The Halfpenny Girls: A heart-breaking and nostalgic wartime family saga - Maggie Mason; | Foyles Bookstore
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The Halfpenny Girls: A heart-breaking and nostalgic wartime family saga
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The Halfpenny Girls: A heart-breaking and nostalgic wartime family saga (Paperback)

UK delivery within 3-4 weeks



'In the grand tradition of sagas set down by the late and great Catherine Cookson ' Jean Fullerton on Blackpool Lass

Down on their luck, all the have left is friendship . . .

It is 1937 and Alice, Edith and Marg continue to face hardships every day, growing up on one of the poorest streets in Blackpool. Penniless, their friendship has helped them survive this far, but it'll take more than that to see them through the dark days that lie ahead . . .

Alice is coping with a violent father and the weight of the duty she carries to support her family, Marg is left reeling after a dark secret about her birth comes to light and threatens to destroy the life she knows, and Edith is fighting to protect her alcoholic mother from the shame of their neighbours and keep her brother on the straight and narrow.

A chance encounter at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom promises to set their lives on a new path, one filled with love and safety and hope for a brighter future. Will The Halfpenny Girls, who have never known anything but poverty, finally find happiness? And if they do, will it come at a price?

The first in a brand new series from reader favourite Maggie Mason, The Halfpenny Girls is the perfect heart-warming family saga about overcoming hardship and the value of friendship. Perfect for fans of Val Wood, Kitty Neale and Rosie Goodwin.

Readers LOVE Maggie Mason's Blackpool sagas:

'5 stars - I wish I could give it more. Wonderful read.'

'Another must read book'

'What a brilliant book. I couldn't put it down!'

'I was hooked from the first page . . . this author is a must read'

'A totally absorbing read'

Fiction & PoetryFiction & PoetryHistorical FictionSagas Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group Publication Date: 01/04/2021 ISBN-13: 9780751580723  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: UK delivery within 3-4 weeks Add to Basket

Maggie Mason also writes saga as Mary Wood. Mary was born the thirteenth child of fifteen and throughout her life had various factory, office and home-based jobs, finally becoming a probation service officer before she retired. Mary married in 1963 and with her husband Roy has four children, eight grandchildren, and five step-grandchildren. She got her first book deal in 2013 and has not looked back since.

More books by Maggie Mason

Customer Reviews

Three young women live on one of the poorest streets in Blackpool in 1937. They have become very close, even when they are down to their last few coins, partly through their work at the local biscuit factory, but also because of growing up together in tough circumstances. Alice has a violent father and three younger brothers to keep together. Marg’s Gran is losing her understanding of the present. Edith has a challenging brother and an alcoholic mother to contend with as well as a sick father. This book has its traumatic and difficult moments, but underlying everything is the friendship, even love, between the three women which extends to their families and friends as needed. A memorable night in the Tower Ballroom marks meetings that could give new hope, but how far can they trust the unknown? Maggie Mason has created new characters in this first of a Blackpool based trilogy that linger in the mind, in a setting of a close community. As authentic aspects of life in the late 1930s are referred to, reading this book is an immersive experience of how those without many material resources struggled to cope, when the most basic healthcare cost money which could be ill afforded, when working conditions were tough and potentially dangerous, and food was relatively expensive. Despite all the challenges the women face, they maintain their closeness and mutual support, and it is this element which really runs throughout this novel. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to read and review this book. The three young women meet on the way to work in Bradshaw’s biscuit factory, and it becomes immediately obvious that Alice has received a severe blow in the face from her father. This is not a mark of straightforward domestic violence, as Alice’s father was involved in rescuing a man during a significant incident in a factory, and his resulting head injury has transformed his personality. She has been trying to cope with him and her brothers ever since. Marg’s father has died, and her mother seems weakened by breathing problems. As her grandmother is likely to roam if unsupervised, she has to pay for care, as well as encouraging her younger sister to stay at school and have extra tuition which will transform her prospects. Her Uncle Eric is a frequent and unpredictable visitor, sometimes helping financially. It is his gift of a pound note that means that Marg can pay for an evening of treats for the trio, which involve visiting the heart of Blackpool and indulging in a visit to the Tower. When Alice is whirled off to dance by a handsome young man, Edith has severe reservations even though she is asked to dance as well. Only Marg is left on the side, but as they later begin to return home they discover that a “rumpus” has erupted on the street, this time involving Alice’s father who has attacked Harry, her oldest brother. Marg returns to find that her Uncle Eric’s visit has involved alcohol and cigarettes, which has left her mother in a poor state, so that Ada, a nurse and unofficial first line of care must be summoned. Edith’s streetwise brother makes observations of wealthy young men taking advantage of poor girls like Edith, but despite it all the young women have a glimmer of hope. This is the sort of book that is so easy to become totally involved with in a good way. Edith, Marg and Alice come over as real people who are struggling to keep themselves and their families going. Mason is so well versed in this time that the story never becomes weighed down by research or explanation. As the book acknowledges the possibility of war to come, I look forward to discovering what happens next for this extended community.

- 18/04/2021
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A cracking start to what promised to be a terrific series! Alice, Edith & Marg have grown up together in Whitaker Street, Blackpool, where there is never much money going spare. Now, all three young women work in the local biscuit factory and do their best to improve the lives of their families but each has their troubles to bear. Alice is doing her best to provide for her brothers and her father who is no longer able to work, but manages to beat her up on a regular basis. Edith is struggling to deal with the shame her alcoholic mother brings upon the family, and a brother who seems to be heading for the wrong side of the law, while Marg discovers a family secret which shocks and appalls her, and deems to have a long lasting effect on her life. A rare night out at the Tower Ballroom has a bearing on their future happiness, if only they can cope with the realities of surviving right now. This is a packed read and a great example of families who suffered and fought poverty. The deprivations thrust upon them don't mean that don't have standards and morals and this is well demonstrated. Friendships forged in such hard times are ever lasting. The author has cast a fine tale with fascinating characters and it all adds up to an engrossing read, and one which I thoroughly enjoyed. Definitely a series I want to follow! I'm very happy to recommend this to lovers of 1930's historical fiction and give it 4.5*.

- 01/04/2021
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