By Katie Flynn Arrow, paperback, £6.99
Following the lives of four friends in the period leading up to and during the Second World War this lively novel packs in plenty of memories of those who lived in the Liverpool area during those tumultuous days.
Maddy, who lives with her difficult grandmother, finds it is all work and little time for play as she grows up on a dilapidated smallholding.
Her friends, Alice, from the ‘Big House’ and Tom, the chauffeur’s son, get an extra addition when Maddy gets a scholarship to St Philippa’s and meets Marigold.
The quartet enjoy life – despite some friction between Alice and Marigold – until thr war changes all of their lives. Tom goes into the army, Alice is taken by her father to India, and Maddy and Marigold sign on with the ATC where Maddy joins a team manning an Ack Ack gun site – a male preserve in which she excels.
The poverty, extremes of life, both before and during the war, are thoughtfully brought to life as the four friends go their separate ways, until fate takes a hand in creating a dramatic climax.
Cleverly written with a gentle plot and a fe cunning sub-plots to keep the reader’s interest.