Cover Image: Wartime at Liberty's

Wartime at Liberty's

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Member Reviews

Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for allowing me to read this Arc.
The third in the delightful Liberty's series. This one concentrated on Flo. Another feel good from Fiona Ford. Full of laughs with a few tears and drama thrown in. I absolutely loved it and would highly recommend it.
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This is the third book in the "Liberty girls" series from Fiona Ford. She does give you little flashbacks to the previous books in case you forgot who's who, or if you are reading it as a standalone.

In each book there is someone who makes life hard for the Liberty girls and their friends and this one was no exception. A character called Evie arrives to work at Liberty's and she is a real piece of work. There are also two other "bad pennies" who roll in to cause trouble. I know it wouldn't be real life without them but I do find myself getting het up!

I wasn't sure I would like this book as much as the others but I loved it just as much. It was great to be back amongst old friends and find out what was going to happen to them. This book centres around Flo and her life since she became widowed. She has a lot to process about her way forward in life, but the others give her good advice and i was pleased with how her story turned out.

The ending of the book gave some real twists to the story if you've been following from the beginning. I've invested so much in these characters that I'm still reeling from the revelation which affects one of the original characters.  Yet again a brilliant insight into social history, much of which I was unaware of.

I wonder if there will be a fourth book? It would be great to know what happens to everyone next after the war.
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Another wonderful tale in the Libertys series by Fiona Ford! Full of exciting twists and turns and fully engaging. I enjoyed every minute of it. Beautiful writing and a heartwarming story.
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Reeling from the shock of unimaginable grief - will Flo ever regain the spirit to follow her dreams? Meanwhile, Jean and Bess are protecting a deep secret - will it's discovery strengthen the bond of friendship with the Liberty Girls or break it forever? And could Liberty's unsavoury new fabrics employee be up to no good?

Fiona Davies sheds light on the next chapter of her beloved Liberty Girls lives. Once again set against the backdrop of 1940's London, the harsh reminders of war are ever present, tearing gaping holes in the fabric of the girls lives. But together, the friends are a force to be reckoned with. 

'Wartime at Liberty's' is a story of the power of friendship and the support of loved ones in times of tragedy. 

The characters were a little repetitive and the story a bit slow in places, however, the book concluded with some exciting and unexpected plot twists.
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Wartime at Liberty’s is Book 3 in The Liberty Girls saga series from Fiona Ford.

Set around the iconic Carnaby Street department store at the height of the Blitz in London, the series is described as a ‘heart-warming story of friendship and courage in WWII inspired by the real men and women who worked at Liberty during the 1940s' On a trip to the store Fiona Ford discovered a plaque dedicated to the men and women who lost their lives during WWII. She was very much intrigued by their stories, and secured rare access to Liberty’s records and archives providing her with the background information to write about these incredible people.

It’s always a treat to wrap myself up in this saga series from Fiona Ford. It’s like a warm hug returning to the stories of these brave and courageous women. Fiona Ford focuses her attention on one character in each book and this time it is that of Florence (Flo) Canning. Flo has a fascinating back story and her strength and bravery has been very evident in the previous books but now Flo is struggling. News that her love, her husband, Neil is dead, a casualty of the fight on the sea puts Flo into a state of shock. Her grief at the loss of Neil is compounded by the fact that they had parted on a disagreement. Flo now feels that she is in someway responsible for Neil’s tragic death and decides that work will soothe her grief. Her friends are there for her, Alice, Mary, Dot and Rose and Mr Button but Flo closes down and refuses to reveal to any of them the extra level of guilt she carries.

Life in Liberty’s is challenging. The shop maintains it’s solidarity with the war effort, doing all it can to keep the show on the road but it’s hard times with everyone expected to do more…always more. The Liberty girls are a stalwart bunch and with determination and a incredible sense of what’s right, they take it all on the chin and battle on.

Flo embraces her role as fabrics manager. She is tough and, although her staff are more than just colleagues, she runs a tight ship, taking no guff from any member. With the Liberty’s store manager, Edwin Button, regularly away on other war-related business, Flo has to deal with a new deputy store manager, Henry Masters. Henry is very secretive but is a diligent worker, adept at managing the store and keeping tabs on everyone. He has ideas but respects the existing staff and is careful not to step on too many toes. With the arrival of a new member of staff, temperatures rise and the atmosphere within the fabric department changes causing Flo to suspect that all is not as it seems.

Flo loved to sing but since the death of Neil she has been unable to find the strength and the courage to raise her voice again. The guilt of his loss and the argument they had when they last communicated means that Flo is unable to use her voice to escape the chaos and noise of wartime existence. Through Henry Masters she does assist in playing piano for school children and while it gives her some moments of peace, she is still riddled with remorse.

Wartime at Liberty’s is a novel about friendship. The Liberty girls have a tight relationship. All have suffered during these terrifying years but their resilience and support for each other is a constant. Flo’s story is uplifting, inspiring. Her dreams are lifted up by her friends. Their unqualified support for each other is a force to be reckoned with. A mix of personalities, all with their own personal issues, all with a courage and a determination to survive with a smile on their faces and a glow in their hearts.

Wartime at Liberty’s is Flo Canning’s story but it is also much more than that. For those of you who love reading from the saga series genre, these Liberty Girls will make you smile and provide you with much needed warmth during these difficult times. A smile can change everything in a minute and Flo and her friends are a testament to that.

Wartime at Liberty’s is another charming and engaging, compassionate read from Fiona Ford. A thoroughly uplifting and joyous read.
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Fiona Ford takes her readers back to the glorious Liberty’s department store in London with a moving, dramatic and immensely engaging saga set during the Second World War: Wartime at Liberty’s. Heart-rending, emotional and enjoyable, saga fans are in for a treat with this latest terrific instalment.

In 1942, people all across the land are going through a difficult time. Worried about their loved ones on the front and at home, constantly on edge with bombing being a regular occurrence and forever struggling to keep fed, clothed and sheltered, everyone is in a perennial state of worry and agitation. Flo Canning has certainly had her fair share of anguish during this war and when she receives the news that she has been dreading since war broke out, her heart will simply never be the same again. Having lost all hope and with her heart shattered beyond repair, Flo throws herself into her work as fabric manager at Liberty’s and it is her job that proves to be her salvation during her hour of need. Luckily for her, Flo is surrounded by kind-hearted and generous colleagues who are always willing to help out and try as hard as they can to ease her suffering, even if Flo’s thoughts are never too far from the misery which she has endured.

Flo, however, must not under any circumstances allow herself to dwell on what might have been. She needs to keep herself active and her mind must not stray into territory that will only succeed in plunging her even deeper into despair. Her job at Liberty’s certainly keeps her occupied and the arrival of a new deputy store manager soon keeps Flo and her workmates on their toes. Henry Masters’ arrival will definitely shake things up at the department store, but it will also have repercussions and consequences which nobody could have foreseen or predicted! Things might be changing at Liberty’s, but what hasn’t changed is the heartache that is ahead for everybody as Britain continues fighting the enemy and trying its hardest to obliterate those who wish her harm. With life changing on a sixpence and capable of transforming joy into sadness in a split second, Flo and her friends will need to be there for one another because the war isn’t over yet and the only certainty they have is that the road ahead is paved with difficulty and despair and it is only your friends’ love and support that will see you through.

Fiona Ford writes sagas that enable her readers to feel as if they are experiencing the story alongside her protagonists and Wartime at Liberty’s is a brilliant read that will make them laugh, cry and feel the entire gamut of emotions her characters endure in the course of the novel. Wartime at Liberty’s is a tale of hope, courage, sadness and endurance that exquisitely recreates life in wartime London. Fiona Ford knows the period she writes about so well and creates characters that will jump off the pages and feel like close friends at the end of the novel.

Wonderfully written, immensely emotional and spellbinding, losing oneself in a Fiona Ford saga is a marvellous treat readers would be foolish to deny themselves.
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Those who have read the first two books in this series will find a welcome return to the Liberty Girls, those strong and determined characters, who have been such an integral part of this historical saga. Set amongst the splendour of the Liberty's store in London, this story follows the trials and tribulations of the girls as they seek to keep the store profitable during the eventful war years. Of course, it's not all about the store and salesmanship, it's also the personal interest stories which make this series so enjoyable. 

I have especially enjoyed reading Flo's story in this novel. Her sadness at the beginning of the book is sensitively explained, and her role as the manager of the Liberty's fabric department is not without its challenges, however, Flo has some difficult choices to make, not just in her professional life as part of the management of this fine London store, but also in her personal life. The introduction of new characters adds an interesting dimension to the story and enhances the enjoyment.

The author certainly knows how to bring everything to life and her detailed description of life in wartime London along with the personal tragedies and heartbreak show a poignant side of life, and yet, there are also the small triumphs and happy moments which really help to create a lovely authentic atmosphere. 

Beautifully written, with down to earth characters and a genuine warmth, Wartime at Liberty's has that little bit of something extra which will appeal to loyal fans of this author, or equally, if you are new to the series it can be read as a standalone story.
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Wartime at Liberty's in the third book in Fiona Ford's Liberty Girls series but the first I have read; however, it didn't take me too long to get to know the various characters and their relationships with one another and so although I'd always recommend reading the novels in order if possible, I am happy to reassure other newcomers that it's perfectly possible to start here!
The prologue of the novel shows Flo Canning and her husband, Neil having a disagreement about her singing against his wishes and then subsequently lying about it. His angry decision to return early to his ship becomes tragically heartbreaking when the storyline moves forward two months and we discover he was killed in action. Although this series is about the group of women working in Liberty's, the focus of this novel is definitely Flo with the others mostly having supportive roles here. At first she is tormented by grief and guilt, believing her husband died hating her. It's a poignant reflection on the emotional impact of wartime and the tragedy of ordinary arguments between couples resulting in almost unbearable heartbreak at times.
However, although I felt great sympathy for Flo, I must admit there were times when her decision to punish herself by turning her back on singing exasperated me. It's a credit to Fiona Ford's empathetic writing that even though it was obvious that she would eventually need to return to something so important to her, I always interested to see how and when it would happen. Most of the other characters are immensely likeable, even when they are making mistakes and I particularly enjoyed the subplot featuring sisters, Jean and Bess. There is a surprising revelation about the secret they have been keeping which gives us a fascinating and moving insight into the morals of the time.
Flo's role as fabric manager at Liberty's means she often has to support her friends and colleagues, just as they are there for her when she needs them. However, there is one character introduced here who is one of those people you can't help but love to hate. Although there is an attempt to introduce at least a small element of sympathy for what she has been through, I'm sure I won't be the only reader desperate for her downfall. In contrast, new deputy store manager, Henry Masters is a lovely addition to the series - even if he does come with secrets of his own. The end of the Blitz means most of the drama here is of the emotional kind but tragedy can still unexpectedly strike and I must really commend Fiona Ford here for her decision to include what is a desperately upsetting event which really hits hard as a sombre reminder of the dangers faced on the home front.
Wartime at Liberty's is a beautifully structured novel which allows the story to unfold gradually, slowly revealing secrets about each of the characters and although I guessed some parts, I was surprised a few times too. Fiona Ford's vibrant descriptions of Liberty's really brings the store to life and she captures the essence of the period well too. This heartwarming, uplifting story is as rich as any fabric sold in Liberty's and will be enjoyed by anybody who loves saga fiction. I'm looking forward to discovering what comes next for the Liberty Girls!
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Wartime at Liberty's is the third in the Liberty Girls series by Fiona Ford and what another enjoyable journey I undertook with the girls who work in the world famous London department store. This time around the book concentrates on Flo who has recently lost her husband Neil whose ship was torpedoed. She is certainly going through a very rough time trying to come to terms with her new normal. Life for her and so many others had already been altered with the outbreak of war but now three years in she feels all her hopes and dreams have been dashed with the loss of Neil.

Flo gave herself a really hard time throughout this story as guilt eats away at her. This guilt changes her perspective and long term outlook on life and its only if she can overcome what is eating away at her that she can return to some sense of normality. The last time she saw Neil they parted on an argument, the subject of which was her failure to give up the singing she loves so much. Music runs through her blood and her voice is loved by many. She has such a talent but Neil doesn't want her doing this preferring her to keep working away in the fabric department of Liberty's. She receives a letter from Neil where he is very angry with her as he hates dishonesty and Flo has kept singing behind his back.

But now Neil is gone and she feels it would be dishonourable to him to keep up her music. To be honest I thought Neil created a lot of fuss over nothing even though an explanation was given. The fact the last time she saw him leaves her with such bad memories, this really affected how she dealt with the grieving process. Flo was punishing herself, unnecessarily in my opinion, throughout the book and her friends and co workers could see this too. But how could they get through to her? She is also dealing with the recent loss of Aggie, the woman who brought her up. So she is struggling with a double blow in a short space of time.

Flo questions as to who she is any more. Her life has lost its sparkle and the enjoyment she got from working at Liberty's is dissipating but life goes on and she must return to work. What I really love about this series of books is that yes it focuses on one specific character at a time but the other girls also are not forgotten from book to book. So we do get to hear about how things are going with Dorothy, Mary, Alice, Rose and Jean too in the day to day workings of the shop. Liberty's provides a focus that brings the girls together and the shop also gives us plenty of really juicy story lines. I love that a baddie of sorts is introduced in each story, set to cause trouble and upset when the girls are just trying to make the best of a bad situation. It's like the work politics we all know of and experience in our own lives and the reader can see what is going on and just desperately wants to tell the girls what is happening behind their backs so they can set about solving it.

But I think Flo given her former role as deputy manager of the department, a role she steps back into briefly in this book, has equipped her well enough to see that things are not quite right. If she did a little digging she might get some answers. I had my suspicions as to what was going on with a certain character and knew the minute they made an appearance that they had plenty up their sleeve and were out to ruffle more than a few feathers in any way possible. But the girls try to keep their lives positive and the costumers satisfied and make them feel special. Community spirit, friendships, solidarity, work bonds and so much more form the core values that the girls have and it is so enjoyable to read of a group of women who are there for each other through thick and thin.

A new character comes in the form of Henry Masters, the new deputy store manager who wants to bring about change. He has his own interesting back story and I felt there was an awful lot that could happen with the development of his character and his introduction opened up many other avenues for the different women to be explored. There are many strands branching out from the main plot throughout this book and that's what makes this such an enjoyable read. The fact there is never any lull in what is going on and you are eagerly turning the pages to see who might be mentioned next. The war does play a role, of course it has to as the actions, emotions and viewpoints of every character are deeply affected by it but this is different from many of the war time saga books. It really concentrates on what was going on on the home front specifically Liberty's and its workers and whilst reading it allows you to forget about what was raging on as the everyday problems a lot of which might have befallen them whether war was happening or not. Fiona Ford is brilliant at keeping her readers engaged and keen to know what will happen next and by focusing on one specific character as the main thread for each book she really lets that character develop and the reader becomes deeply invested in them whereas in another book Flo would just be a passing character to me and I wouldn't pay her much heed.

I felt Flo desperately needed guidance and almost some sort of a sign that she shouldn't close herself off from living her life because unease, shame and regrets were eating away at her. It's only when she starts doing things for others in need that you can see some of light appearing and the shadows of the former Flo making themselves known. I thought it was admirable that she was looking out for her friends and one scene in particular led to such heartbreak but I am glad it was included because it allowed for some surprising revelations to come forth. There was another storyline which I thought was brilliant to have it included because it is never mentioned in saga books and it deserves just as much prevalence as it gets in modern books.

Wartime at Liberty's is an excellent addition to the series and even if you are new to the work of Fiona Ford I would still recommend that it can be read as a stand alone book. This collection of women are a constant in each others lives and I hope that there will be many more books to come in this personal, wonderful and inspiring series.
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I’m such a huge fan of this fantastic series, so I was incredibly excited to learn there was to be a new installment especially as it meant I got to hang out with the wonderful Liberty Girls again. I absolutely love the tight knit group they have developed and always love the scenes showing their friendship. They are so supportive of each other through difficult times that I often found myself getting teary whilst reading. I would love to know them all personally and be part of their group.

Flo was always one of my favourite characters and I enjoyed getting to catch up with her again though I wish it was in happier circumstances. It was great to see her adjust to her new circumstances and develop throughout the book. The new characters including the store deputy Henry Masters helps send the story in a new direction and help make things very interesting at Liberty’s. I like how the author always manages to keep the story fresh by introducing new people to the group in such a realistic way.

This story had a lovely flow to it and I found myself drawn into the story from the first page and lost in Flo’s world. The author cleverly includes some historical details into the story in a gentle way so the story never feels bogged down with it. I enjoyed learning about all the changes happening in the war especially learning more about the utility fabrics and the changes to adoption which I hadn’t read much about before. The story is told in such a way that the reader starts to feel part of the group and very fond of the characters so all that happens feels very personal. I now can’t wait to read more from this amazing series!

Huge thanks to Rachel Kennedy from Arrow publishing for inviting me onto the blog tour and for my copy of this book via Netgalley.
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It is 1942 and the war is now in full force in London. However, the foundations of Liberty’s remain strong and the Liberty girls are as loyal as ever. Flo is back in her role as head of the fabric department but is nursing some fresh heartache as the dangers of war remain ever present. By her side through the highs and lows are her foundling Liberty family and she will need them as she faces the many new challenges. 

I was so excited to catch up with the Liberty Girls! I have become so invested in this series and the girls lives that I couldn’t wait to get reacquainted with them. I was really pleased this story follows Flo’s perspective because along with Alice she is my favourite character. Fiona Ford did not go easy on us readers. Within the first 10 pages tragedy strikes and in a way I did not foresee. I feel like these books always balance well the realities of war alongside show casing the importance of family in helping you get through these. She also wasn't afraid to tackle some difficult topics that I haven't seen covered in similar historical fiction books. 

There is a new deputy manager at the helm of Liberty’s, and I was slightly worried that Flo would clash with him as both Mary and Alice have with previous deputy’s managers. Although Flo did have her run ins with Henry, their relationship was built much more on mutual respect with Flo being able to speak her mind when she felt she needed to. As a result, we saw a nice friendship develop between both of us. 

With every new book comes new characters and this one was no exception. We saw the addition of deputy store manager Henry; we also saw a new staff member in Evie added to the fabric department. There is also Henry’s friend Celia and Jean and Bess who we met in the previous book and get to know a little better this time around. With lots of new characters being introduced there of course was villain amongst the bunch, but my lips are sealed as to who it turned out to be. I love that with every new book the cast of characters keeps growing making a beautiful rich family. 

As with the previous book it was great to follow one character primarily and get to know Flo better and really delve into her past a little more. It was lovely seeing her overcome tragedy and become the best version of herself and fulfilling her dreams with the help of her friends and family. As usual Fiona managed to evoke many emotions in me with smiles to tears of both joy and sadness. I would say this is definitely my favourite of the three books. It was just a lovely warm story that shows even in the darkest times there is good to be found.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I would like to thank Rachel Kennedy and Arrow publishing for asking me to review this book and be apart of the blog tour. I absolutely love The Liberty Girls series and when I saw the cover for this for the first time I was very excited and could not wait to get my hands on a copy.
In Wartime at Liberty's we follow Flo and her struggle with heartbreak. The opening scene is so sad but with her friends around her Flo is soon busy keeping occupied but her heartbreak is not far from the surface. Flo's personal life takes an unexpected turn and one I loved reading about. I was sad at the way things turned out but happy at the same time. The tragedy that occurred just this big reveal (no spoilers here) is heartbreaking to read about and think that this is what actually happened in the war. Fiona brings it to life and I almost found myself hiding under a cushion as I imagined what was about to happen. Alongside this drama there is even more drama at Liberty's and the store is at risk. However, The Liberty Girl's continue to support each other and their beloved store and the love and camaraderie shines through.    
Fiona has a brilliant story telling style that completely draws you in and as a reader that is exactly what you want. The characters in this story are like friends and I felt as if I was sat beside them while they chatted at Flo's house or stood behind the counter at Liberty's gasping in shock at Evie. I really despised that women. 
Wartime at Liberty's is an absolute amazing read and perfect for fans of wartime sagas.
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I love this series and the stories of the strong women characters.
it's an enjoyable, poignant and entertaining story as usual and the character development and the plot are as brilliant as usual.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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With thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest review.
Once again  another brilliantly engaging  story hitting on a very sensitive topic of the time.Flo's life was full to brimming  over, the liberty girls  once again  pulling  on all their  resources  as incredibly  strong  women to help each other and offer  a shoulder to cry on I am  just loving these  fantastic characters  and can't praise this book enough  truly inspirational.
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A delightful book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Lots of period details and great characters. Another winner by Fiona Ford.
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Another fabulous visit to Liberty's and the girls that work there during the war. Once again the characters are well written and beautifully developed.  
This time the story focuses on Flo as she struggles to find her voice among the heartache.  All the regular characters are there, plus a few new ones and we also learn about AND A and the morality council.  
I really hope there is more soon
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Another great read, fabulous addition to the saga. Lovely characters as always and sensitively handled in the writing style. .Can't wait to read more!
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Yet another brilliant book in this lovely family saga series. This book is just as good if not better than the previous ones
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Another brilliant book in this series a fantastic without a warm  storyline and definitely recommend this series and giving a five star rating ,look forward to more from this author.
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I have loved catching up with  Flo,Rose,Dot,Jean,Mary and Bess as continue life through the war although Flo is punishing herself for Neils death and refusing to sing again The love and friendship of the liberty girls is there for flo if and when she needs them.Henry Masters is a man who knows his fabrics and flo watches him work when serving customers as they are so busy and short staffed.Then Mr Button brings in Evie Allingham to help but things aren't that easy and dot is not happy.I have really loved this book and shall look forward to to the next.5*
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