Hattie’s Home by Mary Gibson

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January 1947.

Mary_Gibson_Hugh DickensThe war is over. But London is still a wasteland.

After eights years in the ATS, Hattie Wright returns to a Bermondsey she doesn’t recognise. With so few jobs, she reluctantly takes work at the Alaska fur factory – a place rife with petty rivalries that she vowed never to set foot in again. But while she was a rising star in the ATS, Hattie’s work mates are unforgiving in her attempts to promote herself up from the factory floor.

After journeying across the world to Australia to marry her beloved, Clara is betrayed and returns penniless, homeless and trying to raise a child in the face of prejudice. While war widow, Lou, has lost more than most in the war. Her daughter and parents were killed in an air raid bomb blast and her surviving son, Ronnie, is fending for himself and getting into all kinds of trouble.

The lifelong friendship these women forge while working in the fur factory will help them overcome crippling grief and prejudice in post-war Britain and to find hope in tomorrow.

 

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Great read .. packed with detail! 5startr

This is not the first Mary Gibson book which I’ve read, and it certainly won’t be the last. Hattie’s Home is a great read on so many levels: the friendship of three women, the working lives of Londoners and the sheer hardship which rationing and lack of basic comforts thrust upon the population.

Hattie returns home to Bermondsey after eight years in the army .. eight happy years in which she has grown as a person and really loved her job. Thinking she was returning to help her mother out, she gets a rude awakening. Clara returns home to her family after having sailed to Australia as a service bride – but with a mixed heritage baby her parents close the door on her. Lou has lost her husband, daughter and parents to the war and has suffered so badly that her son is running wild on the streets. As she gives birth again, she asks the midwife to give her new daughter to another family who can look after her better than she can. Finding each other is the salvation of all three women – but life is by no means easy.

I love that this novel takes up where most finish. The poverty endured is almost unbelievable in this day and age. ‘Bambeating’ made me think that Health & Safety would have had a field day! The indomitable spirit of the characters makes this book compulsive reading. I was glued to it as the story played out.

Highly recommended to all those who enjoy a good read and like to learn something at the same time. This book is packed with details which will both entertain and shock!

My thanks to Melanie Price at Head of Zeus for the arc of this novel. This is my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: domestic, women, post-WWII

Format: Kindle Edition

File Size: 1122.0 KB

Print Length: 464 pages

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Publication Date: 2 November 2017

 

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