Written by Joanna Toye
Even in wartime the customer comes first at Marlow’s department store.
It’s 1941 and young Lily Collins is starting work in Midlands department store Marlow’s, whose gleaming facade has fascinated her since childhood.
As the air raid sirens blare, Lily learns the ropes from her sophisticated boss Miss Frobisher alongside shy fellow junior Gladys. But her burgeoning friendship with young salesman Jim draws her into a swirl of secrets within the store. And with the war progressing to crisis point, Cedric Marlow and his staff must battle nightly bombings and the absence of loved ones to keep going.
From a former writer of The Archers comes a novel that weaves together a powerful sense of community and a vivid evocation of a time when every man, woman and child was doing their bit.
A Superb Read of WWII Domestic Life!
Such a good read! I do enjoy domestic tales set at the time of WWII, and this is right up there with the best of them .. and there’s more to come!
Lily Collins, at fourteen, is now old enough to leave school and we first encounter her in a very nervous state on her way to interview for a prestigious local department store. Gaining the job brings with it her mother’s warnings to watch what she says and does and make sure she does nothing to jeopardise her position. But will friendly Lily, with her strong moral compass, manage that?
This is a lovely, heartwarming story which gives a real flavour of the frugality of war and the strain on the ordinary family. With well-drawn characters and a good solid storyline, the author’s experience shines through in this, her debut novel. The best news is that it’s the first in a series of four books, and I for one am really looking forward to catching up with the lives of the Collins family in future. A superb read, and one I highly recommend!
My thanks to publisher Harper Collins for my copy via NetGalley. This is my honest, original and unbiased review.
Tags: domestic saga, historical fiction, WWII
- Format: ebook, paperback, audio
- Size: 400 pages
- Publisher: Harper Collins
- Publication Date: 10 January 2019
- Purchase Link: GooglePlay
Meet the Author
Joanna Toye is a former BBC scriptwriter and producer. She worked for over 30 years on Radio 4’s much-loved ‘The Archers’, as well as on ‘Crossroads’, Family Affairs’, ‘Doctors’ and ‘EastEnders’. She has nine previous TV and radio spin-off books to her credit, but ‘A Store At War’ is her first original novel, the first in a series of four. It draws on her Midland roots and vivid family memories of the Second World War, as well as anecdotes and research into how shopping used to be – long before the internet was ever thought of!