I am delighted to be opening this blog tour today
14 October 2021
Thank to the publisher for my copy of this book
and ED Public Relations for the invitation to the blog tour
1939. After the sudden and tragic loss of her husband, Helen returns to her mother’s house in Biggin Hill, Kent – the one place she vowed she’d never go back to. Alone and not knowing where to turn, she joins the local women’s sewing circle to find some companionship and comfort, despite being hopeless with a needle and thread. These resourceful women can not only ‘make- do and mend’ clothes, quilts and woolly hats, but the fast-formed friendship with Lizzie and Effie mends something deeper in Helen too. When the reason for Helen's husband's death comes to light, her world is turned upside down yet again. The investigating officer on the case, Richard, will leave no stone unturned – but it’s not long before his interest in Helen goes beyond the professional. As she pieces together old fabrics into a beautiful quilt, will Helen patch up the rifts in her own life?
📖 My thoughts..
After the unexpected death of her husband, Helen Wentworth returns to her childhood home to live with her mother and stepfather. The house at Biggin Hill holds no happy memories for Helen and as soon as she arrives she is determined to find things to occupy her away from home. Joining the local sewing circle is the best thing she could have done as it encourages Helen not only to make new friends, who she comes to rely on, but she also develops quite a skill for patchwork quilting. However, we soon discover that it's not all about cups of tea and slices of cake as there is a darker element surrounding Helen's reasons for being back home and this mystery is cleverly woven into the story in a way which compliments Helen's need to discover the painful truth about her husband's untimely death.
It's really lovely to have a WW2 story which focuses on the make do and mend generation and the lively nature of the village sewing circle shows just how important these practical skills were, not only in keeping morale high, but also in providing useful practical skills which would be of great value as the war progressed. I particularly enjoyed the references to patchwork quilting, an enviable skill with so much history, and meaning, stitched into the intricate designs.
The Patchwork Girls is a warm hearted story about the camaraderie which is so often found in small communities and whose shared experiences made such a difference to the way women, in particular, coped with the worry of impending war. There's an authenticity to the story and from the very start I felt as if I was standing firmly in 1939 as the author brings to life the uncertainty of living in a country on the cusp of war. Rationing beckons and already the spitfires are gathering at Biggin Hill as the villagers start to prepare for an unknown danger.
Elaine Everest is the author of bestselling novels The Woolworths Girls, The Butlins Girls, Christmas at Woolworths and The Teashop Girls. She was born and raised in North-West Kent, where many of her bestselling historical sagas are set. She grew up listening to tales of the war years in her hometown of Erith, which has inspired her own stories.
Elaine has been a freelance writer for 25 years and has written over 100 short stories and serials for the women's magazine market. She is also the author of a number of popular non-fiction books for dog owners. When she isn't writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school in Hextable, Kent. She now lives in Swanley with her husband, Michael and their Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Henry.
The Patchwork Girls by Elaine Everest is out now, published by Pan Macmillan in paperback original, priced £7.99
Twitter @elaineeverest #ThePatchWorkGirls