The Woolworths Girls by Elaine Everest
It’s 1938 and as the threat of war hangs over the country, Sarah Caselton is preparing for her new job at Woolworths. Before long, she forms a tight bond with two of her colleagues: the glamorous Maisie and shy Freda. The trio couldn’t be more different, but they immediately form a close-knit friendship, sharing their hopes and dreams for the future.
Sarah soon falls into the rhythm of her new position, enjoying the social events hosted by Woolies and her blossoming romance with young assistant manager, Alan. But with the threat of war clouding the horizon, the young men and women of Woolworths realize that there are bigger battles ahead. It’s a dangerous time for the nation, and an even more perilous time to fall in love . . .
This is my third Elaine Everest read and the first one that I haven’t read at Christmas. I read Christmas at Woolworths last Christmas which is actually the second in the series so I thought I would start at the beginning and read the full Woolworths series.
I love Everest’s writing because I always find it so comforting, it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling which is always a good thing with a book. This book introduces the characters of the series, focusing on Sarah Caselton. Sarah gets a job working for Woolworths and makes two firm friends, the glamorous and feisty Maisie and the shy Freda. The three women are all so different but together they are unstoppable and best friends.
As Sarah, Maisie and Freda start to enjoy their working lives at Woolworths and meeting and making new friends they also have to deal with the threat of impending war. As romances blossom the girls begin to realise that the men they love will be sent to war and this leads to uncertain times.
My favourite character in this book was Ruby who is Sarah’s grandmother. Ruby is a widow and her home is at the heart of this book, everyone is welcome. Ruby takes anyone who needs help under her wing. There is always a hot meal and a shoulder to cry on where Ruby is concerned. Ruby works hard and goes above and beyond to help people, she really is a treasure.
Everest’s clever writing makes you want to know more about all the characters in this book and not just the details of the main characters. I felt immersed in the story desperately wanting to know more about the characters which also meant I found it hard to put the book down.
This story is so beautifully written and the characters Everest has created are just so easy to love that I will definitely be continuing with the series and reading other books by Everest. Everest is definitely a new comfort author for me. I give this book 5 out of 5 Dragons.
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About the author
Elaine Everest was born and brought up in northwest Kent and has written widely – both short stories and features – for women’s magazines. When she isn’t writing, Everest runs The Write Place creative writing school in Dartford Kent, and the blog for Romantic Novelists’ Association.