A Christmas Wish for the Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell
Just before the Christmas break and obviously thinking of Christmas presents, I was told by my wonderful Mother-in Law, in no uncertain terms, that I was NOT to buy this book. Having not clocked that this had been released I then proceeded to see it everywhere - bookshops, supermarkets, Instagram! Amazon must have sent me an email about it every single day. I nearly cracked a couple of times but stayed strong. It was worth it of course when I received the book for Christmas (and in a further twist was bought by someone other than my mother-in-law!) Receiving the novel invoked all the expectation of meeting a group of old friends for a coffee after a very long time. Something which I know we are all looking currently forward to.
A quick note, I would very much recommend reading the Shipyard girls series in order, starting with The Shipyard Girls. I have put together a list of the Shipyard Girls in order which I hope you find helpful. The stories are very nicely interwoven and there is a lot of background that it is worth being aware of before you embark on this book. What I will say is that once you start to read the Shipyard Girls series you will find it hard to stop!
Like the others, this novel focuses on 3 of the group of friends we have come to very much love. Helen has finally realised her feelings for Dr Parker and resolves to tell him, but he has already met someone new. Bel is desperate to have a baby with her husband Joe and is still coming to terms with the matter of her own parentage and Polly, already expecting, prays that her baby is delivered safely especially with her own husband, Tommy, on the front line of the war.
Since starting the novels, I have taken the characters to heart. The theme remains strong women and strong friendships and just like the others, these timeless threads wind their way through the story. The women are fiercely protective of each other, especially if one of them is threatened or in trouble. So much can be sorted out with a drink after work or a good strong cup of tea.
It is the war that has brought this group of women together and Nancy Revell has really done her research. It's fascinating learning about Sunderland in the war and the history of the Shipyards, especially as we see the women undertake the heavy, back-breaking work previously only done by the men of the town. Nancy Revell discovered that her own family were shipbuilders in the town and I believe has made a fitting tribute to these brave men and women.
So, if you are looking for a new series to try then I would heartily recommend these novels. They are cosy and heart-warming and my admiration remains for Sunderland town and its people.