Courage of the Shipyard Girls

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 24 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

Courage of the Shipyard Girls by Nancy Revell has readers revisiting Sunderland in 1942.  Polly Elliot has just received a letter that her fiancé, Tommy Watts is missing in action.  Polly will be relying on her friends and family to get her through the uncertain days ahead.  Rosie is worried about her new husband, Peter who is currently on assignment in France.  Her sister, Charlotte is causing trouble at her expensive boarding school because she wants to live with Rosie.  Rosie, though, is worried that Charlotte would find out about her night job.  Gloria is raising her daughter, Hope on her own since Jack Crawford was forced away to Scotland.  Thankfully, they can keep in touch through letters and phone calls.  Helen Crawford has not heard from Jack which has led to her current predicament.  Helen has been spending time with Gloria and Hope.  The tough shipyard manager needs guidance and Gloria is the one person who can provide it.  Angie and Dorothy are getting an opportunity to have their own flat thanks to Rosie’s friend, George.  Getting them away from their families help alleviate some of the leverage Miriam Crawford holds over the welders.  The shipyard girls are going to need each other to get through the rest of the war and the devastation that lies ahead.

Courage of the Shipyard Girls is the sixth novel in The Shipyard Girls series.  You do need to read the books in this series in order.  Otherwise, you will not have the characters backstories.  I thought Courage of the Shipyard Girls was well-written with charming characters.  I always look forward to each new adventure with the shipyard girls.  We have been with the ladies since they first joined the work force at J.L. Thompson & Sons.  I have enjoyed watching these ladies grow as individuals and with their friendship over the last six books.  Polly, Helen, Rosie and Gloria are the featured characters in Courage of the Shipyard Girls.  The other ladies are present, but they are not as prominently featured.  Angie and Dorothy provide comic relief as always.  The story progresses at a nice steady clip as we delve into the characters lives.  You never know what will happen next in these ladies lives especially with Miriam thrown into the mix.  I certainly hope she gets her comeuppance.  Courage of the Shipyard Girls is an emotional and realistic novel.  Nancy Revell has captured what it felt like for these people to be at home, working hard while the men are off fighting.  The bombings that took place, working hard to make and repair ships, rationing of food and clothing, blackouts, children sent away from areas that are being bombarded by the Germans are some of the elements featured in the books.  I especially like how the ladies are always there for each other.  They are going to need each other if they are to have the courage to carry on and survive the war.  Admirers of The Shipyard Girls series will enjoy how the story ends (I could not read fast enough) and we get a glimpse of what is to occur in the next book in The Shipyard Girls series.
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Courage of the Shipyard Girls is the sixth in the Shipyard Girls series by Nancy Revell which follows a group of women working in one of Sunderland's busiest shipyards during World War Two. I've been following this group of extraordinary, courageous, hard working and determined women right from the very beginning and each and every one of them has established a firm place in my heart. Nancy Revell has built up a strong set of characters each with their own troubles and strife’s to deal with amidst the backdrop of war.

I love how some characters come to the fore in one book but then take more of a back seat in the next. Having a significant amount of women to focus on, if each book featured them all in a prominent role I feel the author would be stretching the storylines far too thin and for the reader the books would become hard to follow, having to focus on too many people at once. Each character wouldn't get their time in the spotlight that they deserve to highlight their issues and share their experiences with the reader. No character is ever forgotten about and we always still get to see a continuation of their various storylines but in this book it is Polly and the traumatic situation that has befallen her alongside a major turning point for Helen that is the main focus.

You have to have hope until you know for certain is one of the main themes running through the book and this couldn't be more apt than for Polly. Her fiancée Tommy Watts has been declared missing, presumed dead whilst clearing mines from boats in Gibraltar. Polly is devastated and this heartache pervades throughout the book as she can't begin to fathom that she may never see her beloved again. The author wrote so tenderly yet realistically of the sorrow and pain of not knowing for certain what had happened to Tommy. But as the title suggests courage, bravery, belief and hope must still remain a part of Polly because until something is confirmed she will not give up believing that Tommy could still somehow be alive. Polly was in very real danger of completely falling apart, of breaking away from the unit the women have created through their work welding in the shipyards. I felt she wanted to become distant, lost in her own thoughts of grief but also anger that this had happened to Tommy. But the women wouldn't let that happen. They were there for her every step of the way and if needed they would have propped her up and encouraged her to keep going for that is what Tommy would have wanted

That's what I love about this series, apart from all the brilliant little storylines all bubbling away since book one, some of which are starting to reach a climax, is the focus on the strength of the bonds of friendship the women have established. These links are beginning to go beyond friendship to mean something an awful lot more. They have become like one large family, a sisterhood which can never be broken despite what hardships and struggles the war throws in their paths. Led by Rosie, whose storyline had a significant presence in the first few books, these women are all unique and special in their own ways but when they come together they are a force to be reckoned with and will always band together to help anyone who needs it. Rosie didn't have as much of a role to play this time around given her new husband Peter is away doing his bit for the war but I sense in the next book things are about to get an awful lot more complicated for Rosie.

Gloria too, has had very significant storylines in the past but here I felt she very much took on a supportive and encouraging role for Helen. Gloria was almost the mother figure Helen lacks in her life and at a time when she needs it the most. Gloria had gotten to know Helen better, she could see beneath the façade that Helen had created and that underneath it all she was weak and vulnerable and needed someone to give her the right advice and support she so desperately needed. All the other girls dislike Helen intensely, and to be honest they had very good reason to, but since the previous book as I have seen a softer side to Helen, I am really starting to warm to her and this book confirmed that feeling even more. Helen really has been through the wringer and has been taken advantage of and discarded by more than one person. She feels abandoned and used but at the same time she is filled with a rage for what has happened and I thought the way she exacted her revenge was not over the top but rather subtle but at the same time there was force and true strength and resilience behind it.

As for her family members, well her mother Miriam is one of the most evil characters I have read about in a long time. The way she treats Helen is abhorrent and the hold she has over people and the strings she is pulling should never have been allowed to have happened. She is a despicable person and I really hope that in the future she very much gets the comeuppance she truly and utterly deserves. I want certain things to come out in the open to see the reaction of others. She should have been loving and caring towards Helen especially in her situation but she was the exact opposite and that's why I am glad that Gloria was there to step into that role. I'm not saying that relationship came quick and easy, nothing in life does but I am enjoying seeing both women strengthen the bonds of friendship into something more. They are both aware of the bigger picture and are working towards achieving a more positive outcome for everyone. They say a leopard never changes its spots but Helen is undergoing a transformation and it is a joy to behold. I only hope the other girls will be able to see this too. As for the introduction of Dr. John Parker and his role in Helen's storyline, I hope this will turn into something more in the future. Things are simmering along nicely and I am keen to see what direction the Nancy Revell will take Helen's storyline in next.

Courage of the Shipyard Girls moved along at a nice pace and advanced each persons storyline, some perhaps more so than others, but I have come to expect that with this series of books. I know whoever we didn't get to see much of this time around will feature more heavily in the next book or two. I'm really enjoying this series and observing how things are progressing for the women. The topics dealt with are relevant to the time but also all the time is the constant worry and threat of fearing for loved ones away fighting or else that bombs will fall upon them taking someone they love dearly. The last quarter of the book had me rapidly turning the pages as a spectacular scene fraught with tension, worry and danger unfolded. It was brilliantly written and my heart was in my mouth throughout. I couldn't believe what was unfolding before my eyes and there was more than a mild sense of panic that permanent heartache and devastation would ensue. Things got a little too close for comfort and I think all the characters felt that too. As for that final page, well that has certainly set the cat among the pigeons and I was gutted the book had to end with so many questions and an even more intriguing storyline that was being set up.

Courage of the Shipyard Girls was another enjoyable read from Nancy Revell that has solidified how much I love this series. Thankfully there will be another book to come later this year when Christmas with the Shipyard Girls will be published.
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I had never read any of the other books in this series, I am now going to.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the characters were interesting and engaging.  Highly recommended.  I can't wait to read more about these characters.
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This is book six of the lives and times of the lady welders of Sunderland. It is now 1942 and Polly gets news that her beloved Tommy is missing. Not knowing if he’s dead or in a prisoner of war camp her friends all try to support her. Helen thought she was in love with Tommy but she has worry’s of her own after getting together with Theo. The girls do have some good news to celebrate with Gloria finally getting her divorce. This is yet another great read in Nancy’s fab series and luckily for us readers as it’s only 1942 there are hopefully lots more great books to come. I recommend this series all fabulous reads
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Courage Of The Shipyard Girls is another enthralling addition to the Shipyard Girls series which seems to just get better and better.

One of the things I like the most about this series is that the books always start off where the last book ended. There is never a lot of preamble or recapping of the story which is what normally happens in similar books. Instead the reader is thrown straight into the story again and the lives of the Shipyard Girls.

I absolutely adore the wonderful descriptions of the friendships that exist between the Shipyard girls. They truly care about each other, knowing instantly that something is wrong with one of them and jumping to try and comfort each other in their time of need, I found myself wishing that I could be their friend as they sounded so fun and lovely to be around,

The story line was quite an emotional one for me as Polly has always been one of my favourite characters and I really felt for her when she gets news of her husband being missing in action. Her relationship with Tommy has always made me smile and the fact that readers of the series have seen the relationship develop right from the start made for a very poignant read. I felt very involved in the story, feeling anxious alongside Polly as she waits for news.

The story is quite a fast paced one as there is always something happening with one of the characters to keep the reader entertained and firmly glued to the page. The story lines were well developed but never rushed allowing the reader to fully enjoy them and become fully immersed in the story.

I’ve read all the books in this series and can’t wait to read the next installment. If you are looking for a fantastic historical series to get stuck into then you need to try this series as it is utterly brilliant!

Huge thanks to Rachel Kennedy for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book via Netgalley that I received in exchange for an honest review.
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What a fabulous story of life in and around the shipyards during the war years i have grown to love Martha,Dorothy,Angie,Polly,Gloria and Rosie.The lady welders have a very close bond and know when something is wrong before being told.Rosie is still having problems with her little sister wanting to come home but is standing her ground.Gloria and Hope are still meeting with Helen and a strong bond is forming between them and one that Helen needs as her home life gets unbearable.I will say that this book really surprised me but it is most surely worthy of more than 5* it is an excellent book.Well done to Nancy Revell.
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This is book #6 of the Shipyard Girls series.  It can be read as a standalone, but it does make sense to read the books in order to understand the back stories of the characters.  We’re are back in 1942, following on from the previous book, Victory for the Shipyard Girls and the girls working on the shipyards in Sunderland are still bravely soldiering on whilst war rages around them.  This book focusses on Polly who receives news that her sweetheart, Tommy is missing, presumed dead.  Naturally devastated, Polly is lucky enough to have the support of her friends around her – the fellow women welders of the shipyard – who rally round each other whilst they wait for news.

This is only my second book of this series that I have read, so I’m joining the Shipyard Girls party really late!  I have though enjoyed both books I have read and am looking forward to catching up with the books I have missed and more books that will possibly come!  I love wartime based books and find they are, whilst sad sometimes, stories that leave you with that feel good glow!  This book did exactly that!  I did feel for poor Polly at the beginning of the book after she received the news about Tommy, but the camaraderie of her fellow welders and friends makes you realise that despite the bombings, rationing and loss of loved ones, the women left behind simply picked themselves up and got on with things!  A trust testament to the good old British spirit!!

Poppy was a lovely character and I really enjoyed her story.  All of the characters were lovable though and it was heart-warming to see how they all looked after each other, despite the fact that they all had their own troubles and worries also.  The location of the story was also really interesting!  I’ve never been to the North East of England and the way the book was written gave me great pictures in my mind of what the area must have been like in the height of the war, particularly with all the working shipyards which were targets for the air raids.

It was a fantastic continuation of the girls’ story and so enjoyable.  I’ve had tears in my eyes and a smile on my face as I’ve read this story filled with love, family and friends.  Would definitely recommend, and I can’t wait for the next one in the series!
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In Courage of the Shipyard Girls we catch up will all the girls but in particular we read about Polly and Helen. The girls are staying strong and carrying on despite all worrying about someone who is away fighting the war. I really enjoy reading about the courage that everyone had at this period in our history, it makes you proud to be British.
Nancy Revell has created a fantastic saga that could literally have fallen from the TV. As a reader you feel like you are right there watching all the action take place.  The words on the pages come alive and float around you morphing into the noisy setting of the Shipyard or the streets of Sunderland and the girls having a gossip over a cuppa tea on their lunch break. Each book flows into the next without leaving you with a disappointing ending while you wait for the next book but with hope that all is well until the next book arrives.
I couldn't be more happy for Nancy and the success she has had with The Shipyard Girls. These books are highly recommended. If you want to see what others are saying about Victory for the Shipyard Girls continue to follow the blog tour.
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I have been with the Shipyard Girls since the very beginning and I really hope to be a part of their lives for many years to come. It is 1942 the war is still on and it seems such a long time since it started and there doesn't seem to be any end in sight. These characters didn't know that they were going to have to weather another 3 years.

Polly one of the hardest working 'Shipyard' girls is left devastated when her Tommy goes missing, grief is breaking her heart and her heart is only going to be broken once. Everyone worries about Polly, when they can see she will only love the once.

Helen, thought she was in love with Tommy at one time as well. In fact she probably is but when her affections are taken by Theo in the previous novel, the result reveals a testing time for Helen and her family. Her decision is going to change everything but when that decision is taking out of her hands, she turns to Gloria.

Their forging friendship is very much a secret but when catastrophic events mean help comes from all over the place everyone gets to see a different side to Helen.

Bel is still coming to terms with her parentage and the thread started in a previous book is wound through this one and certainly will feature I am sure in subsequent novels. Secrets cannot be kept forever, not when others are starting to see something familiar.

Rosie is struggling with the right decision for her sister Charlotte, Sunderland is not necessarily the safest place to be. Lily and George have decided to get married at last. Kate the wonderful seamstress is thrilled to be designing and making the dress and she has an admirer as well. I could go on with snippets of all the comings and goings but there is no fun in that - you will need to catch up on everyone's news yourself. 

All the characters I have got to know and love are all featured, as in any long running series, they are sometimes in the background and sometimes featured heavily in the storylines. Nancy Revell treats every one of them with care, love and respect and I cannot wait to continue my journey at the Shipyard and find out what else the war is going to throw at them as they try and survive.

I heartily recommend this series of books. You could start with this one, but why deprive yourself of the previous five then you can completely immerse yourself in the Shipyard Girls and get to know them as well as I do. For me one of the best series of sagas around and without a doubt a simple joy to read the books when they are published.
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Absolutely brilliant! I love this series, such great characters and very well written. I was so excited for this installment of the series and it didn't disappoint. Can't wait for the next one!
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