The Halfpenny Girls by Maggie Mason #BookReview #Sphere #4.5*


‘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 MasonThe 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.

A Great Start to a New Series!

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*.

My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this novel; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: women’s historical fiction

Author Details

Maggie Mason is a pseudonym of author Mary Wood. Mary began her career by self-publishing on kindle where many of her sagas reached number one in genre. She was spotted by Pan Macmillan and to date has written many books for them under her own name, with more to come.

Mary continues to be proud to write for Pan Macmillan, but is now equally proud and thrilled to take up a second career with Sphere under the name of Maggie Mason. A Blackpool Lass is her first in a planned series of standalone books and trilogies set in her home town of Blackpool.

Born the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary describes her childhood as poor, but rich in love.
She was educated at St Peter’s RC School in Hinckley and at Hinckley College for Further Education, where she was taught shorthand and typing.

Mary retired from working for the National Probation Service in 2009, when she took up full time writing, something she’d always dreamed of doing. She follows in the footsteps of her great-grandmother, Dora Langlois, who was an acclaimed author, playwright and actress in the late nineteenth – early twentieth century.

It was her work with the Probation Service that gives Mary’s writing its grittiness, her need to tell it how it is, which takes her readers on an emotional journey to the heart of issues.

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