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The Gunner Girl

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  243 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Three women, one shared ambition: to join the ATS and do their bit for King and country.

Bea has grown up part of a large, boisterous East End family. But her sweetheart is missing in action, and her mother is controlling her life. She needs to escape.

Edie inhabits a world of wealth and privilege, but knows only too well that money can't buy happiness. She wants to be lik
Hardcover, 464 pages
Published October 8th 2015 by Simon & Schuster Ltd
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3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  243 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lovely enjoyable read, though towards the end it did drag out somewhat.
Ali Bookworm
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely read. Loved all the characters, well written and flowed easily. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Elizabeth Ducie
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Clare Harvey's debut novel brings together three very different women: Edie, rich and privileged; Bea, poor and missing her child; and Joan, who has lost her memory and is plagued by unsettling visions. The three meet when then join the ATS during WWII. Their stories are engrossing, sometimes amusing, sometimes heartbreaking. And the level of detail of the research shines through. I found it an engrossing read and could not put it down. There were are couple of plot twists which were unrealistic ...more
May 30, 2016 rated it liked it
This book frustrated the hell out of me because I really enjoyed large parts of it. I love any literature from WW2 but I had many quibbles with the story and the writing. Too many unnecessary deaths and painful situations crammed into one book, often without any sort of in depth analysis or explanation of motives/effects.


The rape was obvious was the minute they met the GIs. Again, not sure why this had to happen to Edie? To prove that even rich girls can be raped?! And then an e
Cathie Hartigan
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing

The Gunner Girl is a fantastic read. Three young girls, all with troubles and secrets join the ATS, and although I'd love to tell you what happened, I absolutely can't because it is such a treat to find out for yourself. I have to say the opening chapter had me gripped right from the off, and my interest never flagged. Although wildly different, the girls form a strong bond, and it's this that carries them through the troubles that life in WWII London presents. The plot is pacy and the period de
Anne Harvey
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title is a little misleading because it’s about three young women who become unlikely friends after joining the ATS during WWII. There is Bea, who is the eldest of a large family and is still awaiting a letter from her soldier sweetheart, Edie, the little rich girl hemmed in by over-protective parents and Joan, who has taken over the identity of her dead sister. The story follows them through their training then into action at the Hyde Park Battery, and into the various ups and downs of thei ...more
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received this book free from GoodReads.

It's a lovely book to get lost in with strong, believable characters - three girls, very different with life stories and secrets. They are drawn together by the war and join the ATS.
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely loved this book. It's rare to find a book where you love all characters equally! I was gripped from start to finish. Really excited to hear that Clare Harvey is writing her next book too.
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received this book for free through Good Reads Giveaways.
This is about 3 young women, from 3 very different backgrounds, who become friends through joining the ATS during the second world war.
I really enjoyed reading it. The detailed descriptions & the accuracy of what went on at the time were excellent.
It made me think that Queen Elizabeth did what they all did & her background was also different from the people she joined up with. If this had been a true story, they could have been
Kazimiera pendrey
This book is about 3 girls who join the ATS during the Second World War, Bea Edie and Joan. They come from very different backgrounds and have varying reasons for joining the ATS. They meet at the initial training camp and become friends. Then they are posted together to man an anti aircraft battery in Hyde Park. The story continues with their lives and how their friendship endures with the problems that they all have and how they help each other. I found the book an enjoyable read however the e ...more
ღ❀ ℭaroline ❀ღ
I'm afraid I abandoned this less than 100 pages in. I read The English Agent before this, and on reflection, I'm glad I read them in that order. The Gunner Girl was awful compared to the follow-up. The pages didn't flow for me, and I really struggled to get into the story. It all seem muddled. I cheated and read the last chapter so I understood how the character ended up getting recruited for the SOE. In all, I wouldn't recommend The Gunner Girl to anyone.
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is quite chick-lit compared to my usual gorefests, but as womens roles during wartime is a particular interest of mine, I gave it a go. So glad I did, it was an interesting read, as far as I know giving an accurate telling of London during WW2.
A good story, with nicely fleshed out characters, my only gripe is it ended suddenly..... very suddenly. I turned the page and..... nothing..... Happily I've since learned there will be a follow up.
Mary kerrigan-gee
Slow starter, but lovely read

This was an enjoyable book, the characters were very good and the story although slow at first had some twists and turns. Would recommend.
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good read from start to finish

A very real and gritty story line could not stop reading till l finished 1.30 in morning the real hardships of war
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Cracking read. Great to meet those funny sad brave women. Brilliant build up of characters you will want to be friends with. Can't wait til the next one.
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A clever intertwining of the lives of three girls set during WWII. The characters draw you in and make you want to know more from page one. An excellent read!
Marlene  Moore
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
The descriptions of the effect and devastation of war on London were well done, and learning about the lives of the young women during this time was interesting. In some respects the story was predicatable, but I enjoyed it
Lynn Hutchinson
Jun 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Easy read, interesting story. Would read more by this author.
felt to me as author had written a complete novel then got told we may want to write more books about these characters so can you add links to future books.
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was enjoyable in parts. But also ver frustrating. As we kept loosing the threads of the story
Des Pemberton
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a Goodreads' giveaway; thank you Goodreads.
The novel was quite enjoyable. The author, Clare Harvey, put quite a lot of effort into setting the right atmosphere for the period. Having been born just a handful of years after the war had ended, I could relate to some of the descriptions of that era. I suppose it's being a bit pedantic: 1) in questioning train passengers watching telegraph poles go passed, unless it was a very slow train most of the time was watching the telegraph wires goi
Cat Parker
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of The Gunner Girl in a goodreads giveaway. I really enjoyed this book, it was an absorbing read and once I got into the story, I couldn't put it down. I found the first few pages a little disjointed and I was a bit worried that I wouldn't enjoy it, but I'm very glad I stuck with it. The story is about 3 young women who enlist in the ATS during WWII. Joan, Edie and Bea are all from different backgrounds but find themselves at the same training camp where they ...more
Rosemary Morris
Aug 05, 2016 rated it liked it
I have nothing but praise for the historical details about the ATS in Clare Harvey's 2nd World War novel The Gunner Girl.

Bea, Edie and Joan, from very different social backgrounds, are keen to serve King and country. Although it is implied that they are close friends who share the ups and downs of life and face danger, they neither seem to know much about each other nor to share confidences.

I chose this novel because it had excellent reviews. Unfortunately, although I read the entire novel, and
Mar 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really good book. Just a shame about the ending;I would have loved to find out what happened to the other characters.
Mar 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Not really for me. I'll leave it at that.
Frances Tomlin
rated it really liked it
May 11, 2017
rated it it was ok
Sep 22, 2016
Marion Ann mills
rated it really liked it
Jun 15, 2016
rated it it was ok
Apr 23, 2016
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I was born in Devon but grew up in Mauritius and Surrey. As the trailing spouse of a serving soldier I spent a large part of married life shuttling between postings. I've worked variously as a freelance journalist, radio reporter, English teacher and PR consultant in Northern Ireland, Germany, Nepal and England. I'm now settled with my family in Nottingham.
I wrote my debut, The Gunner Girl, whilst