Tag Archive | Pan MacMillan

Girls In Tin Hats by Annie Murray

The Indomitable Spirit

Girls In Tin Hats by Annie Murray is a powerful historical tale that will break your heart whilst simultaneously filling it with love and admiration.

The novel is set in Small Heath in Birmingham during the early years of World War II. It is a close-knit community with some big personalities. People were poor, living in back-to-backs, food was rationed but they shared all they had and helped where they could. People were in and out of each other’s homes as the spirit of community was alive and well.

Birmingham suffered dreadfully during the Blitz. It is a well-known fact that much of Coventry was destroyed on the night of 14th November 1940 but Birmingham also suffered, being bombed night after night. (Incidentally my Dad who lived in Birmingham at the time kept a notebook of bombing raids, it makes for fascinating reading) The indomitable spirit of the Birmingham people could not be kept down.

We follow the wardens on their nightly duties. They keep others safe as they walk the streets whilst the bombs fall. They see sights that no one should have to see.

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Mother And Child by Annie Murray

Horrifying And Heart Breaking

Mother And Child by Annie Murray is a powerful contemporary novel exploring parenthood, loss and friends.

As with many of Annie Murray’s novels, the story is set mainly in my hometown of Birmingham. The locations are familiar to me – I have been to Lodge Hill cemetery, Dudley Zoo, Wythall and more – knowing the locations enhanced my reading experience. I am even familiar with the location of Sainsburys in the book!

The novel is set in 2014 around a couple whose only son was killed by a drunk driver two years before the book opens. Their loss and devastation is keenly felt. In order to help with the healing process, the couple have moved house as the story opens.

A photo in a magazine showing the Bhopal disaster of 1984 (which I remember) awakens a passion in a character to make a difference. As a heart looks beyond self, inner healing begins.

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