ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – The Teashop Girls at War by Elaine Everest #BlogTour

It’s my stop on the blog tour for The Teashop Girls at War by one of my favourite writers, Elaine Everest. The book is published by Pan and out now in paperback and eBook. My thanks to Chloe Davies for the review copy and the place on the tour.

It is 1942 and, with the country still at war, the girls who work for Joe Lyons are praying for their loved ones to return home safely.

Happily married Rose is busy with staffing problems at the teashop, many women having taken on war work. Rose dreams of her husband’s return while trying to keep everyone happy.

Lily has her own worries when the father of her daughter appears back in her life – with no explanation. Katie longs for a family of her own, just as a handsome airman arrives on the scene.

At Sea View Guest House, Flora – wary of a relationship and marriage – is fearful of letting her feelings for John Bentley develop further. Especially as she has her guests to be mindful of . . .

Anya is torn, having given birth to a beautiful baby boy who is the spitting image of his father, who has been taken as a prisoner of war. Presented with a chance to save him, Anya confides in her friends, leaving her son in their care. With the uncertainty of the future, can the Teashop girls overcome their personal battles?

The Teashop Girls at War is the third instalment in the Teashop Girls series of warm, emotional WW2 saga novels.

I always love Elaine Everest’s books and was really pleased when I heard a new Teashop Girls book was on the way. It seems ages since the first two books and so it took me a little settling into this one to remind myself of the characters and their lives. I was soon back into the swing of life in Ramsgate and Margate though.

We meet up again with Rose, Lily and Katie. They all work for Lyons Teashops, either in management roles or as ‘Nippies’, the name given to the Lyons waitresses. It’s 1942, the war shows no signs of coming to an end and the girls are more used than ever to heading for the Ramsgate tunnels, where so much time was spent during air raids. It was lovely to catch up with the three women again, along with Flora, Rose’s mother and landlady of the Sea View Guesthouse. If Ruby is the matriarch of the Woolworths books then Flora fulfils that role in the Teashop books and I loved how she was the person that everybody turned to, whether it was with good news or bad. Mildred and Miss Tibbs, longstanding residents of the guesthouse are back too and Mildred in particular has quite an unexpected role to play in events.

There’s an exciting storyline involving Anya, a young Polish woman. I was so exasperated with her at times but I tried to tell myself that although we now have so much knowledge of the war looking back, it must have been so different to live through it on a day to day basis. There are ups and downs for all the characters in one way or another, but they always pull together and solve problems as a friendship group which is so enjoyable to read. There’s so much solidarity and camaraderie in this story! I’m guessing there might be more books in this series in the pipeline. I do hope so as I’d love to follow the characters through to the end of the war years. This latest instalment was a joy to read.

Elaine Everest, author of bestselling novels The Woolworths Girls, The Butlins Girls, Christmas at Woolworths and The Teashop Girls, was born and brought up in North-West Kent, where many of her books are set. She has been a freelance writer for twenty-five years and has written widely for women’s magazines and national newspapers, both short stories and features. Her non-fiction books for dog owners have been very popular and led to her broadcasting on radio about our four-legged friends. Elaine has been heard discussing many other topics on radio, from canine subjects to living with a husband under her feet when redundancy looms.

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