I’m delighted to share my book review with you today of Secrets of the Homefront Girls by the fantastic Kate Thompson. Thank you to TBC and Hodder & Stoughton for giving me the opportunity to read and review this lovely book.
About the book:
Britain may be at war, but on the home front keeping up morale and keeping up appearances go hand in hand. For the young women working on the lipstick production line at Yardley’s cosmetics factory, it’s business as usual.
Headstrong Renee Gunn is the queen of the lipstick belt – although her cheeky attitude means she’s often in trouble. When Esther, an Austrian refugee, arrives at Yardley’s, it’s Renee who takes her under her wing and teaches her to be a true cockney.
But outside of the factory, things are more complicated. Lily, Renee’s older sister, has suddenly returned home after six years away, and is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile Esther is finding life in England more difficult than expected, and it’s not long before Renee finds herself in trouble, with nowhere to turn.
In the face of the Blitz, the Yardley girls are bound together by friendship and loyalty – but could the secrets they are hiding be the biggest danger of all?
‘Kate Thompson is a skillful and humane storyteller who lights up the sooty face of the old East End with tales full of drama and human interest.’ Annie Murray
About the author:
Kate Thompson was born in London in 1974, and worked as a journalist for twenty years on women’s magazines and national newspapers. She now lives in Sunbury with her husband, two young sons and a soppy Jack Russell called Twinkle. After ghost writing five memoirs, Kate moved into fiction. Kate’s fourth book, The Allotment Girls was out March 2018 and her first non-fiction, The Stepney Doorstep Society is out in August.
As a big fan of Kate Thompson’s books I was delighted to be given the opportunity to read and review her latest book Secrets of the Homefront Girls. And what a fantastic read it was! Set in wartime Stratford, it tells the story of the young women working on the lipstick production line at Yardley’s cosmetics factory.
Full of strong, gutsy and believable characters, this is a book that really does highlight the strength and resilience of the people who went through the long, dark days of the blitz.
There’s headstrong but kind hearted Renee, queen of the lipstick belt who constantly finds herself in trouble, but still takes Austrian refugee Esther under her wing, teaching her how to become a true cockney. And then there’s Renee’s sister, Lily, who has returned home after a long time away and is harbouring a dark secret that she doesn’t want anyone to find out.
Esther struggles with her new life in England far away from home, and soon Renee finds herself in trouble, not knowing which way to turn. The young women find their friendship and loyalty tested to the limit as secrets are revealed and the Blitz threatens to take away everything they hold dear.
Kate Thompson has written a rich and heartwarming story that gets to the heart of wartime England, with characters that are brought oh so vividly to life by the beautiful writing and skilful storytelling. Once started I could not put this book down as I quickly became absorbed in the lives of the fabulous Homefront Girls.
I loved every word of this lovely, moving book as it transported me back to the Stratford of 1939, feeling a maelstrom of emotions right along with the characters as they continue to live their normal everyday lives, all while coping with the threat of the Blitz and the ups, downs, loves and losses of the life they find themselves living.
Kate Thompson is the queen of wartime fiction and Secrets of the Homefront Girls is full of the traditional warmth and humour we have come to expect.
This book is the perfect holiday read and one that I would highly recommend.
Secrets of the Homefront Girls by Kate Thompson is available to buy now: Amazon UK