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Secrets of the Sewing Bee

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  405 ratings  ·  32 reviews

Secrets of the Sewing Bee tells the story of the defiant and courageous women on the home front, from Kate Thompson, author of Secrets of the Singer Girls.

Orphan Flossy Brown arrives at Trout's garment factory in Bethnal Green amidst the uncertainty of the Second World War. In 1940s London, each cobbled street is strewn with ghosts of soldiers past, all struggling to make

Kindle Edition, 465 pages
Published March 10th 2016 by Macmillan
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  405 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Apr 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: e, historical-fiction
I have read many books about London during the Blitz, but this was not one of the best. I really should have been more suspicious of that oh-so-twee title and the horrible cover!

"Secrets of the Sewing Bee" describes the East Enders' united spirit in Bethnal Green during WWII, when everyone stood together against ‘itler’s bleedin' bombers. Based on real events, it had me entertained at first... The main characters were colourful and endearing: a factory of feisty working-class women, wonderfully
booklover BEV
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
was hooked on this book from start to finish. sad funny happy this is the first by this author a heartwarming story that you wont want to end thank you to the author for this lovley wartime read
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Originally posted on:

Last year I had the pleasure of reading Kate Thompson's debut, Secret of the Singer Girls, which I thoroughly enjoyed. So I was over the moon to get a review copy of her new one. As soon as I started reading Secrets of the Sewing Bee, something sounded familiar and I soon realised that this story is set in the same textile factory as the previous book, Trout's. The difference is that The Sewing Bee takes place some years before, when
mois reads
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Earth shattering

Engrosed from page 1 the war on the home front was spell binding as Kate says the women were soldiers fighting for there family and there life's the characters were all individuals from flossy to peggy and to pat and ivy they all had a background and they all had support of dolly a must read for everyone definitely worth 5 stars
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
It is 1940 and 2 new girls start work at Trouts garment factory but they are 2 very different people. Flossy is just turned 18 and from the local foundling home whilst Peggy has recently moved to Bethnal Green from a more affluent area of London and is more used to silver service and China tea cups having been a ‘nippy’ at a Lyons corner house tea shop.
Flossy finds friendship and support in the close knit community of Trouts and Bethnal Green whilst Peggy has a more difficult start.
As the full f
Oct 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Ok this book was very touching and filled to the brim with sentimentality, but the female characters and the strong bonds they formed during wartime was enough to keep the book grounded. I've always been interested in reading womens' wartime stories, how they held their own while the men were away, demonstrating huge levels of bravery and tenacity. The book portrayed the women as strong, loyal and selfless, and I particularly enjoyed their banter and humour.
J.A. Kerr
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this story about wartime East London and the lives of the women who worked side by side in a sewing factory. Well rounded characters that I connected with and a twisting tale that kept me guessing until the end. Lots of interesting details that made the story both factual and entertaining. Would read more from Kate Thompson.
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I say I love books about the home front during the war(s), this isn’t the kind of thing I mean. But I found it in the library’s small audiobook selection and gave it a go, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it! A bit pithy in places but the highs and lows of the Blitz had me laughing and crying, an enjoyable and poignant read!
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely book! I really did enjoy this. I loved all of the characters and the friendships , I could not wait to read more & more about the girls at Trouts. I have just started the next book. I would definitely recommend it.
StationWagon Stripes
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved Secrets of the Sewing Bee and couldn't put it down. Kate Thompson has a lovely writing style that really captures life in London. I'd little knowledge of Bethnal Green, but feel I now have a very real glimpse into life there. It was very well researched. I loved it.
Roslyn Page
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: library-books
3.5 maybe. A bit over done on the expressions of the days. Gallows Humour used far too many times. But a good story set in 2nd World War about the women on the home front.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
While it was interesting to read about the blitz, I found the story line a bit too monotonous and predictable.
Silvia Mc Sun Illotta
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very emotional and well researched. Great book.
Bronwyn Rykiert
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: family, audiobook, friends
I enjoyed this book about Dolly and her friends at Tout's of Bethel Green, during the war years.
Therese OMeara
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
a lovely read and very well researched. people of that time were amazing and so strong willed. i don’t know if our generation would have been so good
Layla Ashby
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this at the moment... a good book. A new author to me. Book has been written very well. Have another but Kate to read but have decided to shelve to and maybe read later in the year.... I just feel the other book would be very simular. Been a bit slow getting through this as well so that’s ano5er reason I decided to shelve it. But a good book. Can’t fault it.
Mar 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Secrets of the Sewing Bee by Kate Thompson is set in 1940s Bethnal Green in London and follows three girls working at Trout’s garment factory, Dolly, Flossy and Peggy. Each girl is hiding secrets about their past, as the war draws these girls closer will they be able to confide and comfort each other?
Dolly Doolaney is the factory’s tea-lady and was just brimming with love for all her girls. She was the perfect mother hen figure helping many of the girls out with various problems. She seemed to b
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the first novel I have read by Kate Thompson, I really enjoyed reading it and I will definitely be reading more of her work in the near future.

It was full of drama, friendship, romance, heartache, heartbreak and history from the onset and throughout.

It gripped me from the very beginning and I got straight into the story which I love and I feel it really does make a good book.

I loved how the author set each scene throughout the story of how life was, not only for the men during the Second
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kate-thompson
Loved it. A great read.
Sarah Hall
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this story! Set in the east end while the bombs were dropping, it tells the tale of how people lived and carried on through the most frightening and horrific circumstances. It talks about rationing and friendship and mind set and how life was so unpredictable. Through all this people stayed and lived and worked. An excellent story depicting the courage of those who lived in the east end through that time.
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A book about the lives of the women of Trout's garment factory in Bethnal Green in 1940. A great read and at the end of the book are comments by the people that really lived through this time very interesting. Looking forward to Secrets of the singer girls now.
michelle reilly
Jun 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great storyline

The real storyline of the blitz was well and truly outlined in this book. The lives and loves of the east end really showed through. A great read, . And a thoroughly enjoyable book by Kate Thompson.
Heather Copping
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2
I loved this book got really into all the characters, this is the prequel to secrets of the singer girls so if you have not read that read the sewing bee first. Recommend this book
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charming! Interesting and felt real.
Alice Stanford
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved reading this book and learning more about lives of East end women during the blitz. Absolutely loved the real life stories at the end.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have not read many war time books but I loved this book. It was amazing reading about what it was like on the Home front and the lives of women and families during that time.
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good second novel on the rave and feisty women of WW2
Carole Anne Coventry
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it

Good read, emotional at times. Based around the commeradity of women during the second world war. An easy bedtime read.
Shauna Holmes
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good wee read.

Good wee read.
A bit of romance and heartache bringing the blitz to your heart. Would recommend this book to all.
Janice Mcculloch
Apr 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book from the first page to the last. I didn't realize the part the women "at home" played in the war effort. They were easily as brave as the men fighting on the front and in some cases more so. 43000 people killed in the Blitz, I didn't realize it was so many!
I loved the characters in this book, they were so real and I would love to know what happened to them in the future.
Can't wait to read more from this author.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Kate Thompson was born in London in 1974, and worked as a journalist for twenty years on women's magazines and national newspapers. She now lives in Sunbury with her husband, two young sons and a soppy Jack Russell called Twinkle. After ghost writing five memoirs, Kate move