bronwyn, Marion, Edith and a Ruth work in a depot in Deptford, south east London. There is heightened security around the depot and rumour has it that the current shipment contains guns. 

Mr Biggerstaff is a new member of the team. Lily is instantly wary of him and is sure he is up to no good. She is going to have to keep her wits about her where he is concerned. 

Marion has troubles of her own. She has been dumped by her boyfriend and even worse, finds herself pregnant. What is she going to do and how is she going to tell her mum? 

Edith has her husband Sidney home from the war injured with a head injury.  She makes any excuse to be at work or with the girls; is there something she is hiding from them about her husband? 

Ruth is a jewish woman with three children who have just been evacuated to the country.  She also seems to be making excuses about her husband not being around. 

It seems all the girls are keeping secrets...

I really enjoyed this book as it was so easy to get into with very likable characters and with short chapters I whizzed through it. I would definitely read books by this author again.

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About the Author

Patricia lives in Cambridge, England with her husband Rick. She first wrote non-fiction, mainly self-help books, but became inspired to try her hand at fiction. In addition to writing she volunteers for a local museum and Addenbrookes Hospital.

Wednesday 14 October 2020

The Quickening

The Quickening
Rhiannon Ward

This is the first novel in a change of genre for Rhiannon Ward (Sarah Ward) and luckily, I was sent a copy for review (thank you) which you can read below. 
This is an atmospheric, autumnal read which is perfect for this time of year! Thankfully, not as scary as I thought it might have been as I don't like jumpy books, but nevertheless, kept me on the edge of my seat sometimes!


Louisa Drew is a photographer who is commissioned to take photos of the contents of Clewer Hall for its' sale so that the family can go and start a new life in India. Poor Louisa lost her first husband Bertie during WWI and also her twin sons in the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918.

Now married again to Edwin and expecting another child, Louisa is trying to earn a living to keep their heads above water, so taking a job away from home for 10 days is a welcome break from the unhappiness she feels towards her second husband and her miserable existence since the death of her beloved Bertie and her sons. 

As Louisa starts to take pictures of the contents of the house, she finds out that a séance is going to be recreated that first took place in 1896. She is introduced to the Medium, Ada, who, when she realizes Louisa is heavily pregnant, warns her to leave the house as soon as she can. Louisa is made of stern stuff and just a bit stubborn! So decides to stay to finish her commission.

George is a journalist from London who also arrives at Clewer Hall to report on the séance and is full of admiration for Louisa because she is an independent, married woman earning a living in an era when this was a rarity. Little does he yet know that Louisa would rather work than be at home (also in London) with Edwin, who she is not in love with.

Obviously, things don't go to plan and strange things start to happen for Louisa and with the warnings she receives about leaving the house, she is determined to find out  why there is such a dark, oppressive atmosphere at Clewer Hall.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and really hope that the author decides to write more. Very easy reading with short chapters that left you wanting to read a bit more at the end of every one!

Thank you so much to the author for sending me a copy to review. 


Saturday 10 October 2020

The Winter Garden

The Winter Garden
Heidi Swain
Guest Review by Julie Williams

Another super book by Heidi Swain as we are once again back in Norfolk with the lovely folk from Nightingale Square and Prosperous place. It is always heart-warming to revisit this community and welcome its' new residents.
Freya becomes increasingly unhappy with her life as a horticulturist in Suffolk now that her best friend Eloise has died leaving the house to her nephew who is showing unwelcoming intentions towards her, making her very uncomfortable.  So when an opportunity arises after meeting Luke, owner of Prosperous Place and his delightful family near Norwich, Freya does some soul searching and decides to take a risk and accept the job as Gardener.
Luke is very enthusiastic about the grounds and has a loyal local support bunch of people who are more than happy to help out when needed. They all get involved in creating The Winter Garden which is to be enjoyed by locals and visitors. During this time Freya meets Finn who has been commissioned to create some sculptures for the gardens. There is definitely a spark between the two, but there are family issues that need to be addressed on both sides before any romance can blossom.
This is a lovely story that features love, friendship and gardening so it was a perfect read for me to enjoy!
My thanks to Net Galley for the ARC and to Julie Boon for posting my thoughts of this book on her blog.