Blog Tour Book Review

Book Review – The Mersey Girls by Sheila Riley


Liverpool 1950

When Evie Kilgaren takes over the running of the back office at Skinner and Son’s haulage yard, she has no idea she is walking into a hive of blackmail, secrets and lies.
Her fellow co-worker and childhood nemesis, Susie Blackthorn, is outraged at being demoted and is hell-bent on securing the affections of local heartthrob Danny Harris.
Grace Harris, a singer on the prestigious D’Angelo transatlantic ocean liners, is returning home engaged to be married. But Grace is harbouring her own shocking secrets and something valuable her fiancé very desperately wants back.

As we return to the lives and loves of those who live and work in the Mersey Docklands, not everything is as it seems and love and luck are rarely on the same side.

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My Review 

I absolutely love the 1950s and if there is one era I wish I could have lived in, it would be that.  So I jumped at the chance to read this and how glad I am.

Full of drama, secrets and lies it was a page turner, that had you captivated from the beginning. Add some fabulous characters who I just adored. It lived up to my expectations and more.

The story starts off with Grace, a singer working on a prestigious cruise ship. Think along the lines of The Titanic. She got to live the life – travelling the world. Mixing with the rich and meeting some interesting people. I love how Katherine Hepburn, Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant all got a mention as they were on her ship. Just brilliant. I loved this touch that the author added there. It sounded a dream. Not all was rosy for Grace as she had something she was keeping to herself. This bit was really emotional and I truly felt for her. 

Back home in Merseyside you get to meet Grace’s brother, Danny. Who was living with their parents in Liverpool. Where things were a lot harder and rationing being a main factor of daily life. Danny was a great character and a right catch. Charming, hardworking and always looking out for others. How he had to then work with Susie, who was the total opposite. She was a right madam, with a major crush on Danny, which was funny yet highly embarrassing throughout. He was not interested one bit.

Danny worked at his uncle and aunt, Henry and Meggie Skinner hauliers’ yard. You couldn’t help but be drawn to this warm couple. With their own secret, this created unwilling drama, that they both didn’t want.

Then there is Evie. Sweet, adoring, lovable, selfless Evie, who after a tough life, hasn’t let this stop her from being just wonderful. Having the opportunity to take a job where Danny worked, to be closer to her family. I love how her graciousness was tested with Susie, especially as Susie wasn’t best pleased with her working there and didnt hide this fact. Oh how great it was when Susie was put in her place. Team Evie!

I loved how adored she was by all. Her friend Connie – the local hero! Always there for everyone, luckily! They had a really lovely friendship.

The light banter between Evie and Danny was just delightful. With Evie putting her family first not thinking about romance and Danny working hard, it kept me invested in their story line to see where it would go.

I just wish this story didn’t have to end, I could have carried on reading about all these characters and their drama’s. I loved the writing style of this and haven’t read a book set in the 1950s for a long time, I need more! Thank you Sheila for writing such a fabulous book. 

On a side note. I used to spend hours talking about the 50s with my nan. I loved listening to her tell me all about what it was like, the innocence of it all, how people were deemed to act In a certain way. The words used back then – ‘monthly’s’, ‘in the family way’. Really makes me laugh how different it was. Rationing – imagine us having to do that now?!! The fashion, the make-up, jiving. I loved hearing about it all.

I felt the whole time I was reading this, it was my nanny Sheila telling me the story. How surprising the author is called Sheila too. It was meant for me.

Author Bio – 

Sheila Riley wrote four #1 bestselling novels under the pseudonym Annie Groves and is now writing the Reckoner’s Row series under her own name. She has set it around the River Mersey and its docklands near to where she spent her early years.  She still lives in Liverpool.

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