Today is my stop on the tour to review Wartime With The Tram Girls by Lynn Johnson. I’d like to say a huge thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for arranging the tour and providing me with a free copy of the book in exchange for my review.
Genre: Historical Fiction | WW1
My Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ / 5
July 1914: Britain is in turmoil as WW1 begins to change the world. While the young men disappear off to foreign battlefields, the women left at home throw themselves into jobs meant for the boys.
Hiding her privileged background and her suffragette past, Constance Copeland signs up to be a Clippie – collecting money and giving out tickets – on the trams, despite her parents’ disapproval.
Constance, now known as Connie, soon finds there is more to life than the wealth she was born into and she soon makes fast friends with lively fellow Clippies, Betty and Jean, as well as growing closer to the charming, gentle Inspector Robert Caldwell.
But Connie is haunted by another secret; and if it comes out, it could destroy her new life.
After war ends and the men return to take back their roles, will Connie find that she can return to her previous existence? Or has she been changed forever by seeing a new world through the tram windows?
About a year ago I was donated a huge stack of books. Most of these books contained front covers similar to the cover of this book – a photo of a real person in period costume. I never read any of the books because I didn’t like their front covers; they creeped me out a little bit. I actually read this book first and then saw the cover last, which just goes to show I really need to stop judging books by their covers.
Wartime With The Tramgirls is a book that ticked every single box for me. I love historical fiction (as I’m sure we are all aware by now). It wasn’t a book that made me feel anxious when the plot line takes a drastic U-turn. I loved all of the characters – it wasn’t a book where there was one character you’re supposed to detest. And I thought it was fantastically written; I thought it had real intrigue and it kept me reading until it was over. Something that I comment on a lot in book reviews is the logic. I think that Lynn Johnson must have done an exceptional amount of research as everything made perfect sense to me.
The Suffragette movement is something that I’m aware of, but I don’t know too much about (and something I’m going to do more research into now!). I really enjoyed that Lynn Johnson chose to include this and showed the good and bad sides to being a Suffragette in the early 20th century. The drama that unfolded at one protest repeatedly came back to sting Connie throughout the book even though she tried to hide her past from those she met.
My 5 star ratings have been few and far between so far this year – this was the 25th book I’ve read and only the 3rd 5☆ which I think shows just how much I enjoyed it!
Author Bio –
Lynn Johnson was born in the Staffordshire Potteries and went to school in Burslem, where the novel is set. She left school with no qualifications and got a job as a dental nurse (and lasted a day), a nursery assistant, and a library assistant before her ambition grew and she enrolled at the Elms Technical College, Stoke-on-Trent and obtained six O’levels. She obtained a Diploma in Management Studies and a BA Hons in Humanities with Literature from the Open University while working full-time.
Most of her working life was spent in Local Government in England and Scotland, and ultimately became a Human Resources Manager with a large county council.
She started to write after taking early retirement and moving to the north of Scotland with her husband where she did relief work in the famous Orkney Library and Archives, and voluntary work with Orkney’s Learning Link. Voluntary work with Cats Protection resulted in them sharing their home with six cats.
She joined Stromness Writing Group and, three months after moving to Orkney, wrote a short story which would become the Prologue to The Girl From the Workhouse.
Social Media Links – https://twitter.com/lynnjohnsonjots
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