The Surplus Girls by Polly Heron – 4* review

The blurb:

Belinda Layton is a surplus girl. One of the many women whose dreams of marriage perished in the Great War, with the death of her beloved fiancé, Ben. After four years of mourning, she’s ready to face the future, even though Ben’s family is not happy to see her move on, and her own only cares about getting hold of her meagre factory wages. 

Then, Belinda joins a secretarial class and a whole new world opens up to her as she quickly finds herself drawn to beguiling bookshop owner Richard Carson. But after all the loss and devastation she has experienced, can she really trust him with her heart?

My thoughts:

Thank you to Corvus Books and Readers First for a review copy of this book.

This is the first book I’ve read by Polly Heron (aka Susanna Bavin) and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in this saga.

The time period this book is set in is the era my grandparents and their siblings were growing up in, when social changes after World War 1 changed the lives of the young women. Some of my great aunts were ‘surplus girls’ – who had very few opportunities in terms of work or romance.

Reading about how Belinda coped with the loss of her fiancé, living with his family in deep mourning whilst trying to help her own birth family made me realise how much life has changed for young women in the UK. There are a number of strong female characters in this book, including Patience, who tries to help Belinda forge a new life for herself.

By Karen K is reading

An avid reader from the age of 4. Love escaping into a good novel after a busy day working with students. Mum of teenagers. Adopter of dogs.

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