The Shipyard Girls on the Home Front #BookReview #BlogTour


December, 1943.
As the war effort gathers steam in Europe, it's all hands on deck on the home front.

Gloria is over the moon to be reunited with her sweetheart Jack. But her sons Bobby and Gordon are away with the Navy and still know nothing of their mother's divorce and new half-sister.

Rosie's squad of welders must work gruelling hours in the yard as they prepare for the Allied invasion of Normandy. All the while Rosie herself waits anxiously for news of her husband Peter, who is carrying out dangerous work as an undercover operative in France.

Meanwhile welder Dorothy has a feeling that her beau Toby is planning to pop the question when he's next on leave. But it seems that her head is being turned by someone closer to home...

It will take great strength and friendship if the shipyard girls are to weather the storms to come.

It is such a pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for The Shipyard Girls on the Home Front today. Many thanks to Nancy Revell and to Rachel Kennedy from Arrow for inviting me and for my advance copy of the novel.

It's always such a treat to be reunited with the Shipyard Girls and as 1944 dawns, it's good to know that they won't have to wait much longer for peace. However, there are still tears and tribulations ahead of them and Nancy Revell's wonderful gift for writing characters that feel like real people, meant I experienced all the emotions in this latest dramatic instalment of the wartime saga.
Jack is finally reunited with his beloved Gloria  and with his daughters, Helen and little Hope but with the horrible Havelocks down but not beaten, their relationship undoubtedly still faces a few more trials yet. Indeed, Gloria realises she must write to tell her adult sons, Bobby and Gordon about Jack and Hope, a task she has been putting off for too long. However, fate has a way of intervening and for a while it looks as though her happiness will be short-lived as the dark days of her marriage to the violent Vinnie continue to cast a shadow over her relationship with her loved ones. 
I've always loved that Nancy Revell never shies away from writing about some really difficult subjects and in a series where the strength of women is such a central theme, the exploration how violence and abuse affects families is handled with real sensitivity. There are moments of joy too, of course and Pearl's rehabilitation has been delightful to follow as she finally marries Bill, surrounded by friends and family. 
Meanwhile, Dorothy is desperate for Toby to pop the question but as the novel progresses, it looks as if the course of true love may not run quite so smoothly for them after all and she faces a difficult decision. Sometimes in situations like this, it's only too obvious what the characters should do but there are no easy answers here and I'm intrigued to know what will come next for her. The long-running will-they-won't-they relationship between Helen and Dr Parker is deliciously frustrating and though they both admit their true feelings to themselves, there always seems to be some barrier preventing them from declaring their love for one another. Helen's dreadful mother, Miriam doesn't feature much this time but readers are given another character to love to hate in the form of the scheming Dr Claire Eris. 
It's the events of D-Day which lead to the most dramatic scenes of the novel, however. With Rosie, Polly and Gloria desperately longing for the safe return of their husbands and sons, this rollercoaster read left me emotionally wrought. I can't give anything away here - but I strongly advise having tissues ready...
The Shipyard Girls on the Home Front is a captivating read from start to finish. It reduced me to tears, made my pulse race and left me desperate for more. The war is drawing to a close now and it's a bittersweet feeling to know the Shipyard Girls series is nearly over but I can take comfort from knowing we still have a few more twists and turns in their lives to look forward to - I can't wait!  

The Shipyard Girls on the Home Front is published by Arrow, purchasing links can be found here but please support independent bookshops whenever possible.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Nancy Revell is the author of the Shipyard Girls series, which is set in the north-east of England during World War II. She is a former journalist who worked for all the national newspapers, providing them with hard-hitting news stories and in-depth features. Nancy also wrote amazing and inspirational true life stories for just about every woman’s magazine in the country. When she first started writing the Shipyard Girls series, Nancy relocated back to her hometown of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, along with her husband, Paul, and their English bull mastiff, Rosie. They now live just a short walk away from the beautiful award-winning beaches of Roker and Seaburn, within a mile of where the books are set. The subject is particularly close to Nancy’s heart as she comes from a long line of shipbuilders, who were well known in the area.