Cover detail of The Widow's Choice by Nancy Revell

The Widow's Choice by Nancy Revell

I'm checking in a day early with you today, as tomorrow I'm going to be a bit busy. Long term readers of the blog will know how much I enjoy the wonderful Shipyard Girls series of books by Nancy Revell. This set of books set in Sunderland during the Second World War has a special place in my heart, as it was my lovely mother-in-law, who attending an event by the author, decided to pick up a signed copy for me as something we could read together.

Read my Review of Three Cheers for the Shipyard Girls

And read we did, along with our good friend Jenny. But then came the fateful day when Nancy announced the Shipyard Girls series were coming to an end. I felt quite sad about this. I had become invested in the women's lives and now that the war was ending wondered what was next for them.

The dedication in the book is to 'My Wonderful Readers' who inspired Nancy to write the The Widow's Choice reflecting what would happen next in the Shipyard Girls' lives. Yes! Our heroines were back!

The Plot

When Angie marries her sweetheart Quentin and moves into Cuthford Manor to begin their new life together, she feels like the luckiest woman in the world.
But Quentin falls victim to a tragic accident and Angie is left devastated. Now, along with the prospect of rebuilding her life, she is faced with the impossible choice that will have far-reaching consequences for herself and those she loves most.
Angie will need to draw on the help of her family, the community of Cuthford Manor and her old friends from the shipyards if she's to find happiness again.

My Thoughts

It's like the Shipyard Girls never went away! And I am thankful for that.

The first point of note, is that you can read this as a standalone novel. But I would recommend reading The Shipyard Girls series in order, as there is so much background packed into the book and it helps to have a knowledge of the characters in The Shipyard Girls.

The action moves from Sunderland to County Durham and to a manor no less. We have met Angie and Quentin before and know all about the difficult life that Angie had whilst working at th Shipyards. But having married Quentin, she now resides at the beautiful Cuthford Manor with Quentin, her daughter, her siblings, Quentin's parents, Mrs Kwiatkowski (another Shipyard Girls regular) and various staff, horses and dogs.

But then Quentin is tragically killed and Angie must make a decision about the Manor, and her family. .

There are many elements and themes here that we have enjoyed in previous novels. The girls camaraderie, so evident in The Shipyard novels, plays an important part here too. The women are background figures, but all are worried for Angie and help wherever they can. Dorothy, now a journalist in New York, is always on the end of the phone, but it was pleasing to see Angie gain further support and care from newer characters to this world.

Angie's open and honest way is soon looked down on by her mother-in-law Evelyn, who has designs on Cuthford Manor for herself and who has hidden her past very well. Nancy Revell writes a 'wicked' character very well. And Evelyn is someone we come to strongly dislike. As danger grows ever nearer, we start to fear for Angie and her household, especially as Evelyn will do absolutely anything to get rid of Angie and claim the manor as her home.

This was a great follow-up to The Shipyard Girls series, keeping the spirit and warmth of the books alive and well. It was lovely to meet up with our old friends again, and no longer wonder what happened to them.