Delighted to host today's final blog tour stop
17 September 2020
My thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book
and the invitation to be part of the blog tour.
This second instalment of this exciting new saga series shows just how important friendship and love is in a time of uncertainty and change. We pick back up with Dot, Joan and Mabel as the war continues and secrets threaten their budding friendships. Brought together by their work on Manchester’s railways and a duty to help the war effort and those they love fighting overseas, these three amazing women find that with the support and encouragement of each other, they can get through even the most challenging of times.
What did I think about it...
It's been such a treat to return to this group of women who we first encountered in The Railway Girls. Picking up the threads of the story again we follow, Dot, Joan and Mabel as they continue their valuable work on the Manchester railway network, keeping everything both at home, and at work, in lively focus.
In this novel, the northern stoicism of the railway girls is sorely tested when Manchester becomes the target for some pretty fierce bombardment, but as always, they rise to the challenge of what lies before them. Trained in first aid some of the women find themselves in some tricky situations which they handle with bravery and compassion.
The individual stories are just as interesting, I love the brave, good humour of Dot, so reminiscent of the strong northern women in my family who, during WW2 kept, hearth and home together. The practical skills of Joan, and the seriousness of Mabel, and yet they all bring out the best in each other and their support is especially vital when times get tough.
I love the setting of the book in North West England, it all feels so familiar, there's even a shout out to the railway station in my home town in it! The war-time authenticity is without question as is the author's enthusiasm and skill in bringing place, people and historical context to life. With heartbreak, tragedy and upheaval as a constant threat the railway girls face some difficult challenges but with their brave good humour they do their absolute best to keep going even though life around them is really difficult.
Beautifully written, with a quiet charm, the author has most certainly got the balance just right with this historical saga. Her characters, with all of their problems and insecurities, come alive, we laugh, and cry, with them as they do their best to keep to keep morale alive in some pretty difficult circumstances.
I am sure that this isn't the last we have seen of The Railways Girls - I would hope that they have many more adventures before the war is over.
About the Author
Maisie Thomas was born and brought up in Manchester, which provides the location for her Railway Girls novels. She loves writing stories with strong female characters, set in times when women needed determination and vision to make their mark. The Railway Girls series is inspired by her great Aunt Jessie, who worked as a railway clerk during the First World War. Maisie now lives in beautiful North Wales with her railway enthusiast husband and their two rescue cats. They often enjoy holidays chugging up and down the UK’s heritage steam railways.
Twitter @MaisieThomas99 #SecretsOfTheRailwayGirls