Christmas at Liberty’s
Even in wartime there is magic at Christmas
Christmas at Liberty’s is the first book in the new Liberty Girls series from Fiona Ford. Set around the iconic Carnaby Street department store during the London Blitz, it is described as a ‘heart-warming story of friendship and courage’
Just published by Arrow today, November 15th, I am thrilled to be joining Fiona Ford on tour with my review.
As ever I hope you enjoy!
Mary arrives in war-torn London nursing a broken heart and a painful secret
When she is offered her dream post as an assistant in the fabric department at Liberty store, she knows this is the fresh start she needs. Amid the store’s vibrant prints and sumptuous interiors, Mary finds a new family who help her to heal.
But not everyone will give Mary such a warm welcome, and the trauma of her past will soon catch up with her.
As Mary and the Liberty Girls endure the heartache, uncertainty and danger of war, it will take a steady heart and unwavering courage to keep the magic of Christmas alive.
Fiona Ford is no stranger to my blog, having written a wonderful guest post for us all last year entitled, ‘When it’s time to let your baby go’ (Read HERE). I also reviewed The Spark Girl (Book #1 in The Spark Girls series) which you can read HERE
I was thrilled when Fiona approached me to be involved with this blog tour with my review of her latest novel Christmas at Liberty’s.
Fiona Ford is passionate about the research for her books and this shines through, as the reader is taken on a journey back to the 1940s, a time when the world was a very transient place and when friendships were truly valued. Fiona refers to the staff in Liberty’s today and how they were very influential in helping her create the atmosphere in her book
‘The kindness they have all shown in allowing me to take liberty with Liberty’s and create my own fictional wonderland is something I will be forever grateful for’
Christmas at Liberty’s tells the story of Mary Holmes-Fotherington. Having left her position within the ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service which was the women’s branch of the British Army during WW2) clutching a secret very close to her heart, Mary is lost. Alone in London with no family to support her in her time of heartbreak, Mary is downbeat and downtrodden. A chance glance at a notice in a newspaper leads her to the door of a very kindly landlady, Dot, who offers Mary a room and a roof over her head.
Mary is determined to make a go of this new life and, with the assistance of Alice, another lodger, Mary lands the job of her dreams, working in the infamous Liberty’s department store. But Mary knows that her future balances on her past remaining hidden, with a terrible shameful secret that she never wishes to reveal. Mary embraces her new routine and is readily accepted on board the Liberty’s team by ‘almost’ everyone. Never one to step down from a challenge, Mary is resolved to achieving success in Liberty’s and is ready to accept whatever is thrown her way. Her experiences in life to date have made her very able, but is she strong enough to withstand the one individual who is intent on making her life hell?
Mary is a wonderfully portrayed character. Torn between her past and the present, Mary is capable and strong. With the war going on around them all, Mary and her colleagues gather together and become an iron clad support system for each other. When the traumatic telegrams arrive from the war department, these girls wrap each other up with love and affection.
Wartime is very difficult, as death lands on everyone’s doorstep and nobody knows when the next bomb will drop. The Liberty Girls are a determined bunch and as Christmas approaches, they cast their own troubles to one side and get on with keeping up the store’s tradition of being a magical place during the festive season. With all hands on deck, Liberty’s will have it’s Christmas but will Mary get her wish?
With The Liberty Girls, Fiona Ford has created a wonderful new series that is packed with charm and warmth. Christmas at Liberty’s is ultimately a story about the strength and importance of friendship. Even as the skies threaten nightly and the air is filled with the fear of the unknown, these women lift their chins, put on a brave face and keep the show on the road.
Christmas at Liberty’s is a must-read for all who love the saga genre and for all who are looking to be part of something that is special and something that just glows with goodness and integrity.
Joyous. Charming. Uplifting.
Purchase Link ~ Christmas at Liberty’s
About Fiona Ford
Fiona spent many years as a journalist writing for women’s weekly and monthly magazines before becoming a full time author, and uses her journalistic experience researching her books.
Fiona tirelessly combed the Westminster Archives and Liberty records for details about what life was really like working in London and Liberty’s during WWII, lending a true sense of authenticity to her writing.
Fiona is also the author of the A Pug Like Percy books under the pseudonym, Fiona Harrison, as well as two sagas in her own name in the Spark Girls series.
Fiona lives in Berkshire with her partner.
Website ~ Fiona Ford
Twitter ~ @Fionajourno