With Love And Laughter
Finding Friends On Beamer Street by Sheila Riley is a wonderful historical novel set in Liverpool in 1921.
The leading lady is admirable and likable. Fresh off the boat from Ireland, she possesses a strength of character and has a will to succeed. She will stand her ground against anyone.
Dreams are important. We all need something to strive for. The reader admires the lead character who does not let set backs hold her back. She uses them as stepping stones towards her goals.
A character is drowning in guilt. An event in the past has a stranglehold as a character continues to punish themselves by denying themselves anything but the basics.
Only a few years after the first world war has ended means life is tough for those who lost husbands and fathers. They could let grief pull them down but instead they live and love and laugh. The wonderful feeling of love and care radiates from the pages.
The Mersey Mothers by Sheila Riley is a compelling historical novel set in 1953. It is part of the Reckoners Row series but can be read as a stand-alone.
The novel has a powerful opening that grabbed my attention immediately and kept me questioning and returning, in my mind, to the start throughout. It is set in 1947 before jumping to 1953 but I wanted to know the truth about what had really happened and who had done what?
Reckoners Row is a place of community. We see life happen on a microcosm with love and care juxtaposed against deep-seated rivalries. We witness the effects when a jealousy gets out of hand.
Family is important. Family is not always blood ties but those who love us.
Education is the key to lifting lives out of poverty. We see this as we follow a sixteen year old with her hairdressing apprenticeship.
There is a cold case murder to solve. Is a life innocent? Or guilty? Some folks know more than they are letting on.