The Surplus Girls
After the loss of war, can there be hope for the future?
Belinda Layton is a surplus girl. One of the many women whose dreams of marriage perished in the Great War, with the death of her beloved fiancé, Ben. After four years of mourning, she's ready to face the future, even though Ben's family is not happy to see her move on, and her own only cares...more
The surplus girls were women who after World War I had either, lost their loved ones during the war or there weren't enough single men left to marry. Belinda had lost her fiance Ben in the war and four years later, shes still in mourning for him. She works for Mr Butterfield in the mill yard. She decides to try and better herself, so she starts taking secretarial classes at night. Her Saturday job helps to pay for them. But when she meets the owners nephew, Richard Carson, ...more
This is the first in a trio of sagas set in the aftermath of WWI when the devastating loss of young men on the frontline irrevocably changed the lives of the women and families awaiting their return. Manchester, 1922 and twenty-year-old working-class lass, Belinda Layton, is one such young women whose expectations for the future were torn apart after her fiancé, Ben, perished in the Great ...more
It's Manchester in 1922 and Belinda Layton is a mill worker. Having lost her fiancé in the war, she's faced with a life of having to fend for herself and for that reason she wants to try and better herself by getting an office job. ...more
Belinda is the surplus girl, who is in her 4th year of grieving for her beloved Ben. As she reaches her 21st birthday she is finding life tough working at the mill, under the extremely creepy and vile Mr Butterfield, and ...more
Belinda Layton the protagonist, is one such young woman who has lost her fiance. She moved out of her family home after her fiance Ben was killed in the Great War to live ...more
Belinda is one of those women, losing her fiance Ben, she lives ...more
Belinda is one of those women, losing her fiance Ben, she lives ...more
Belinda is a ‘ ...more
Belinda Layton is having a tough go of it, her father turns out to be a ne'er-do-well who is rapidly dragging his family down with him. Her eldest brother seems to ...more
A story set around the women left behind after WW1, we see Belinda struggle after her fiance died in the war and Prudence and Patience with the death of their father.
Within the first sixty pages alone I was near bawling. So distraught with the events unfolding already. These poor girls were having hell of it with what is happening but they are strong willed and have many wits about them.
I was getting so angry at what is expected of Belinda to have to take care of her family ...more
Belinda Layton was looking forward to a rosy future with her fiance, Ben, until the horrors of the first World War put paid to their plans. Bel finds herself living with Ben's mother and grandmother who have more than most .. but life is hard. Four years after the war has finished and they are still in deepest mourning and expect Bel to follow suit, but she's young and ...more
We see how she is determined to undertake an education which will allow her to progress from factory to clerical work but is burdened by her family who are dependent upon her financially, as well as by the expectations of ...more
It's about Belinda who lost her fiance in the war and became one of 'the surplus girls' which the world was full of at the time. She works at the mill and lives with her fiance's mother and grandmother. The book starts four years after the war and they are still wearing black and mourning their loss. These women expect Belinda to stay the same way.
She wants to move on. Initially just to wear something with a bit of color but ...more
Enjoyable and interesting.
I was expecting a family saga, and that is what I got. But this book is so much more than that.
In addition to the protagonist, the book reveals the lives of several other, very different, women of that time, all of whom are on a journey for independence, whether by choice or necessity.
We get an insight to how the war has affected the lives of these women and the struggles they face in the social climate of 1922.
It’s not all about the women. The author hasn’t forgotten ...more
The main character (Belinda) continues to grieve after the death of her beloved fiancé (Ben), after he died four years ago.
Belinda becomes tired of working at the mill, especially under the creepy and perverted gaze of Mr. Butterfield. She promises herself to become more independent and sings ...more
Imagine being a young girl in love, engaged to be wed and then the war shattering all of those dreams by taking your loved one away.
Belindas character is a true inspiration of a independent woman who follows her dreams and does not give up when obstacles get in her way!
She remains loyal not only to her family but also to her “in-laws” who she lives with.
Belinda finds happiness in the end after a rough ride to get there.
I was ...more
This is the first book I've read by Polly Heron (aka Susanna Bavin) and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this saga.
The time period this book is set in is the era my grandparents and their siblings were growing up in, when social changes after World War 1 changed the lives of the young women. Some of my great aunts were 'surplus girls' - who had very few opportunities in terms of work or romance.
But through the class and a work placement afterwards in a bookshop she meets two men Richard Carson and Gabriel Linkworth and both will change her life forever.
It is the story of Belinda, a Surplus Girl, who is hoping to better herself by taking evening classes to increase her business skills. A Surplus Girl was a girl who is unlikely to get married due to the number of young men who died in the war and would be forced to work throughout her life.
However, her family life is difficult. Her working class family is poor, and her father does little to help other than take his children's wages. ...more
I truly adored this book. Being from Lancashire I love that the setting was Manchester as it made me think of the sadness and grief through the hard times of the war that my county must have endured.
This book captures the truthfullness of war while filling my emotions with tears, laughter and inspiration. The characters you can really relate to and I love that it is addresses women's inequality issues, some of which are still happening today.
Everything was perfectly realistic so I ...more
A truly delightful read...I couldn't wait to keep picking it up to read more and so, sadly, finished it very quickly.
I do find it extremely fascinating to learn all about how my grand parents and other members of my family used to live in the early 1900's as I know so very little about them.
This type of book gives me an insight as to how they must have lived and felt in those days, together with all the hardships and relationships they had to put up with.
In an age ...more
However, Belinda wants to do better for herself than to work in a mill. Soon she ends up taking secretarial classes and finds herself working ...more