Monday 9 October 2023

πŸ“– Blog Tour ~ The Girls of Mersey Square by Pam Howes

5 October 2023
Mersey Square #1

Thanks to the publishers for my copy of this book and the invitation 
to the blog tour

Mersey Square, Stockport, 1959. Jane Wilson’s parents met during the war in the north of England, but Jane is more interested in listening to the new rock music than hearing stories about the Blitz. When she meets handsome drummer Eddie Mellor, with his sparkling blue eyes and cool black leather jacket, she knows her life is about to start.

But Jane’s parents think Eddie’s rebellious ways will lead their beloved daughter into trouble. They forbid her from seeing Eddie, telling Jane to get a proper job as a nurse. But Jane cannot stand the idea of life without the boy she loves and secretly continues to see Eddie. The day she finds out that Eddie has betrayed her, she is utterly distraught. Were her parents right all along?

Jane is desperate to rebuild her life. Her friends rally round to support her and she gets a job at the local music shop she loves, when to her shock, Eddie invites her to his family home and begs her to reconsider. Just as Jane is feeling tempted, someone pounds on the door of the house bringing shocking news that will change both of their lives forever…

Can Jane find happiness with Eddie? And if she does, will her family ever forgive her?

This book was previously published as That’ll Be The Day.

πŸ“– My Review..

The music filled years of the latter years of the 1950s comes to life in this story of a group of young people who are growing up in Stockport. They all desperately want to finish their exams, leave school and enjoy everything that life has to offer them. However, an interest in rock ‘n’ roll music isn’t really enough to forge a future but that doesn’t stop Jane Wilson and her friends, Sammy and Pat, from starting relationships with Eddie, Roy and Tim, three likely lads who hope to make their fortune in the burgeoning music industry.

The author has caught the musical heartbeat of the 1950s very well,  I enjoyed the musical references to the hits of the day especially to Buddy Holly, who Eddie, Roy and Tim do their best to emulate. The heady days of rock ‘n’ roll are particularly well described and I enjoyed looking up some of the hits which are mentioned in the story and could picture these young people as they met up in coffee bars and record stores. I enjoyed being reminded of listening to records in the music booths which could be found then in most record stores. The reference to Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls also made me smile as these quirky sweets have been made in my home town since Victorian times. Well written, with a fine eye for historical detail The Girls of Mersey Square captures the mood perfectly. The author does a great job of describing those difficult teenage years when the pull of sexual attraction and lure of young love is irresistible and shows both the strength, and vulnerability, of all of the characters, particularly Jane and Eddie who I loved from the beginning of the story.

If you enjoy historical novels which are set during the 1950s, and early 1960s, then you won’t be disappointed with this one. It gets the series off to a fine start and I can’t wait to see what happens next to the characters in The Mothers of Mersey Square which is the next book in this lovely series.

*The second book in the Mersey Square series is also available to read now *

The Mothers of Mersey Square


5 October 2023

Mersey Square, Stockport, 1961. Can she love another woman’s child?

Jane Wilson has just got engaged to her childhood sweetheart Eddie. Although they had a rocky start and Jane is haunted by Eddie’s previous relationship, she couldn’t be happier that they’re back together. But before they can get out the bunting and make it down the aisle, Eddie’s first wife is in a terrible car accident. Eddie’s sweet five-year-old son Jonny is left alone, crying for his mother and inconsolable.

Jane resolves that she must do all she can for the innocent little boy. But at only nineteen, is she ready to be a mother, especially to a child who isn’t her own?

As Jane looks after little Jonny whilst Eddie is away for work, she begins to fall for his cheeky smile and sweet nature, but when she develops an old roll of film and sees the photographs of Jonny and his mother, she realises something is terribly wrong. Jane is sure that Jonny’s mother was hiding a terrible secret. Jane now faces a devastating choice: hide the truth from Eddie or reveal what she knows and risk losing the two people she loves most in the world forever…

This book was previously published as Three Steps to Heaven.

πŸ“–My Review..

After finishing The Girls of Mersey Square, the first book in this series, I couldn’t wait to make a start on The Mothers of Mersey Square as I really wanted to find out how Jane, Eddie and the rest of the characters, were getting on with their lives. We pick up the story just a few years later when they are all a little older, and maybe just a little bit wiser, however, as we soon discover, there is much in store for them.

I’ve enjoyed the continuation and found that I could very easily pick up the story where it left off and enjoyed observing how the characters grow in maturity especially when life deals some of them a devastating blow. The dynamics of relationships, both good and bad, is expertly defined as we follow Eddie’s tempestuous relationship with his wife Angie, and Jane’s uneasy relationship with her boyfriend. Fate has a nasty way of intervening and as the story progresses both Eddie and Jane will face many difficult challenges. Time and place comes to life, the small town nosiness, where everyone know’s everyone else’s business and the way the characters all interweave into and out of each other’s lives is done with a fine eye for detail. The music of the early sixties forms a delightful soundtrack to the story and the excitement of those heady days, and vibrancy of the music scene, makes the story all the more enjoyable. Whilst it is possible to read this as a standalone story it does make sense to read from the start of the series in order to enjoy the development of the characters. 

Overall, The Mothers of Mersey Square is a lovely continuation, I’ve certainly enjoyed being back in Stockport, and hope to meet up again with Eddie, Jane, and the rest of the characters in the next book in the series.

About the Author

Pam Howes is a retired interior designer, mum to three daughters, grandma to seven assorted grandchildren and roadie to her musician partner. The inspiration for Pam’s first novel came from her teenage years, working in a record store, and hanging around with musicians who frequented the business. The first novel evolved into a series about a fictional band, The Raiders. She is a fan of sixties music and it’s this love that compelled her to begin writing.

Twitter @PamHowes1 #TheGirlsOfMerseySquare


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