Amid the hardship of war, friends will become their family
[ About the Book ]
New mother Alice Milwood is itching to return to her job as a shop assistant at Liberty’s.
Despite her husband still being missing in action, Alice is determined to give baby Arthur the best possible start. She soon settles back into the rhythm of life on the shop floor, and the Liberty Girls rally to help keep everything on an even keel.
But when the American GIs start swarming into London, there are more complications to come. And each of the Liberty Girls has their own impossible storm to weather.
As they each fight their battles on the home front, only their close friendship will give them the strength they need to carry on.
[ My Review ]
It is with great pleasure that I join Fiona Ford on tour today, on publication day, for her latest novel The Liberty Girls. This is the second book in the Liberty Girls series, following on from the charming first book, Christmas at Liberty’s (Read my review HERE) This series is set against the backdrop of the iconic Liberty’s department store on Carnaby Street in London, during the height of the Blitz. Fiona Ford trawled through the original archives of the time as she was determined to bring her readers a very true and authentic experience of the lives lived during that period.
The Liberty Girls continues the story of these fabulous girls, but this time the focus is on Alice Milwood. Born into a fractured home, Alice’s mother passed away when Alice was only four. Her father, Jimmy Harris, a hardened criminal, abandoned Alice to look after her younger sister, Joy, as he left for America. Alice experienced some very tough years but always stayed on the right side of the law, refusing to follow in her father’s footsteps. At the age of sixteen Alice finally found a place she could call home when she was offered a job at Liberty’s. Alice thrived working with such a fabulous and supportive bunch of women, and in time she fell in love and married Luke Milwood, a handsome RAF pilot. Like many women of the time, Alice waved her husband off to war, while pregnant with their first child. But Alice was used to living through difficulties and she strived to be a good wife, a good mother and a loyal member of the Liberty’s team.
Although the story is centred around Alice, the wonderful characters from the first book are all featured. These women have been there for each other through the difficult years of the war, all the time withholding the traditions of Liberty’s. Their camaraderie is a delightful experience to read about, as Alice, Dot, Mary, Flo and Rose bring us into their personal and working lives. A fascinating fact about Liberty’s is that it was never bombed during the blitz, inspiring Fiona Ford to imagine a world that provided such beauty in the midst of such chaos. Once these Liberty Girls walked outside the doors of this institution they were immediately reminded of the horrors of the war and the impact it was having on so many, including themselves.
Alice experiences some very traumatic months, very unsure of her future in Liberty’s and of her marriage. Her sister Joy, a forever reminder of her past, brings very mixed emotions for Alice. Alice has been a mother, a sister, a confidante for Joy but how far will Joy stray before it’s too late? Can Alice save her sister? As persistent issues raise their head in Liberty’s, can Alice maintain her position there? Will the team support her or is there a possibility she is in serious trouble?
The Liberty Girls is categorised as a saga novel which Goodreads defines as follows – ‘The family saga chronicles the lives and doings of a family or a number of related or interconnected families’ Fiona Ford has taken the lives of the Liberty Girls, this magical family, and created such an engaging world that we all get the opportunity to lose ourselves in for a moment in time. Packed with so many historical insights, this series is such a pleasure to read. Who has heard of utility fashion? I certainly hadn’t….
The Liberty Girls is a such an appealing book packed full with endearing characters that worm their way into your heart. The women of Fiona Ford’s imagination are generous of spirit, loyal to the core and so very strong but more importantly, based on those incredible women who kept the show on the road during the Second World War.
I would like to thank Rachel Kennedy of Arrow Publishing and Fiona Ford for inviting me to celebrate publication day with them. I wish Fiona every success with this series and hope you all get an opportunity to read these books soon.
[ Bio ]
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