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The Beauty Shop

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  185 ratings  ·  45 reviews
England, 1942. After three years of WWII, Britain is showing the scars. But in this darkest of days, three lives intertwine, changing their destinies and those of many more.

Dr Archibald McIndoe, a New Zealand plastic surgeon with unorthodox methods, is on a mission to treat and rehabilitate badly burned airmen – their bodies and souls. With the camaraderie and support of t
Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published November 28th 2016 by Avis Press
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4.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  185 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Interview with author: http://historicalfictionreader.blogsp...

Find this and other reviews at: http://historicalfictionreader.blogsp...

My friends and acquaintances are used to my tastes and rarely question my affinity for war era fiction, but I'd be lying if I said that Suzy Henderson's The Beauty Shop didn't raise a few eyebrows. The first person to notice accused me of getting soft as I was obviously reading a story that takes place in a hair salon. The second sarcastically asked me to explain
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-star-reads
This was a terrific debut novel by Suzy Henderson who is a first time author for me. My only complaint was it was a bit too long with a lot of information, especially at the beginning. It definitely describes a deeper and darker side regarding the ravages of war. Its a side we don't usually hear about. I will definitely read more from this author.

If you enjoy Historical Romance with some gritty war related details I certainly recommend it!!!
Cynthia Hamilton
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“The Beauty Shop” is a euphemism for the 3rd Ward in an English hospital during WWII, where one courageous doctor—Archie McIndoe—performs miracles of plastic surgery on the young men disfigured during their heroic efforts to defeat Hitler. The war has been taking its toll on all of Europe for years; getting by with very little food, heat and other staples has become a dreary way of life. So has the number of casualties. There are few men left on the home front, and those returning have paid a he ...more
Mary Yarde
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes ordinary people do the most extraordinary things. Based on a true story, The Beauty Shop is an evocative tale full of bravery, suffering and hope.

"Over sexed, over paid, and over here." John ‘Mac’ Mackenzie of the US Air Force is here to do a job. A pilot of the formidable B-17, it is his responsibility to bring his crew safely home. Mac was very real in the telling. He understands the important role he has to play, but he struggles with the reality of what each mission means — not on
Jennifer Young
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Suzy Henderson’s debut novel blends fact and fiction as it crosses the boundaries between historical fiction and romance — bringing the best of both. Set during the Second World War, The Beauty Shop tells the story of New Zealand plastic surgeon Archie McIndoe as he struggles to repair the faces and save the soul of badly-burned airmen — because, as the heroine, Stella, observes: “What good is a face if the man is not whole”? And woven within it is the love story of of US airman Mac, and Stella, ...more
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
The best part about this novel is the light that it sheds on a little-known aspect of wartime history, the British hospital at East Grinstead that treated badly burned airmen. The main character is an American flyer, the love interest is British, but the real hero of the book is the surgeon who worked tirelessly to bring burn victims back from the brink. I really appreciate the research done by author Suzy Henderson to preserve this small but important slice of the past.
Heather C
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
The first place that you start with any book is the experience a reader has with the cover of the book, and the cover of this one is gorgeous…but deceiving. As is the title. And I think these items are extremely important to discuss upfront as it might change your mind about deciding to read the book. The book cover and the title appears to allude to this being a typical women’s fiction novel, possibly set in a gossipy beauty shop. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! The Beauty Shop is ...more
I honestly have no idea how I can even begin to write a review worthy of this book; I waited so long to hold a copy and the wait was totally worth it.

Archie McIndoe was an incredible man, but one I had never heard of before reading this book; which is a crime. This man deserves to be ingrained in the memories of everyone.

Extended Review:
Mary Clark
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a love story set in a charming English town and its environs during World War II. Stella Charlton, a young woman working on the ground to aid the local Royal Air Force base, and John “Mac” Mackenzie, a young American pilot from a nearby Eighth Air Force base, fall in love at a dance. Stella is in a relationship with an RAF pilot, who is distant and troubled. Mac is stressed and depressed by the dangerous missions he is flying. Their courtship is complicated, but becomes even more so when ...more
Lisa Marie Gabriel
I found the author of The Beauty Shop on Twitter and I confess I was intrigued by her book so I added it to my “to be read” list and there it just sat for a while. When I opened it up for the first time on my Kindle, I was hooked from the first chapter onwards.

The Beauty Shop draws on the story of Archie McIndoe and “The Guinea Pig Club” for its setting and within that context we are presented with the romance between Stella, a WAF, and Mac, an American pilot. I really cared about the character
Dianne Ascroft
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This novel vividly and sensitively evokes the world of pioneer plastic surgeon Dr Archibald McIndoe and his patients during the Second World War through the lives of several fictional characters. It is a poignant celebration of the human spirit and a wonderful love story.
Told from three points of view, the novel tells the story of the surgeon, an American airman who becomes one of his patients and the girl the airman loves, as each of them navigates the journey through serious injury and disfig
Leigh Holland
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Warning: May Contain Spoilers
I was raised by the Greatest Generation, the men and women of World War II. My grandfather and seven great-uncles served in World War II; two of whom were at Pearl Harbor, although only one of the pair ever made it home. I sat at their feet as a child, drinking in their stories. My heart felt heavy for the depth of the losses they’d suffered. Although The Beauty Shop is fiction, it felt as real to me as those stories I heard firsthand as a little girl.
The historica
Roy Murry
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing


Reviewed by Roy Murry, Author

As a Vietnam Veteran who has seen cohorts die from injuries, this novel rang true with the atrocities of war. This story is about the cruelty of burn patients in World War II and how one man helps changed their lives for the better.

B17s or flying fortress was the backbone of the Allied bombing effort against Germany. The men that flew in them and other planes had accidents that caused life-threatening burns.

The BEAUTY SHOP is the story of
Hunter Jones
I read very quickly, I can read a novel in a day. However, halfway into the first chapter of The Beauty Shop and I knew this was a book that had to be savored. Although it is historical fiction, author Suzy Henderson did extensive research on the actual story of Sir Archibald McIndoe and the Guinea Pig Club.

The Beauty Shop is the fictional story of US Air Force Lieutenant John 'Mac' Mackenzie, pilot of the B-17 Flying Fortress Texas Rose and WAAF Stella Charlton who fall in love at Bassingbourn
Anne Harvey
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Set in the middle of WWII, when the surgeon Archie McIndoe is performing plastic surgery miracles on badly burned pilots, this book is a mixture of fact and fiction. McIndoe himself has a dominant point of view and the reader really begins to understand his total dedication to his patients, to the cost of his own health. Underpinning the story are Stella, a young WAAF and Mac, an American Pilot with the 8th Army who fall in love but are kept apart initially by Stella’s loyalty to boyfriend Alex ...more
Sara Claridge
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a story of two parts. A romance between Stella and Mac intertwined with the turmoil of war and the innocent lives it touches, runs alongside the remarkable story of a man determined to rebuild the bodies, and the lives, of burned airmen.
Inevitably the two storylines meet with devastating effect.
I loved the detail in the book from everyday life during wartime to the intricacies of how faces were rebuilt. It goes without saying that the airman had a tough time, but there were other trage
G. Lawrence
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book. The descriptive details puts you right there... In the plane with Mac, dancing with Stella, standing in the hospital... Deals with the ideas of injury, death and the horrors of war with a fearless, bold, touch, and manages to promote patriotic vim without ever sounding corny or false. Really enjoyed this book. The love story is simple, and perhaps that's why it works so well, but for me the strongest parts (in a book filled with strong parts) were the descriptions of the missio ...more
Angel Strong
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Remembrance, Fortitude, and Love...

Henderson eloquently pens a war/love story that will undoubtedly touch all readers. This was both a heart wrenching an intimate look into the lives, minds, and hearts of past hero's enduring one of the worlds most devastating and difficult times. Although fictional, this story and it's characters profoundly resembled 'real' past life. For me, there was nothing not to love about ' The Beauty Shop'. As a writer myself, I admired the obvious research and thought p
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was an enlightening story of a caring doctor who dedicated his life to helping severely burned solders during WW II and specifically the crews of the war planes which risked their lives every time they went on bombing runs over enemy territory.
Based on the actual Guinea Pig Club and Dr McIndoe, the Magician, who pioneered new methods in plastic surgery for his injured fly boys in special unit hospitals in Great Britain.
Just the right amount of found love during this Black time in history,
Melinda Matthews
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sensitively written and very touching. A WW II historical fiction paying apt tribute to some who gave their all in the service of their country and to some who gave their all in their support of them. Inspired by and so thankful for those rare individuals who still see and value the heart of a man or woman above all else. A book with heart about the importance of looking on the heart.
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You may think that this title doesn't seem to fit the subject matter as you begin reading, but just wait. You'll come to understand as you continue. This book is based on some truths that I've never heard before and it couldn't be more heartwarming. Don't want to give anything away but this a POWERFUL book that you don't want to miss!
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it

This story, although wrapped around a love story is basically about survival. It is about an innovative plastic surgeon, Dr. Archibald Mc Indoe who during World War II, created a system of treating the whole person when caring for seriously burned soldiers.
gj indieBRAG
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We are proud to announce that THE BEAUTY SHOP by Suzy Henderson is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!
Robert Richmond
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: romance readers;ww2 addicts and lovers of fine writing
This is one of the best-fictionised books about WW2. I could not put it down.It made me laugh and cry. I thought about the characters after I finished it and what happened to them
Brenda Shepherd
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
World War ll

This was an exceptional story and very moving. It gave such insight into the tragedies brought about from the fighting and the scars left behind .
Maretha Botha
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: goodreads
I enjoyed The Beauty Shop by Suzy Henderson very much. This is her Historical Fiction Debut Novel and in my opinion, the author is off to great start.
The Beauty Shop, based on the true story of the Guinea Pig Club gives a different viewpoint to the horrors of the Second World War, especially honing in on the pilots who become casualties and end up with horrific burns and permanent damage to their appearance and often, their mental well-being. A New Zealand plastic surgeon, Archibald (Archie the
Clemens Schoonderwoert
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This beautiful and engrossing book has been my very first encounter with this fine lady author and certainly a revelation, and hopefully it will not be the last time for I have to say in all honesty that this experience has been absolutely rewarding.
To clarify this wonderful story the author has produced a well documented Author's Note at the end of the book, explaining there about the marvellous achievements by this famous Dr Archibald McIndoe as a physician, in his treatment of his patients in
Joy  Cagil
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This story takes place in England, mostly in East Grinstead, and in the air over Europe during 1942 and 1943. Mac, short for John Mackenzie of the US air force, flies bombing missions with several men in his plane and fights with the Luftwaffe. When he catches sight of the shy and beautiful Stella Charlton of the WAAF, he can’t erase her from his mind. Then, in a joint party between the Americans and the British, when Stella and Mac dance, they fall in love with each other. Stella has a friend i ...more
Diane Shute
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
War torn London, WWII. Amid the burned and scarred airmen in Ward III of Queen Victoria Hospital is an unlikely place for a love story, but Henderson spins the sweet tale of John ‘Mac’ Mackenzie, an American fighter pilot and Stella Charlton, a sensible young WAAF recruit. Part fact, part fiction, The Beauty Shop is pure glory. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the history of the Guinea Pig Club and the talented surgeon, Archie, who ‘fixed them up.’ With its unforgettable cast of characters, I thi ...more
Aug 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Too much cussing

I couldn't complete the story too much potty mouth. I enjoy ww2 stories and read a lot I obviously didn't check this enough. I only try my very best to read stories that honor and respect the Lord Jesus not curse Him.
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Suzy Henderson lives with her husband and two sons in Cumbria, England, on the edge of the beautiful Lake District. She never set out to be a writer, although she has always had an insatiable appetite for books.
Some years ago after leaving an established career in healthcare, Suzy began to research family history, soon becoming fascinated with both World War periods. After completing a degree in E