30 review for Three Women of Liverpool

  1. 4 out of 5

    Josephine (Jo)

    Another truly brilliant book by Helen Forrester. I wish she had written loads more. This is the story of Ellen, Gwen and Emma, whose lives are interwoven by fate and the horror of war. Gwen has her small house proud world ripped apart by the bombs that drop around her precious home. She has to learn that there is more to life than her possessions (even though they were hard come by). Emma has given up her own life to care for her parents but then finds herself homeless and without a purpose in li Another truly brilliant book by Helen Forrester. I wish she had written loads more. This is the story of Ellen, Gwen and Emma, whose lives are interwoven by fate and the horror of war. Gwen has her small house proud world ripped apart by the bombs that drop around her precious home. She has to learn that there is more to life than her possessions (even though they were hard come by). Emma has given up her own life to care for her parents but then finds herself homeless and without a purpose in life. Ellen is worn down by poverty and the daily struggle to care for her husband and five children. Life is terribly hard for Ellen, her home is squalid and the children have barely felt water on their skin since they were born. All three women will find themselves thrown together by the bombing of Liverpool by the Germans. The whole story is set during just one week in May 1941, the most terrible week that thousands of people in Liverpool will ever experience in their lives. I was totally enthralled by this book. I knew about the awful bombing of London, Coventry and of course Liverpool during the Second World War but reading this book was like being there! I felt the fear of the bombers overhead, I could feel the exhaustion of the families sitting night after night in shelters and cellars in the hope of not getting killed. I finished the book in the small hours of the night unable to stop reading until I found out what had happened to the characters. I came away thinking that the wonderful people who lived through this onslaught were just as deserving of a medal as any brave soldier who fought on D Day. Helen Forrester's books are far more that the usual saga type stories, they are a vividly accurate documentation of what life was like for the people living through this period of history. The books could easily be classified as Social History. Exciting, terrifying and heart breaking.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is an author who really brings war time life alive in her books but more so in this one. We see what life is like for three women in the full throes of attacks on the city. Whilst there is a small amount of humour in this book, it is quite little compared to her other ones, making this one more darker. Understandable with what the women are going through. Through the characters, I could feel their emotions and fears as if they were my own. Friends, neighbours, loved ones, all being affected b This is an author who really brings war time life alive in her books but more so in this one. We see what life is like for three women in the full throes of attacks on the city. Whilst there is a small amount of humour in this book, it is quite little compared to her other ones, making this one more darker. Understandable with what the women are going through. Through the characters, I could feel their emotions and fears as if they were my own. Friends, neighbours, loved ones, all being affected by what is going on. Time spent in the shelters whilst the raids are going on. I don’t think you could get a fiction story with much more insight into what life was like back then than in this story. It was both scary and emotional but the need to read on was high. Three Women Of Liverpool is a great story showing the strength of women in tough times. It’s history and drama coming together and making for one compelling read. If you haven’t read any of this authors books before then you really should. Have spent hours of enjoyment over the years reading them and they still deliver today like they did when I first started reading them over twenty years ago. My thanks to Jill Burkinshaw and Joffe Books for a readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Simone Perren

    When my Nan gave me this book, I knew I really wanted to read it. I am a big lover of all books based around the Second World War and I also adore Helen Forrester and her fantastically, gripping writing. I was not disappointed. This book was captivating, enthralling and I felt as if I was in amongst all the action, feeling the fear of the families sat in bomb shelters waiting for it all to be over. Not only does Forrester make the reader feel included in the action but there are multiple lessons When my Nan gave me this book, I knew I really wanted to read it. I am a big lover of all books based around the Second World War and I also adore Helen Forrester and her fantastically, gripping writing. I was not disappointed. This book was captivating, enthralling and I felt as if I was in amongst all the action, feeling the fear of the families sat in bomb shelters waiting for it all to be over. Not only does Forrester make the reader feel included in the action but there are multiple lessons to be learnt. As I said, I have read many books about World War Two but this one seemed to be the closest in terms of accuracy; the atmosphere, the tension and also the desperation of the people came across vividly and really made me feel emotional. This book is (as the name suggests) about three women who are all living in Liverpool and who are thrown together because of a common thread; war. Set within one week in 1941, Gwen, Ellen and Emmie are all going about their ordinary lives when a bomb hits. What happens next will test them immensely and their lives will never be the same again. My favourite character and in fact the one which hit home the most, was definitely Emmie. Recently engaged to a seaman, Emmie has moved in with her brother and his wife, Gwen. I relate to this the most because my Dad was a naval seaman when I was younger and although, he never went to war (thank goodness) he was away for long periods of time during my childhood. Emmie has to deal with the idea that her fiance is away in a dangerous place doing a potentially life threatening job. I really enjoyed this storyline and Emmie came across as incredibly vulnerable but strong and optimistic too. My favourite character for sure. On the other end of the spectrum, Gwen was my least favourite character although I think this was definitely Helen Forrester intention. Gwen is an incredibly house-proud woman who is strict, stern and very bossy. I will admit I started to like her more as time went on but she definitely wound me up with her attitude towards Emmie and the furniture that belonged to her parents-in-law. The other main character, Ellen has recently become an orphan after spending a large portion of her life looking after her ailing parents and her and her children's poverty and their lack of material things was a definite eye-opener to me. It also showed in this book how war and bombs do not distinguish between people of means and people with nothing. Everyone is thrown into the same boat when a bomb hits no matter their status in the world. Overall, this book was really enjoyable and I definitely want to read more by this author in the future and more on this subject matter.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ria

    A great wartime saga centering on three women and their lives as they battle through the Blitz in Liverpool. There is Emmie, recently an orphan after many years caring for her elderly and sick parent and who moves in with her brother and sister in law until she marries her fiance Robert. Ellen is the matriarch of an Irish family with a brood of rag tag kids around her heels every minute of the day. Gwen Emmie's cantankerous sister in law is a houseproud wife and mother who is fighting a losing batt A great wartime saga centering on three women and their lives as they battle through the Blitz in Liverpool. There is Emmie, recently an orphan after many years caring for her elderly and sick parent and who moves in with her brother and sister in law until she marries her fiance Robert. Ellen is the matriarch of an Irish family with a brood of rag tag kids around her heels every minute of the day. Gwen Emmie's cantankerous sister in law is a houseproud wife and mother who is fighting a losing battle against dirt and grime during the Blitz and who has her life turned upside down by the invasion of the Connelly kids. After the canteen where Emmie works is hit by a bomb blast she is virtually buried alive but can she be found in time before her luck runs out while Gwen is suffering guilt for her ill thoughts towards Emmie. Who will survive this war and how will their lives turn out? A relatively short novel but with a surprising amount of nailbiting action going on throughout this is a must for wartime drama fans. A wonderful read.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Val

    Liverpool was an important port for transatlantic convoys during WWII and was bombed several times. The week long raid in May 1941 was the most devastating. This book is set during that week and the author shows how people lived through it. The devastation of the city setting and the effect on its inhabitants is very well described. I thought the characters tended towards the worst of stereotypes: the protestant family with a dull father, uptight house-proud mother, one overprotected daughter and Liverpool was an important port for transatlantic convoys during WWII and was bombed several times. The week long raid in May 1941 was the most devastating. This book is set during that week and the author shows how people lived through it. The devastation of the city setting and the effect on its inhabitants is very well described. I thought the characters tended towards the worst of stereotypes: the protestant family with a dull father, uptight house-proud mother, one overprotected daughter and the edition of a suffering sex-mad older spinster, the catholic family large, noisy, grubby, foul-mouthed, violent and the father involved in criminal activity. Most of them turn out to have good qualities, usually brought out by the 'blitz spirit'. The story is good, with well handled suspense towards the end, and it is not badly written (although 'scarify' is usually something you do to lawns). It is a quick read and I enjoyed the book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hilary Tesh

    The author draws on her own experiences in a harrowing account of life during the Liverpool Blitz in May 1941, shown through the experiences of the three women of the title and those around them, all struggling to cope with the terrible fear, bewilderment and sheer devastation caused by the nightly attacks. When Emmie and Dickie are buried alive, their frightened claustrophobia is vividly portrayed and scarily realistic, whilst you realise with horror that the raw meat smell on Conor’s clothes i The author draws on her own experiences in a harrowing account of life during the Liverpool Blitz in May 1941, shown through the experiences of the three women of the title and those around them, all struggling to cope with the terrible fear, bewilderment and sheer devastation caused by the nightly attacks. When Emmie and Dickie are buried alive, their frightened claustrophobia is vividly portrayed and scarily realistic, whilst you realise with horror that the raw meat smell on Conor’s clothes is from the bodies he’s been recovering from a bombed tenement. A largely forgotten blitz is recalled in a compelling tale of wartime life. I was rereading this book after many years - and it was just as horribly realistic as I remembered!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Set in Liverpool, May 1941 during a week of air raids, this book explores human interaction during the horrors of war. The book reminds us of how fortunate we are to be living in time of relative peace and prosperity. Well written and worthwhile.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tricia

    good read really enjoyed gives you a real insight to how people lived during WW11 in liverpool,

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary

    I had heard of the terrible bombings that took place in Liverpool but this book certainly brings alive the relentlessness of that week in May 1941. How hard the people worked to keep going, how determined people were not to give in but to help each other and to risk their own lives to save complete strangers. A tale of love and loyalty but also so much sadness.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Claire (Book Blog Bird)

    This one was a Kindle Daily Deal as well, and to be honest I kind of wish I hadn't bothered. I feel really gloomy writing this, because when a book leaves me feeling meh it's such a shame. Three Women of Liverpool is set in Liverpool during the Blitz in 1941. When you hear about the Blitz, you automatically think of London, but other cities were really badly bombed too. Seriously, Google some images of the Liverpool Blitz. The seven-night bombardment decimated the whole Merseyside area. The book This one was a Kindle Daily Deal as well, and to be honest I kind of wish I hadn't bothered. I feel really gloomy writing this, because when a book leaves me feeling meh it's such a shame. Three Women of Liverpool is set in Liverpool during the Blitz in 1941. When you hear about the Blitz, you automatically think of London, but other cities were really badly bombed too. Seriously, Google some images of the Liverpool Blitz. The seven-night bombardment decimated the whole Merseyside area. The book takes us through those seven nights through the viewpoints of three women: newly-engaged old-maid Emmie, her sister-in-law Gwen and Gwen's daughter, Mari. The writing was fine, but the plot didn't really grab me, which is odd because I'm a history graduate and wrote my dissertation around the Second World War, so in theory this should have been spot on for me. Also, I found the characters slightly annoying. The lead character, Emma, was a bit of a drip. I kept wanting to tell her to grow a backbone. Her sister-in-law Gwen is a real shrew, but we're never really told why she's such a nasty piece of work. What made her like that? Why does she hate Emma so much? Emmie's niece (Gwen's daughter) was the most sympathetic character. She has this bizarre crush on the sex-pesty boy next door who randomly ends up coming to live with her when he and his siblings are bombed out of their home.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Maude

    "This is the story of three women whose lives were changed when they went through the London Blitz." "Ellen and her family had already been bombed out and felt they were unlikely to suffer a second time. Gwen was busy housekeeping for her family. Emmie had just become engaged to a merchant seaman and thought only of the dangers of the Battle of the Atlantic. They had no idea what the air raid siren on May 1st 1941 would mean to them". This was a gripping story to me as the bombs that reined down o "This is the story of three women whose lives were changed when they went through the London Blitz." "Ellen and her family had already been bombed out and felt they were unlikely to suffer a second time. Gwen was busy housekeeping for her family. Emmie had just become engaged to a merchant seaman and thought only of the dangers of the Battle of the Atlantic. They had no idea what the air raid siren on May 1st 1941 would mean to them". This was a gripping story to me as the bombs that reined down on Liverpool killed and maimed many many people. I became attached to the three women and their families and was constantly worried about them and the children, husbands and lovers. But life goes on and each of these women changed over time, became stronger and more caring of each other. The bombs were specifically concentrated on Liverpool, as Hitler said, "so that the whole nation will feel the effect." Many times it had me on the edge of my seat. I have such admiration for the English during this war - stoic, brave, going about their business, helping each other - and figuratively giving the "salute" to Adolf!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Clare O'Beara

    Three Women of Liverpool focuses on a few people amid a WWII week-long bombing nightmare as the Luftwaffe tried to destroy the port town of Liverpool completely, to stop shipping and reinforcements from using it. These are hardy lasses and the city is being destroyed around and over them night after night. One girl works in a sailors' canteen and her fiance has signed aboard a ship in harbour which is packed full of explosives. Another girl is a fussy houseproud mother and suddenly gets a whole, Three Women of Liverpool focuses on a few people amid a WWII week-long bombing nightmare as the Luftwaffe tried to destroy the port town of Liverpool completely, to stop shipping and reinforcements from using it. These are hardy lasses and the city is being destroyed around and over them night after night. One girl works in a sailors' canteen and her fiance has signed aboard a ship in harbour which is packed full of explosives. Another girl is a fussy houseproud mother and suddenly gets a whole, previously despised Irish family thrust upon her when their mother is killed. And the last is just trying to hold her family together amid the devastation and nightly rushes to shelters or cellars. The civil defence work is the main priority as families are bombed out and neighbourhoods are flattened. Welsh people come by daily ferry to gawp and loot. But teams of demolition workers from all over England are sent to help dig lost people out of the rubble. This is well worth reading. This story also comes bundled with The Latchkey Kid by the same author.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    While I think Helen Forrester captured the atmosphere of life in Liverpool in the early forties, the horror of the Liverpool blitz and the hardships of those families who suffered, I found some parts of the book too harrowing to read. The idea of the two characters lying trapped in a small space under the rubble for days on end was too much for me. I'm afraid I had to skip pages of these scenes in order to find out whether or not they were rescued or died horrible deaths. Helen Forrester is a goo While I think Helen Forrester captured the atmosphere of life in Liverpool in the early forties, the horror of the Liverpool blitz and the hardships of those families who suffered, I found some parts of the book too harrowing to read. The idea of the two characters lying trapped in a small space under the rubble for days on end was too much for me. I'm afraid I had to skip pages of these scenes in order to find out whether or not they were rescued or died horrible deaths. Helen Forrester is a good writer and her plots are gripping, but life today has its own difficulties, so although I feel for those, like my parents who lived through World War 2, I am afraid that I am not entirely entertained by unbroken doom and gloom.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Barbra

    Wonderful book - couldn't put it down. Back Cover Blurb: Liverpool, May 1941. The worst week of the Blitz. An extraordinary story of three brave women, each trying in her own way to deal with the brutal tide of destruction bought on by the air raids of the Second World War. There is Ellen - whose home is destroyed by bombs; Gwen, whose family absorbs all her time and energy; and Emmie, whose only fears are for the safety of her merchant seaman fiance, far away in the South Atlantic. None of them a Wonderful book - couldn't put it down. Back Cover Blurb: Liverpool, May 1941. The worst week of the Blitz. An extraordinary story of three brave women, each trying in her own way to deal with the brutal tide of destruction bought on by the air raids of the Second World War. There is Ellen - whose home is destroyed by bombs; Gwen, whose family absorbs all her time and energy; and Emmie, whose only fears are for the safety of her merchant seaman fiance, far away in the South Atlantic. None of them are prepared for what would follow, when the air raid siren sounded for the first time on 1st May, 1941.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dianne

    Helen Forrester writes about the catastrophic air raids on Liverpool in 1941. She focuses on three women, each very different and each forced into survival mode as homes and lives are destroyed. The author knows her subject and creates such a realistic feeling for the events and the ordinary people caught up in life and death, that I just had to keep reading to see how the main characters end up. This book,although about fictional characters, evoked a sense of how terrible war is for civilians w Helen Forrester writes about the catastrophic air raids on Liverpool in 1941. She focuses on three women, each very different and each forced into survival mode as homes and lives are destroyed. The author knows her subject and creates such a realistic feeling for the events and the ordinary people caught up in life and death, that I just had to keep reading to see how the main characters end up. This book,although about fictional characters, evoked a sense of how terrible war is for civilians whether in 1941 or modern Syria. Women and children suffer the most.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    This is a good book by Helen Forrester which is about the bombardment of Liverpool by the Germans during the war and the effects on 3 women and their immediate families. The story takes place over a few days and shows how these woman cope with the situation and how it effects their futures.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kellie

    Intertwining stories of three women living in Liverpool during the World War II bombings of England by the Germans. Helen Forrester is an excellent writer who keeps you entranced.

  18. 5 out of 5

    eReader1UK

    A good read enjoyed it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Smitha Murthy

    A fast-moving plot, lots of war action, but none of this can rescue a thin plot that doesn't offer any sustenance to the reader who reads to the end. A fast-moving plot, lots of war action, but none of this can rescue a thin plot that doesn't offer any sustenance to the reader who reads to the end.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Grace J Reviewerlady

    I thought I had read ALL of Helen Forrester's novels; imagine my surprise to come across this one - and on kindle, no less! Of course I just had to have it. Emmie, Gwen and Ellen all live in Liverpool. Each woman has her own life, her own worries and a different way of doing things.  Emmie worries about her merchant seaman fiance while Gwen, her sister-in-law spends all her time and energy cleaning her home. Next door to them, Ellen is more concerned with how to care for her husband and five kids I thought I had read ALL of Helen Forrester's novels; imagine my surprise to come across this one - and on kindle, no less! Of course I just had to have it. Emmie, Gwen and Ellen all live in Liverpool. Each woman has her own life, her own worries and a different way of doing things.  Emmie worries about her merchant seaman fiance while Gwen, her sister-in-law spends all her time and energy cleaning her home. Next door to them, Ellen is more concerned with how to care for her husband and five kids have been bombed out of there home. As the air raid siren sounds, none of them know quite what's in store for them. Anyone who follows my reviews knows that I do rather enjoy stories of life on the home front during WWII. As a bonus this time round, I LOVE Helen Forrester's writing; if she is a new author to you then I highly recommend her autobiographical novels which are stunning reads about poverty rarely seen today. I already own most her books, almost all in hardback. This one is a novel with everything in it and a bit more that you don't expect - and it's actually quite a gripping read. I adored the characters and really empathised with each of them; the writing is superb, as expected. A wonderful read which I have wallowed in and, of course, earns a full five sparkling stars! If anyone is going to read on a device, be aware that the story ends at 77%. I purchased this book online; this is - as always - my honest, original and unbiased review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Megan Coghill

    I really enjoyed reading this book. I have read quite a few books on WW2, but never any set in Liverpool. I really wanted to learn more about the Liverpool blitz as my grandma and her sisters lived through this in Liverpool. This book didn’t disappoint. Focusing on the 7 days of relentless bombing by the Nazi’s, it was loaded with information and you really felt the fear, death and destruction they experienced. I guess the short timeline and covering a few main characters, I didn’t really connec I really enjoyed reading this book. I have read quite a few books on WW2, but never any set in Liverpool. I really wanted to learn more about the Liverpool blitz as my grandma and her sisters lived through this in Liverpool. This book didn’t disappoint. Focusing on the 7 days of relentless bombing by the Nazi’s, it was loaded with information and you really felt the fear, death and destruction they experienced. I guess the short timeline and covering a few main characters, I didn’t really connect with any enough to be emotionally invested in them personally, but I did feel for the people of the city and the devastation they experienced. I am grateful for that though as I really wanted to learn more about this horrible piece of history rather than be swept up in a fictional romance or journey that some authors focus on at the expense of the bigger picture. This book has also opened up conversations I’ve had with my dad about my own family’s history during the Liverpool blitz, and his experiences during his childhood when the city was going through the rebuild process.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Annett Jummrich

    Endless, repetitive descriptions make this book rather boring I think, which is a shame as it had so much potential. Set during a week in 1941 it describes the horrors that people went through in Liverpool during German air raids. That the story is set in Liverpool (and not in London as so many WWII seem to be whenever the story is set in the UK) was intriguing. However, as mentioned the book is just one description after the other. I found the book dragged on. Thankfully it’s only 169 pages sho Endless, repetitive descriptions make this book rather boring I think, which is a shame as it had so much potential. Set during a week in 1941 it describes the horrors that people went through in Liverpool during German air raids. That the story is set in Liverpool (and not in London as so many WWII seem to be whenever the story is set in the UK) was intriguing. However, as mentioned the book is just one description after the other. I found the book dragged on. Thankfully it’s only 169 pages short, so didn’t feel too much of a waste of time reading the story. Wouldn’t recommend it. There are much better novels about WWII out there.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Patty Stephenson

    Discover how badly Liverpool was bombed during WWII through the lives of 3 women I found this book to be riveting, in telling how the Brits hung on through constant bombing. The writer does an excellent job of letting the reader understand what those woman could and did do to survive.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mrs. S. J. Hubbard

    Puts covid in perspective Really well written nail biting story. I'm in awe of the resilience of the war generation and what they had to overcome. The individual stories are interwoven, each with its own pathos. However not sure of the title. To me there were only two main female characters! Puts covid in perspective Really well written nail biting story. I'm in awe of the resilience of the war generation and what they had to overcome. The individual stories are interwoven, each with its own pathos. However not sure of the title. To me there were only two main female characters!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Bradbrook

    An insight into the Blitz on Liverpool in 1941 This is a very graphic account of the impact on Liverpool and ordinary people's lives in May 1941. Not a literary epic but a gripping story. Makes one realise what life must be like in the various warn torn areas of the world over the last many decades. An insight into the Blitz on Liverpool in 1941 This is a very graphic account of the impact on Liverpool and ordinary people's lives in May 1941. Not a literary epic but a gripping story. Makes one realise what life must be like in the various warn torn areas of the world over the last many decades.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rita Mahan

    I am just a huge fan of Helen Forrester. She may not be the world's best writer but something about her books totally grabs me.. Another story set in Liverpool during the many bombings there. Her characters are heartfelt and the story is certainly not white-washed, very gritty and certainly heartbreaking but the determination of these folks certainly comes through. I am just a huge fan of Helen Forrester. She may not be the world's best writer but something about her books totally grabs me.. Another story set in Liverpool during the many bombings there. Her characters are heartfelt and the story is certainly not white-washed, very gritty and certainly heartbreaking but the determination of these folks certainly comes through.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jen Chace

    WWII Liverpool, England Interesting reading of the 3 women during the bombing; their emotions and bravery during a terrible time. The history is fascinating; I like learning and enjoy the story. The part that made me smile was Sickos after his hospital stay was with Mrs Pickle and what happened.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christina m hunt

    Good zRead Great WWII historical novel. Very revealing and made me feel like I was there. I don't know how they survived the bombings and the German barrage every night. They kept each other alive with a cuppa tea and a fake it until you make it attitude. Enjoy! Good zRead Great WWII historical novel. Very revealing and made me feel like I was there. I don't know how they survived the bombings and the German barrage every night. They kept each other alive with a cuppa tea and a fake it until you make it attitude. Enjoy!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carly

    Not a favourite Some parts of this book i found boring. It was slow to start and I almost gave up but persistented and found some of the story lines dragged on with no meaningful outcome..

  30. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Trammell

    Sweet story This was hair raising to the climax. What these poor people endured was awful. But, you have to keep on going. Anyone I think would love this book.

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