As war tears their lives apart, their friendship gives them strength
Courage of the Shipyard Girls is the sixth book in the compelling saga series The Shipyard Girls by Sunday Times bestselling author Nancy Revell and is published on the 21st February with Arrow.
This saga series is inspired by Nancy Revell’s own close family links to the Sunderland shipyards and her campaign to get the brave women who worked there during WWII recognised for their service.
Today I am delighting to be joining Nancy Revell on tour with Courage of the Shipyard Girls, sharing an extract from the book.
I do hope you enjoy!
[ About the Book ]
Sunderland, 1942: Polly’s heart and her future are hanging in the balance…
Polly’s sweetheart Tommy has been declared missing while serving overseas, and although there is no certainty that he is dead, there is no guarantee that he will return home. Now Polly needs her friends more than ever, and the other women welders are ready to rally around her while she waits for news.
The only one not showing support is shipyard manager, Helen. But looks can be deceiving, and beneath her cold exterior, Helen is wrestling with demons of her own, including one life-changing decision that could lead to potential ruin.
As the war continues, the shipyard girls must support one another as they bravely soldier on.
[ Extract ~ Prologue ]
On the last day of June 1942, a young woman in Sunderland stepped out of her front door on her way to work at one of the town’s biggest shipyards – J.L. Thompson & Sons. It was a quarter to seven in the morning, but the sun was already up and proving that this day, like the one before, was going to be hot and sweaty.
The young woman, who was wearing a colourful headscarf and denim overalls, with a boxed gas mask and haversack slung over her shoulder, was leaving at the same time the postwoman was making her early-morning deliveries. If an outsider was watching, they would rightly presume the two women knew each other by the ease of their greeting.
The postwoman handed the young woman an envelope, lingering for a short moment, which was unusual for her as she was not one to idle. She touched the young girl’s arm gently before going on her way. Tearing open the envelope, the young woman stood stock-still as she read the few paragraphs that had been typed onto the single sheet of paper. Passers-by would have observed that she stood and read it for longer than was needed.
For a moment it looked as though she was going to turn and go back into the house from which she had just come, but she didn’t. Instead, she reached into the top pocket of her overalls and pulled out what appeared to be a ring and put it on her left hand. As she did so, the letter she had just received in the post floated freely to the ground, and a short blast of air swept it under an oncoming tram.
The young woman didn’t make any attempt to chase after the piece of paper that had escaped her grasp, but instead stepped onto the pavement and joined the throng of chattering, flat-capped workers all heading towards the shipyards that lined the banks of the Wear.
If anyone had looked at the face of the woman with the ruby engagement ring on her finger, they would have seen tears rolling down her cheeks unchecked. But nobody noticed, so nobody asked if she was all right, and she walked in her hobnailed boots to the ferry that would take her to her place of work.
A place of work where people would spot that she had been crying, and would ask her why and comfort her – just as the young man who had given her the ruby engagement ring knew they would.
[ Bio ]
Nancy Revell is the pen name of writer and journalist Amanda Revell Walton, who has worked for the national press for the past 25 years, providing them with hard-hitting news stories and in-depth features.
She has also worked for just about every woman’s magazine, writing amazing and inspirational true life stories.
Twitter ~ @arevellwalton
Website ~ https://www.amandarevellwalton.co.uk/