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Shipyard Girls #9

A Christmas Wish for the Shipyard Girls

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'Emotional and gripping' Take a Break
Sunderland, 1943: As Christmas approaches in the shipyards, everyone is hoping for a little magic...

Helen would love to find the courage to tell the dashing Dr Parker of her true feelings for him. But how can she when he clearly has eyes for someone else?

More than a year has passed since Bel's wedding to sweetheart Joe. She knows she has much to feel thankful for and yet there is still one burning desire which she cannot ignore.

And as Polly grows with child, she hopes against hope for a safe delivery - and that her husband Tommy can soon return from the front line to meet their new arrival.

There will be storms to weather, but guided by their strength and friendship there is still hope for each of the shipyard girls that their Christmas wishes will come true.
_ _____________________________
Praise for Nancy Revell

'Nancy Revell knows how to stir the passions and soothe the heart!' Northern Echo

'Stirring and heartfelt storytelling' Peterborough Evening Telegraph

'The author is one to watch' Sun

'Well-drawn, believable characters combined with a storyline to keep you turning the pages' Woman

474 pages, Kindle Edition

Published October 1, 2020

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About the author

Nancy Revell

14 books98 followers
Nancy Revell is the pseudonym of Amanda Revell Walton a writer and journalist that has worked for all the national newspapers, providing them with hard-hitting news stories and in-depth features. She has also worked for just about every woman's magazine in the country, writing amazing and inspirational true life stories. Nancy has recently relocated back to her home town of Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, with her husband, Paul, and their English Bull Mastiff, Rosie. They live just a short walk away from the beautiful award-winning beaches of Roker and Seaburn, within a mile of where The Shipyard Girls series is set. The subject is close to Nancy's heart as she comes from a long line of shipbuilders, who were well-known in the area.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 39 reviews
Profile Image for Stina.
1,054 reviews1 follower
September 30, 2020
I am excited to be taking part in the #BlogTour for Nancy Revell's latest in the exciting Shipyard Girls series, A CHRISTMAS WISH FOR THE SHIPYARD GIRLS.

Having come in to the series with the last book "Triumph for the Shipyard Girls" , I have only just been introduced to the girls that make up this wonderful series. So needless to say, I was thrilled with the opportunity to read the next installment A CHRISTMAS WISH FOR THE SHIPYARD GIRLS. The lives, the loves, the heartbreaks the girls are faced with continue from where the previous one left off. And what a cliffhanger that was!

Sunderland, 1943: Shipyard manager Helen Crawford spent most of the last book denying and then trying to find the courage to confess her true feelings to Dr John Parker. By the end, she had harnessed that courage and took herself up to the Ryhope and tell him once and for all. But upon arriving, she was greeted with the sight of her beloved John in the arms of another woman, Dr Claire Eris. So Helen has now resigned herself to the fact that she and John will just be friends, after all she was daft to think that he might love her. Men like John didn't marry women like Helen - soiled goods, as her mother was often quick to remind her.

New to the asylum attached to the Ryhope, Dr Claire Eris had set her sights on the dashing Dr John Parker from the moment she set eyes on him. She knew of his close friendship with Helen Crawford and while she openly stated she had no problem with that, inwardly she would do everything within her power to keep the two apart. Claire could see that the two were smitten with each other, even if neither of them could, so it would do nothing for her plans if they were to spend any time together and suddenly realise their feelings were reciprocated. So when Helen would call for John, the message would be surreptitiously be given to Claire who would "pass it on to John"...only she wouldn't. Therefore, John would think Helen no longer wanted to confide in him and Helen would think John didn't care enough for her to return her calls. The next step in her plan was to snare John as her husband...and then Helen would never stand a chance.

Also at the end of the last book, Pearl Hardwick had gotten herself lost in the rabbit warren of corridors of the Ryhope, in search of Bill who had been injured in the latest air raid. The room she found herself in was of someone from her past who she thought she would never see again. Over the ensuing months, Pearl would visit the mysterious Miss Girling in the asylum as the two shared confidences...and Miss Girling ultimately rewarded Pearl with the information she needed to bring down the great Charles Havelock.

In the meantime, Polly is getting nearer her due date still not having seen her husband Tommy since they were married last Christmas. Due to her advance stage of her pregnancy, Polly now works in the office with the intention of returning to the welding yard after the birth of her baby.

Bel Elliot is still coming to terms with the news that Charles Havelock is her father and the circumstances surrounding her conception. Only her and Helen are privy to the information, aside from her mother, but how will the women use this information? Charles Havelock is a powerful man and to bring him down will not only take great courage but an even greater power. But Bel is also unsettled with having been married to Joe for three years and not being able to fall pregnant. Just watching her sister in law Polly glow throughout her pregnancy brings feelings of jealousy mixed with happiness. Polly conceived as soon her and Tommy married, yet Bel can't even manage that.

Gloria is still missing Jack, who has been banished to Glasgow by his wife Miriam Crawford, for daring to fall in love with another and have a child together. Miriam refuses to allow Jack to return, using the secrets she has gathered on each of the shipyard girls as her weapon by dangling the threat of exposure. Little does she know, that threat is an empty one and makes no difference to the girls.

Rosie, and her sister Charlotte, have taken a backseat in this book when they were so much at the forefront in the last one. Despite learning the truth about her sister and about Lily, Charlotte is still enamoured with Lily and insists on spending as much time with her as possible. Rosie's husband Peter is still working undercover for the SOE and eagerly awaits any news from him or of him.

Dorothy, Angie, Martha, Hannah and the others all play their own parts throughout the story as does Agnes, Joe's mum. Dorothy has a beau, Toby, and will Angie finally realise her true feelings for Quentin?

Then as Christmas arrives, the girls gather together to celebrate a little differently than they did the year before when it was Polly and Tommy's wedding. As they gathered around the wireless to listen to the King's speech, Bel and Pearl steal away to deliver a Christmas gift of their own. And what a gift it was!! It was the penultimate climax that brought everything together and you can't help but silently cheer on the two women for their bravery.

One final Christmas wish was fulfilled the following day on Boxing Day, also St Stephen's Day also known as "the feast of Stephen". And it brings a heartfelt close to the story. And yet, there are still questions. Will Helen and John get their chance to declare their love for each other before it's too late? Will the house of Charles Havelock fall once and for all? Will Jack finally return to where should be, with Gloria and his baby Hope? And will Bel have her happy ever after? Those questions and more are yet to be answered and I look forward to finding where the next book "The Shipyard Girls on the Home Front" takes them.

There are some unexpected surprises in A CHRISTMAS WISH FOR THE SHIPYARD GIRLS - some good and some not so good - but for most of the girls, they do get their Christmas wish granted in one way or another.

A wonderful addition to this delightful series that I really must catch up on when I find a moment or three, A CHRISTMAS WISH FOR THE SHIPYARD GIRLS is a heartwarming gentle easy read that brings each of the characters to life. I cannot fault anything except the addition of Claire Eris, who makes my skin crawl and in some ways, spoilt the story for me a little. I didn't welcome the bitchiness and underhandedness she brought to the story as I felt there was enough at the hands of Charles Havelock and Miriam without Claire spoiling things for Helen and John. I really hope to see the back of her in the next book as I am not sure I can stomach her for much longer...lol

Claire aside, I really enjoyed A CHRISTMAS WISH FOR THE SHIPYARD GIRLS and look forward to the next installment "The Shipyard Girls on the Home Front" .

A wonderful series that should ideally be read from the beginning and perfect for fans of wartime historical fiction and sagas.

I would like to thank #NancyRevell, #NetGalley and #PenguinHouseUK and #ArrowPublishing for an ARC of #AChristmasWishForTheShipyardGirls in exchange for an honest review.

This review appears on my blog at https://stinathebookaholic.blogspot.com/.
Profile Image for Sandra.
551 reviews16 followers
September 4, 2020
I have waited to read the continuing story of the shipyard girls their lives at work and home and Nancy Revell has not disappointed.After a heavy night of bombing the girls head to the yard to see if they were needed and they were as needed to plug the holes on the boat they had so nearly finished with.As time passes Bel is still desperate to be a mother again but alas mother nature has said no and she is also stressed about what to do about the horrid fact of who her birth father is and it is eating away at her.Bel and Helen have grown close something Pearl is not happy about with Helen being a Havelock.As christmas draws near so does the birth of Polly & Tommy's baby,Polly is loving growing with child after the scare she had and is determined her baby will survive.This Series has such wonderful characters that reach into you and draw you close making you feel like you are along side them and wow what a book this is,it has given me what i have wished for so long.The best book of the series in my eyes and well worth 5* Thank you Nancy Revell for a really fabulous series.
330 reviews12 followers
January 17, 2021
I struggled with this book to start with and that's because it's the ninth book in a series and unfortunately I hadn't previously read any of the others. I wouldn't say this can be read as a stand alone story.
Saying all that, I could appreciate that it was very well written.
I persevered and when I got to know the characters I really started to enjoy the story.
The last part of the book was a joy to read and I'm sure that I would have been hooked from the first page if I had been following the series.
53 reviews1 follower
December 22, 2020
Another good book in this series. Look forward to the next one
Profile Image for Sandra.
551 reviews16 followers
September 4, 2020
I have waited to read the continuing story of the shipyard girls their lives at work and home and Nancy Revell has not disappointed.After a heavy night of bombing the girls head to the yard to see if they were needed and they were as needed to plug the holes on the boat they had so nearly finished with.As time passes Bel is still desperate to be a mother again but alas mother nature has said no and she is also stressed about what to do about the horrid fact of who her birth father is and it is eating away at her.Bel and Helen have grown close something Pearl is not happy about with Helen being a Havelock.As christmas draws near so does the birth of Polly & Tommy's baby,Polly is loving growing with child after the scare she had and is determined her baby will survive.This Series has such wonderful characters that reach into you and draw you close making you feel like you are along side them and wow what a book this is,it has given me what i have wished for so long.The best book of the series in my eyes and well worth 5* Thank you Nancy Revell for a really fabulous series.
Profile Image for Amanda.
2,015 reviews42 followers
October 3, 2020
‘A Christmas Wish For The Shipyard Girls’ is the 9th book in the bestselling series featuring ‘The Shipyard Girls’. I have been a fan of this series right from the very beginning. I have read, reviewed, loved and raved about every book in the series to date. As soon as I finish reading the latest book in the series, I immediately look forward to the next book in the series and (im)patiently wait until I can get my hands on a copy. ‘A Christmas Wish For The Shipyard Girls’ is the latest in the series and it was released on 1st October 2020. I was fortunate enough to have a sneaky peek at an early review copy and boy oh boy, it is another amazing addition to an amazing series written by an amazing author. I absolutely ADORED reading ‘A Christmas Wish For The Shipyard Girls’ but more about that in a bit.
It would seem kind of wrong to single out certain characters as I loved them all, apart from a couple of exceptions. For a change I am going to focus on characters that I cannot stand and one that I have grown to love. I absolutely loathe Miriam Crawford, who is the mother of Helen and wife of Jack. I honestly do not think that there is any way Miriam can redeem herself. She has lied, cheated and manipulated every one of her loved ones. She is a downright despicable woman. She’s a control freak and she isn’t happy if people disobey her orders. She is treating her daughter like dirt, keeping her husband away from his one true love, Gloria, and their daughter, she has dug the dirt on all of the Shipyard Girls and is keeping the information to herself until she can use it to inflict maximum hurt. Honestly if I could have jumped inside the pages of the book to give her a darn good slap with a wet fish then I would have done. Another character that irritates the life out of me, is that of Charles Havelock, who just so happens to be the father of Miriam. He is also a manipulative, devious, lying, cheating scumbag who has an overinflated sense of his own importance and a sense of entitlement that by rights should see him serve a long prison sentence. I won’t go too far into what he has done but needless to say I was wanting to jump inside the pages of the book to give him a good slap with a wet flip flop. I am still keeping my fingers crossed that sometime in the future, Miriam and Charles will take a very long walk off Roker Pier (Sunderland) and preferably not re-emerge from the sea. Miriam is the mother of Helen. Had you told me at the beginning of the series that I would end up liking Helen, then I would have thought that you had lost your marbles and needed a stay in a local psychiatric hospital. Helen is the only member of the Havelock/ Crawford family to have redeemed herself over the course of a series. She was downright evil to start with but over time she has mellowed, seen her mother and grandfather for what they are, she has even befriended the Shipyard Girls and she shares more of a mother/ daughter bond with Gloria, who is her father’s true love, than she does with her own birth mother. Helen hasn’t always had the best of luck with men, but she has formed a very close friendship with Dr. John Parker, who has been a rock to Helen. There’s a mutual attraction going on there but neither have actually told the other just how they feel about them. There’s a spanner thrown into the works in the form of Dr. Eris, who might as well have a ‘desperate’ sticker tattooed across her forehead. Dr. Eris knows how Dr. Parker feels about Helen, although he hasn’t told her, and Dr. Eris will do anything that she can do to ‘make’ Dr. Parker hers. I am keeping everything crossed that Helen and Dr. Parker get together in the end and that Dr. Eris joins Miriam and Charles in taking a very long walk off Roker Pier. Now that would make me happy!
As you can probably tell, this is one series that I adore. The release date of each new book in the series is enough to grab my attention and I very impatiently wait until it is released. Every time a new book in the series is released, I grab a copy, well after my OAP Mam has finished reading it, and then squirrel myself away until such time as I have finished reading the book. I cannot turn the pages quickly enough with this series. I sit down only intending to read for a couple of chapters to fill in the odd half hour or so but I would become so wrapped up in the story, believe so much in the characters that I would still be reading over an hour and several chapters later. To say that reading ‘A Christmas Wish For The Shipyard Girls’ or indeed any book in the series is addictive has to be the understatement of the decade! I soon got to the end of ‘A Christmas Wish For The Shipyard Girls’ and I immediately started to look forward to the next book in the series which is due for release in March 2021.
‘A Christmas Wish For The Shipyard Girls’ is superbly written but then I think that to be true of the every single book in the series to date. Nancy Revell certainly knows how to grab your attention from the start and draw you into the story. Once she has your attention then she doesn’t let you have it back until the moment you read the last word on the last page. I found that I became very emotionally involved in the story to the extent that I was ‘interacting’ with the book and talking to the characters as if they could hear me. When certain characters misbehaved, then I would throw out the odd comment like ‘you swine’ (that’s the polite version) or ‘wait until I get hold of you’. I also found that I wanted to jump inside the pages of the book to slap certain characters, to give certain characters a hug and I even cheered when certain characters made a stand and got one over any of the characters that I especially dislike. Before anybody says anything, yes I know that this is a fictional story and therefore not real but I find that if I enjoy a story to the extent that I enjoyed this one then I tend to ‘live’ the story as if it were real.
‘The Shipyard Girls’ series goes from strength to strength and each new book in the series surpasses the previous book. I loved the fact that the series is set in Sunderland, Co. Durham. At the time that the book is set, Sunderland was in County Durham and it will forever be in County Durham to me. Although I don’t have any Shipyard Girls in my family, I do have several relatives who came from Sunderland and lived there during the time that the story is set. In a sense, reading books such as this one, gives me a greater sense of the conditions in which my relatives had to live under. I have to say that ‘The Shipyard Girls’ would be perfect for television adaptation. Nancy Revell is classed as being the new Catherine Cookson, but I have to say that I enjoy Nancy’s books far more than I enjoyed Catherine Cookson’s books. To me, Nancy Revell is the better author.
‘A Christmas Wish For The Shipyard Girls’ is an amazing addition to an amazing series written by an amazing author. When you pick up one of Nancy’s books, you are guaranteed an unputdownable page turner of a read, that has a bit of everything within its covers. There’s drama, love, loss, laughter and well you get the picture. I would definitely recommend this author and her books to other readers. I will definitely be reading more of Nancy’s work in the future. I will be the second person in the queue (after my lovely Mam) to grab a copy of Nancy’s next book which is due for release in March 2021. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.
Profile Image for Karen Cole.
876 reviews113 followers
October 1, 2020
The previous novel, Triumph of the Shipyard Girls saw Helen finally discover the truth about Bel and the prologue here reveals another surprise connected to the Havelock family's dark past. As the ninth book in this riveting series, returning readers will obviously have an advantage over newcomers but Nancy Revell seamlessly includes enough of the back story for new readers to soon fall in love with this wonderful group of characters.
Although the title of the book is A Christmas Wish for the Shipyard Girls, this isn't a Christmas story as such and much of the action takes place in the preceding months, starting from May 1943. Invariably meticulously researched, the earlier chapters continue to illustrate the devastating impact of the Blitz on Sunderland. It means the Shipyard Girls work even harder as the ships they have already repaired are damaged once again but as always Nancy Revell beautifully describes the collective stoicism of the community and the way in which they pulled together to support each other.
It feels that we've reached an important point in the series with one particular storyline coming to a head. The consequences of what happens here will undoubtedly continue to feature in the future but there are less secrets between the characters now and a real sense of moving forward. One of my favourite aspects of this series is the way in which the characters are allowed to change; Helen has already become a much different person but this time around we see a different, softer side to Bel's mother, Pearl. Bel herself is going through a difficult time and I really felt for her as she tries to cope with her understandable anger and desire for retribution while also dealing with her continued longing for another baby.
Meanwhile, Helen and Dr Parker's relationship falters due to their own reticence and the presence of two keen rivals. I'm sure I won't be the only reader who keeps their fingers crossed, hoping they eventually find the courage to reveal their true feelings for one another. They aren't the only hesitant potential lovers though and Angie and Quentin's sweet would-be romance really made me smile. Although the various romances bring moments of joy and heartbreak, it's the relationships between the women which are the real highlight of the series. They are mothers and daughters, colleagues and friends who consistently and selflessly offer love and support through the highs and lows of life. Whether they are separated from their loved ones or adjusting to changes in their families, their storylines are always guaranteed to pull on my heartstrings.
A Christmas Wish for the Shipyard Girls is possibly the most emotional book of the series so far - and quite probably my favourite to date. There are so many tear-jerking moments and although Nancy Revell never avoids showing the darker sides of humanity, it's the strength, courage and love of people which is really the focus of this captivating novel. As secrets are revealed and some wishes come true in unexpected ways, A Christmas Wish for the Shipyard Girls is the perfect uplifting, heartwarming book to curl up with as the days grow colder!
Profile Image for Emma Crowley.
833 reviews120 followers
December 28, 2020
A Christmas Wish for the Shipyard Girls is the ninth in a brilliant series from Nancy Revell. It follows the lives, loves and losses of a group of remarkable women working as welders in the shipyards of Sunderland during World War Two. This book picks up directly up from where the previous book finished and boy am I glad because it had certainly ended on an epic cliff-hanger that has been central to the story so far. I easily settled straight back into the story but for those new to this series there are plenty of recap moments provided to bring you right up to speed with all the goings on.

There are so many little subplots spanning out from the main storyline of how the women are coping with all the challenges, difficulties and emotions that the war is casting in their direction and I thoroughly enjoy each and every one of them. Nancy Revell does a fantastic job of making you care deeply for each and every character and there is not any thread that I am not deeply invested in. Quite often you can become bored with minor little plots put in for the sake of it but that’s not the case here as each women has a great story to tell and everything combines to make a fantastic read and overall it’s a series that continues to go from strength to strength.

It’s now 1943 and the war rages on. The group are as busy as ever making sure the shipyard meets all the demands for new ships to be launched to aid with the war effort. At this stage, being book nine, the finer details as to the specific jobs and roles each women plays in this process are not needed. Instead the focus is on their personal lives and all the mysteries, secrecy, love and hardship that they are enduring. Helen has stepped into her fathers role at the yard as her mother Miriam sent Jack away. Jack is in a loveless marriage and long time readers will know all the ups and downs that led to him having to leave. This is one of the storylines that I have been hoping for quite some time to see a positive resolution of sorts to.

Approaching the Christmas season I was hoping the author would finally allow this to happen even though the possibility of this occurring seem to grow further and further away. Gloria, one of the group, and Jack have rekindled their relationship but any form of happiness they can find with their baby girl Hope just seems so far from their reach. You can’t judge their situation at all as they are following their hearts but it is sad and awful to see that scheming Miriam plays such a pivotal role in stopping their time together. Their story is not central to the book this time around but I had a feeling that Christmas magic and a little help from those that can see what is going on may just occur.

Poor old Helen is still very much having a rough time. No doubt about it, she is a reformed character from when we first encountered back in the first book, but I don’t think everyone always sees her that way. She has never been known for showing signs of emotion but having been seen previously as an ice queen I think that harsh exterior and interior is melting. Although she can be quite frustrating at times in that she still won’t reveal her true feelings to doctor John. There is so much back and forth and misunderstanding and miscommunication between the pair. This is especially evident in this new story and a newcomer is doing their best to keep them off track which leads to them both believing things that just aren’t true. Honestly I am just desperate for the pair to get together but I can’t see that happening any time soon if at all.

Helen is a changed character and I really enjoy the fact that, yes she has her own personal struggles and has been deeply affected by a significant event in her recent past, now it’s like the wool has been pulled from her eyes. She is now more human and can see what is going on in front of her especially when it comes to her mother. Her own family story is becoming ever more packed with twists and turns especially when it comes to Pearl and her daughter Bel. There is one scene where they feature that I have been waiting to happen for what seems like so long and it was superbly written and played out. It’s great to see people getting their comeuppance and that holds over people are starting to fray. Secrecy, lies, deceit and cruelty perhaps won’t win out after all.

Helen has a tough choice to face both on the romance and personal front. Should she confront someone very close to her who is all powerful? Said person is perhaps more evil, deceitful and manipulative than Miriam and that’s really saying something. As things come to the surface, even unbeknownst to Helen, the extent of what has happened for years is mindblowing. In particular what that person has done to someone who was meant to be their special someone. Will everyone cope with the fallout and reveals if Helen chooses to get things out in the open? Will the group of women who have such a strong bond and friendship be able to handle what spills forth? The way Nancy Revell has spun out this aspect of the overall plot over so many books has been fanatic and certainly kept me riveted and eager to read each new instalment.

I can’t but fail to mention some of the stalwarts in this series from day one. Rosie, the leader of the group, has always had a brilliant storyline. She features less so this time around but when she did I felt every minute of her pain, anger, despair and uncertainty that she has heard nothing from her husband Peter working undercover in France. She also has an awful lot to deal with on the home front but she is a gritty, determined and admirable character. I felt sorry for Polly, that she was faced with giving birth to her first child alone as her husband is away minesweeping in Gibraltar. She is really forced to slow down and it's not in her nature at all. I feared for her big time at one point and I hoped more heartache was not coming her way. As for Gloria she is like the mother of the group but she too is harbouring her own sadness and is willing things to come to a happy conclusion. Martha, Dorothy and Angie feature less but they do have interesting storylines so I’d love to see them coming more to the forefront in future books especially if other plots are starting to be resolved.

Whilst reading this book I felt a real sense that a lot of the storylines established over the course of the previous eight books were going to reach their climax. That every little thing that had been bubbling away beneath the surface known to some characters but not to others yet the reader knew everything. Well it was like there was going to be a big explosion and every little bit of deviousness and things that people had been desperate to keep secret and bottled up would spill forth like a preverbal can of worms. I was hoping that not everything would be resolved especially as there is two more years of the war to go and I am not at all ready for this series to end. Thankfully the author knows very well how to pace things and provided the reader with just enough of things coming to a climax while still keeping a lot up her sleeve for future books. I hate when things are rushed when so much time, care and attention has been given to building things up perfectly and I am glad this didn’t happen here. Yet there was still plenty to whet the readers appetite.

A Christmas Wish for the Shipyard Girls isn’t packed full of all things Christmas. It didn’t need to be because the continuing storylines speak strongly enough for themselves but that last 20% was just brilliant and brought a smile to my face. Roll on the publication of The Shipyard Girls on the Homefront in March as I can’t get enough of this great series.
Profile Image for Joanne D'Arcy.
513 reviews41 followers
October 4, 2020
I cannot believe we have reached book nine and it is coming up to 1943 for the Shipyard Girls that I have grown to love over the previous books. History tells us that the Second World War is taking a new path and I know as I read there is some momentous changes abound. It worries me that we could be near the end of this wonderful series.

But as ever I am taken into the lives of Rosie, head welder of her close knit team of women whose wish is to know that her husband Peter is alive and well. She also wishes Charlotte her younger sister would develop some interest in someone other than Lily.

Gloria and her young daughter Hope, wishes that her she could be reunited with the man she loves and that her daughter will actually see her father.

Dorothy and Angie, best friends in and out of work, wish that falling in love would be easy and that there should be no barrier to it.

Polly wishes for the safe arrival of her baby and that her husband, that she hasn't seen since last Christmas gets to meet the most important person in their lives besides each other.

Bel wishes for what others have, Gloria and Polly especially, but something is preventing it all happening and it seems that she needs to close many door from her past before she can perhaps move forward with being a mother.

Helen, wishes that her mother and grandfather's influence has not got so deep seated within her and that she would never be good enough for Dr Parker, their friendship it seems is all that there will be.

Pearl has no wish to relive the past but stumbling across it, she realises that she might be able to make her daughter Bel's wish come true - to close the door on the past.

Along with other regular faces, this is a book packed with raw emotion. I was so incensed by the behaviour of Miriam, Helen's mother that I had to put the book down. That said when the dénouement to a plot line that has been in development for many books comes to a head, I was almost out of my chair cheering on the main characters. The rollercoaster of emotions that Nancy Revell portrays in this book means it should come with a health warning.

At the heart and the core of all of the books, is the strength that these women have in taking on work, specifically and historically been the preserve of men, dealing with birth, death and everything in between. Love, laughter, tears and friendship everything you could want from this book and even your own life!

This series of books has not lost momentum and I am thrilled that they simply seem to get better and better. Perfect example of a well written historical saga for everyone to enjoy.
Profile Image for Jaffareadstoo.
2,567 reviews
October 5, 2020
It's always such a pleasure to return to this series as catching up with the Shipyard Girls is like meeting again with old friends. It's now 1943 and the North East shipyards are facing a tough time as a barrage of bombardment aimed at the docks means that the girls are constantly occupied in repairing the damage which has been inflicted by enemy aircraft.

However, away from the shipyard, there are changes aplenty coming for all of the characters and none more so that for Bel and Pearl who must finally face up to the secret of their past which threatens to overshadow their present. As always the author captures the wartime spirit of stoicism and camaraderie, there are the usual fallouts and arguments but generally everyone looks out for everyone else and the stoicism and camaraderie comes across, especially in their care and concern for Polly who is facing the birth of her child without her beloved Tommy by her side. I think of all the characters, Helen Crawford is probably my favourite, and it's been lovely to have her feature quite a lot in this story as her relationship with the eligible Dr Parker keeps everyone guessing.

There is no doubt that in each of her stories the author brings the Shipyard Girls to life in such a vibrant and realistic way that you can't help but want everything to work out well for each of them. However, life is never straightforward and the author gives us an abundance of emotions, happy and sad, poignant and emotional, and yet what ultimately shines through is their friendship, love and care for each other.

This is now the ninth book in the series and whilst I think that it can be read as a standalone, there are lots of characters who you really need to get to know, so my advice on this series, if you enjoy WW2 sagas, is to start at the very beginning and get to know these intrepid shipyard girls as they survive the war years. A Christmas Wish for the Shipyard Girls is a lovely seasonal read which can be read at any time of year but it's especially poignant as a Christmas read as several of the girls have wishes they want to come true whether do they do or not is for you to discover for yourself.
Profile Image for Joanna Park.
492 reviews60 followers
October 3, 2020
I’m a huge fan of this series which in my opinion keeps getting better and better. It was so nice to be back with the Shipyard Girls and to catch up with everything.

This book starts with an interesting scenario where the Shipyard has been bombed in the blitz which I don’t think had happened before. It was very interesting to see all the girls and their colleagues having to work together to try and save stuff in the yard. I must admit I’ve become very fond of the yard so I was a little upset and angry that it had been hit. I always thinks it’s a sign of great writing when an author makes you feel so connected to a place or a character.

As always there is a fair bit of action in the book which kept me absorbed in the story and unable to put the book down. It was interesting to see that all of the girls were affected by something in this book which is unusual for this series I think. I might be looking to far into it but I think it bonded them all together more. I felt this was the most emotional book of the series so tissues definitely recommended.

Overall I loved this book and being back with the girls. I always keep these books until I know I can read a big chunk of them at once as I find it easy to get lost in. One of the things I most like about this author is how she always manages to make the drama new and fresh, without it ever seeming forced which is impressive when there’s loads of books in the series.

Huge thanks to Rachel Kennedy for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book.
Profile Image for Booklover BEV.
1,274 reviews8 followers
August 30, 2020
Book Nine that is absolutely enthralled to read.
May 1943, and the war continues.
Dr John Parker and Helen Crawford are still just good friends, Dr Eris works along side John in the Asylum and wants him for herself, has Helen lost John forever?
Working at J.L. Thompson and sons along side Rosie Gloria and all the other women welders all getting Denewood back on her feet as a bit of damage has been done but she hasn't sunk into the River Wear yet.
Life and work always keeps them going and Polly in now in the office as her baby is only a short few months away.
Once again I felt right at home reading this beautiful story, love this authors work, as she brings the whole town of Sunderland to life that is now a city that i am proud of.
A Christmas Gift has left us with some unexpected surprises that have been granted at this special time.
such a wonderful book and was sorry to see the end. looking forward to the next series ten, it cannot come quick enough for me.
this is definitely a book to look forward to.
39 reviews
October 29, 2020
What’s to say .....

Nancy Revell as with all the previous Shipyard Girls I’ve been left with the disappointment that the next instalment isn’t out until Feb 21, I’ve already pre ordered

Totally gripped again,all the shipyard girls feel as though we know each one, I have laughed & cried while reading (& not just this one), you can’t believe the emotions of them all.

Please keep the shipyard girls going for as long as you are able, there is so much more for us to find out, especially with the next generation coming alive.

Please give Helen the man she loves so dearly & as he does her .........
Profile Image for Sally.
8 reviews
May 15, 2022
When it came to Helen & John, it got to the point I didn't even look forward to them confessing their feelings to one another. I instead decided to entertain myself by thinking what the author would do next to waylay their union. It happened so many times that I became annoyed with both characters. They're both intelligent capable people, but they just can't spit out their feelings. It went on far too long.
Profile Image for Pauline Dowdall.
21 reviews
October 12, 2020
Great book

Love this book followed all the books and characters and there lives and can’t wait for the next book which isn’t out till feb 2021, love the history that she tells of and the way people lived through war. Hope these books go on for a long time. These books would be great as a series on TV, please put a suggestion to the right people.
Profile Image for mois reads .
489 reviews1 follower
October 29, 2020
Helen, Pearl, Bell,

This has got to be the best book of the shipyard girls it had everything tears of happiness and tears of sadness but what pearl and Bell went through was heartbreaking then happiness and Helen went through so much to read this you need plenty tissues a 5 star read.
15 reviews
January 14, 2021

Absolutely loved this book from beginning to end you just feel and big part of the girls lives when you are reading it it's as if they are all your friends. Cannot wait for the next part to catch up with the girls again . Would highly recommend anyone to read it. Well done to Nancy Revell Brilliant Author.
Profile Image for Heather Copping.
497 reviews5 followers
October 11, 2022
You know that feeling when you are so engrossed in a book that you don't realise that you have come to the end, well that just happened to me and I am gutted that I have come to the end of this book, a book full of characters that have become more like personal friends as you have been through their good times and bad times too. A well deserved five star read.
Profile Image for Tricia Toney.
678 reviews6 followers
November 9, 2022
Many loose ends were tied up in this book. Polly adjusts to new motherhood, while Bel tries to fill the void caused by her fertility struggles. Our star crossed lovers Helen and John are still pining for one another. Pearl and Bel work towards getting justice against Pearl's abuser. Angie and Quentin confront their feelings for each other across the class divide. Another great read.
18 reviews
October 9, 2020
Been hooked since first Shipyard Girls story

I read this edition in 2 days. Love the storyline and all the female characters that are so strong and determined to keep WW2 shipbuilding industry strong. Have read all the books in this series and can't wait for the next book!
Profile Image for Janice Jackson.
63 reviews2 followers
October 21, 2020
Didn't disappoint

Have really enjoyed reading this latest novel in the series, once again we catch up with the female welders and there families as we build up to Christmas during the war. So looking forward to reading what happens next
Profile Image for Cris Hope.
23 reviews
November 11, 2020
Another gem of a story

I always eagerly await the new book in this series , and once again I wasn't disappointed. I was immediately taken back into the world of Rosie, Polly and the other shipyard girls, now I can't wait for the next book. Thank you so much Nancy Revell.
1 review1 follower
November 19, 2020
Another excellent instalment

A book full of heartache, jubilation, love and happy everafters. Can not wait till the next instalment. Type of series that I can read over and over again
28 reviews1 follower
December 3, 2020
The story just gets better and better

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this instalment and looking forward to the next. I got my mum a copy and she's now up to date and just about to order the next instalment. I just get lost in the story . It just keeps you on the edge of your seat
60 reviews
July 5, 2021
Most of this book felt a bit like a filler, not really enhancing any of their ladies individual stories much, but then it pulled it out of the bag towards the end. I can’t help but wonder if this will be the last book in the series as there are only a couple of outstanding story lines now.
December 17, 2021
Fantastic really enjoyed reading this. Best read all year.

Fantastic really enjoyed reading this. Best book all year. Cannot wait to read the next book. Downloading it now as I'm writing this.
October 13, 2020
Fantastic !

A great read to catch up with the ship yard girls saga. I felt as though were were there too. I had a job to put the book down.
Can’t wait for the next book.
10 reviews
October 15, 2020
Just great

Great read cried my eyes out at the end can't wait for the next chapter in the lives of everybody in the book
3 reviews
October 21, 2020
Good reading

I have thoroughly enjoyed all the shipyard stories and can't wait for the next one. A happy ending for Helen hopefully.
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