Jane's Reviews > London Belles

London Belles by Annie Groves
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Aug 06, 2012

liked it

I saw this book on the shelf at the library and grabbed it on impulse. I know that sagas are not particularly cool books to read for someone my age, but I tend to go back to them when I need something easy to read. I have felt myself in a bit of a reading funk recently, and I wanted something that wouldn't take too much concentration or require me to absorb myself too much. I don't mean any disrespect to sagas, but I have been immersed in A Song of Ice and Fire recently, and I needed something completely different.

London Belles tells the story of four young women and their lives at the start of World War II. Dulcie, Agnes and Sally come to lodge with Tilly and her mother Olive in Holborn. Dulcie is the pretty girl who seems to be interested in men and fashion, but inevitably comes to prove that she is a kind and sensible girl who has been neglected by her mother. Sally is a nurse from Liverpool who comes to London for a fresh start when her best friend back home betrays her. Agnes, an orphan who has grown up in a home, has to branch out on her own when she reaches eighteen, and finds a family with Olive and her lodgers. Tilly, Olive's daughter, is seventeen and beginning to notice boys.

As much as I enjoyed London Belles, I feel as though I have read similar stories elsewhere, and written slightly better. I know that the nature of a book like this, found in the Sagas section of the library, is that it probably will be similar to many other books. World War II. young women, love, friendship, family and the like are all familiar features of these books. However, there are some books of this type that I love, and that I would willingly read again and again. Mary Jane Staples and Lilian Harry are good examples of authors in that category. London Belles was enjoyable, and I am eager to read the next in the series, although I have just learnt that the author sadly died at the end of last year, and so the series will never be finished.

Three out of five stars for a book that did exactly what I needed it to do: gave me something easy to read to get me out of my reading funk.
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