I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
At this point, most of you already know how much I love books about women in the industrial workforce during World War II. It’s a very specific itch that a hell a lot of saga novels scratch. The other books I usually love have a lot of melancholic realism that these saga novels help me escape.
And it maybe the pandemic talking, but there’s just something so uplifting about stories of communities coming together in times of crises to work for the greater good. And that’s how all saga novels are. They’re full of heart and history and are moving accounts of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. How can I not love them, really?
Read on to find out what I thought of Annie Clark’s latest.
As the war continues, wedding bells are ringing for the factory girls.
Sarah is happily settling into married life with new husband Stan, whilst Fran is busy planning her upcoming wedding to sweetheart Davey, who’s still conscripted to Bletchley Park. With limited resources, the girls must make do to create the perfect day.
Meanwhile, Beth has other things on her mind. She hasn’t heard from her husband Bob since he returned to the navy, and she’s starting to fear the worst. And new friend Viola is still recovering from a nasty accident.
Life on the home front can be challenging, but with the support of one another, the factory girls can get through anything.
Factory Girls #3 picks up where the last book left off. Sarah and Fran are back home after their accident in Scotland and they’ve brought along their new friend Viola. Sarah’s married, Fran’s preparing for her own wedding, what with the limited resources the community has, and the girls all return to work at the munitions factory.
But the main characters this time around are Beth and Ralph. Beth has marital issues to contend with, while Ralph has to find a way to redeem himself from his fascist past. How the group fares with their troubles and still manage to find happiness during a war forms the rest of the story.
As always, Annie Clarke has written a story with a big heart. The women in her books show a lot of spirit and Annie’s writing always showcases it in the best way. Only as I started reading did I realise just how much I’d missed the easy camaraderie the women in this book have with each other.
“As long as we girls stick together, nowt can break us.”
The reason I love Annie’s books most out of the saga novels I read is because of the attention to detail and vivid historical imagery. And that continues in this instalment of the Factory Girls too.
Perhaps my only gripe about this book would be to do with the whelp, Ralph Massingham. In my review of the second book, I mentioned that I loved his redemption arc because of how tastefully it was handled. But the saintly overtones he had in this book gave me whiplash. I love how the guy’s turned over a new leaf, but I’d have liked to see him do more work in redeeming himself. I’m sure we’ll see more of it in the next book, so it’s not that big a complaint.
In all, Wedding Bells on the Home Front is written with a lot of soul. It has a big heart and is the exact pick-me-up you need in the middle of a crisis. We may not be at war, but we’re definitely in a situation where reading about communities coming together and beating the odds can lift us up. And this book (and the series) can do that for you.
Rating: 4 out of 5
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