Wednesday 22 May 2024

The Toffee Factory Girls - Glenda Young

Discover the engaging new trilogy from the author of THE SIXPENNY ORPHAN, about three women working in a WWI toffee factory in the North-East!

In 1915 three women start work at a toffee factory in the market town of Chester-le-Street, Durham.

Anne works for the enigmatic owner Mr Jack. She is highly efficient and whips Mr Jack's disorganised office - and Mr Jack himself - into shape. However, behind her business-like fa├žade, Anne hides a heart-breaking secret.

Elsie is feisty, fun and enjoys a good time. However, her gadabout ways get her into trouble when she falls for the wrong man in the sugar-boiling room.

And there's dependable Hetty, who's set to marry her boyfriend when he returns from the war. But when Hetty is sent on an errand by the toffee factory boss, her life changes in ways she could never imagine and a whole new world opens up.

The toffee factory girls begin as strangers before forging a close bond of friendship and trust. And, as the war rages on, they help each other cope through the difficult times ahead.

The Toffee Factory Girls is a heart-warming novel about love, friendship, secrets, war . . . and toffee! It is the first in a trilogy from hugely popular author Glenda Young.

What did I think?

Just when you think you've read your favourite Glenda Young book, she goes and writes another absolute belter.  The Toffee Factory Girls is the first book in an exciting new saga series and it's completely unmissable.

Glenda Young is such a fantastic storyteller that any book she writes draws you in from the very first page.  Once I picked up The Toffee Factory Girls I couldn't put it down; it was liked I'd stepped into the book and through time and found myself in Chester-le-Street in 1915.

Glenda's research is meticulous and I could almost smell the toffee in Mr Jack's factory, that was inspired by Chester-le-Street's once-famous Horner's Dainty Dinah toffee factory.  The setting is delectable but it's the wonderful characters that provide the entertainment that keeps the pages turning as fast as your eyes can read the perfectly written words.

I learnt something new when I was reading The Toffee Factory Girls as I didn't know about the Birtley Belgians and I found it fascinating that they had their own village called Elisabethville.  I can just imagine the suspicion about these foreigners and mothers warning their daughters to not fraternise with the Belgians.  I'm sure the girls listened to their mams!

Entertaining, heartwarming and as moreish as the toffee that features in it, I'm so glad that The Toffee Factory Girls is part of a trilogy as I didn't want it to end and could have continued reading about these fabulous characters long after I turned the final page.  I can't wait for more and I very highly recommend this unforgettable and unmissable book.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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