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Ratings and Reviews (3 7 star ratings
3 reviews
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4.3 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Lovely debut novel

    Although Alice's family aren't wealthy, I saw echoes of the early Downton Abbey in this lovely debut novel. We have a stern and apparently cold father, a mother putting her family first, a sensible daughter, a rebel daughter, a loyal housekeeper, and two sons eager for the adventure of war but unprepared for its harsh reality. Against a backdrop of First World War London, Elaine Roberts introduces us to Alice and her two close friends, and the bookshop where the girls work. All the drama, fear and upset of the women of the time is here as they watch their sons, brothers and lovers go off to war and have no idea if they will ever come back. But it's a time of great change for women too as they take on the jobs only ever undertaken by men before and as they fight to get the vote. I would have liked more scenes in the bookshop but the real drama is happening in the household and out in the streets and, of course, off the page in the trenches and battlefields far away. I read late into the night to get to the end and find out if they get their happy endings, but of course the war is not over and there are more books in this series still to come, so the end of this book is not the end of the story! I look forward to the next instalment.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Friendship and Love during WWI

    I was captivated from the start by this poignant story set in WWI London. It describes the many ways in which war alters the lives of Alice, Victoria and Molly, friends and coworkers at the famous Foyles Bookshop. A highly recommended read, one that makes me anxious for the next book in this compelling new series. Many thanks, NetGalley and Aria, for the early copy. Opinions are fully mine. #TheFoylesBookshopGirls #NetGalley
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    Lovely historical novel

    The Foyles Bookshop Girls by Elaine Roberts is the first story in The Foyles Girls series. Alice Taylor works at W & G Foyles Bookstore on Charring Cross Road in London with her friends Victoria Appleton and Molly Cooper. Victoria is responsible for her two younger siblings since their parents died four and a half years earlier. Molly is in love with Tony Fletcher who likes to flirt with every woman he encounters. Alice comes from a well-to-do family and her father, Luke has very rigid ideas for women which makes life difficult for Lily, Alice’s spirited sister. Alice loves her job at Foyles and spending time with her beau, Freddie who is a police sergeant. Then England declares war against Germany and the men rush to enlist including Freddie. Before Freddie departs for training camp, he proposes to Alice. The wedding will have to wait until he gets leave. As the war continues, Alice, Victoria and Molly want to find a way to help the war effort at home. Alice learns to drive an ambulance and transfers passengers from the train station to the hospital. She likes to keep herself busy to avoid thinking about the danger those she loves are in. Will Freddie make it home from the war? Are her brothers safe? Will the war ever end? Venture back to 1914 in The Foyles Bookshop Girls. The Foyles Bookshop Girls takes readers back to 1914 when World War I begins. We see how quickly life can change. The story focuses on Alice but includes her family and friends. Alice comes from a more affluent household than her friends. The author did a wonderful job at setting the stage for the book. Elaine Roberts descriptions brought the book alive for me. I could envision the characters, their homes, and Foyles Bookshop. Alice is a spirited, strong intelligent woman. She was the anchor for her group of friends. I like how the characters developed over the course of the story and the friendship between the ladies deepened. Alice matured and developed new insights and a stronger voice. I just loved the accounts of Foyles Bookshop. It sounded like a magical place with all the wonderful books. When Alice mentioned the smell of the books, I completely agreed and understood. It was interesting how the bookshop operated (how people purchased their books, how the payment system operated). I would have liked more about the Foyles Bookshop. It was not central to the story. I wanted to know more about Victoria and Molly. I am hoping that they will be featured more prominently in the next two books in the series. The Foyles Bookshop Girls contains good writing and it is gently paced. It is a tale of friendship, family, faith and hope. Elaine Roberts is off to a promising start with her debut novel of The Foyles Bookshop Girls.
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