Cover Image: Wartime Blues for the Harpers Girls

Wartime Blues for the Harpers Girls

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This book continues the series of the Harper girls.We catch up with all their lives as the struggle through the war. This is a heart warming story with lots of ups and downs. A good read.
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My thanks to netgalley for a ARC in exchange for an honest review which I freely give

We follow the girls and families from 1917 to the New yer of 1918 It is full of fun, sadness and happy times. Maggie takes ill while nursing on the front and is brought back to England, she meets a badly injured soldier who is now in a Wheel chair. Sally and Ben happily married, with Sally looking for her birth mother. It seems on Amazon that this is the last book of the series. But there is a a lot of loose ends that need tying up. I can recommend this book

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This was a very enjoyable book and was good to catch up with the characters from previous books in the series. 

Book blurb: With husbands and sons fighting for freedom, the women of Harpers are left to tackle the day-to-day affairs at home and work.
With Ben Harper away, Sally fears she is being followed by a mysterious woman. Who is she and what does she want?
Maggie Gibbs collapses seriously ill in the frontline hospitals and is brought back to England close to death. Can she be saved and what does the future hold for her and her broken heart? 
Marion Jackson’s father is on the run from the Police already wanted for murder. She fears he will return to threaten his family once more. And Beth Burrows is pregnant with her second child, worried and anxious for her husband Jack, who has been many months at sea.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced read copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls is a detailed well thought out story the transports the reader into the life's of characters that are experiencing the hardship of War...
I like how Clarke has shown how the homefront was as well as all the after effects with the convolescent homes that the soldiers when to to recover from their injuries...The historical information given is really interesting and gives an authentic feel to the plot!
The character development of Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls is good. There are lots of characters that are engaging, realistic and relatable. I really enjoyed reading about Sally and how she made the best of a poor situation and gave some businesses a chance to still operate....
I would recommend reading Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls to lovers of Historical Fiction, Sagas and Women's Fiction, as it is a captivating story love, loss and new begins. The reader can see how the friends and an entire community come together in a time of difficulty and disaster!
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The Harper Girls series is well worth a read, all the books have been really well written and very enjoyable. Life in London during the war is looking back at how things were in that era. Lovely to follow the four characters grow and develop during these times. Another 5 stars and I hope there will be more books in this series.

Thanks to Netgalley and publisher for this ARC
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Wartime Blues for the Harpers Girls by Rosie Clarke is the newest in the continuing story of a group of young woman who worked together in a department story before the beginning of World War I. We have met all these ladies in earlier books and as the war progresses, they women get older and their lives change, not always for the better, sadly. Sally is the main buyer for the store; she sets the tone. She is married to one of the owners, Ben Harper, an American who currently works in procurement for the British military. It takes him away from home a lot, but he is in very little danger. Sally is so grateful. Maggie lost her fiancé when his plane was shot down. She is now in France nursing the wounded, or was until she became deathly ill and was sent home. Marco is the homosexual window dresser for Harpers until he is recruited as a spy and sent to France where he lives and works undercover. And there are more, each with their own stories. 

This is a lovely series, showcasing what war was like off the battlefield. We tend to forget that, but the First World War had a profound impact on England and on a generation of people. These are some of the people. Clarke has imbued them with their individual stories and personalities and yet brought them together as a cohesive unit, there for one another, through good times and bad, as only woman, mostly, can be. It is a wonderful series, not racy, not bloody, but full of human emotion and tragedy. I cannot recommend this series, and this book, strongly enough. I anxiously await the next installment. 

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of Wartime Blues for the Harpers Girls by Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #netgalley #wartimebluesfortheharpersgirls
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Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clarke is the fifth book in the Jarper Girls series and one of my favourite historical fiction series. Rosie Clarke has again written  another cracker of a Harper girls book. I couldn't wait to be able to start it and revisit everyone in the Harper girls world.
We return to the Harpers in 1917, the First World War is still raging with lives being lost and everyone at home feeling the high cost of the war. Everyone has someone to worry about, be it no contact or injuries. The Harpers Store is finding it harder to source items for the shop and generally the quality of the goods are becoming inferior with the materials going to the war effort. 
Sally is doing her best to find stock to fill the shop, her husband Ben is still playing an important part in the war, helping the country he now calls his own. Sally is being followed by a woman who she doesn't know or even why? In the centre of all this Sally falls ill and Ben is scared he will lose her.
    Beth stopped working for Harpers when she had little Jack. Now she is pregnant with her second and Jack is away serving in the Merchant Navy. She comes to Harpers as a customer and to catch up with Sally.
  Maggie is a nurse on the frontline  she has been devoted to treating soldiers and helping them be comfortable in their last minutes since her Fiancé Tim died. In a sad turn of events Maggie ends up ill with the fever the soldiers get from the trenches. As she becomes stable she is shipped home to be treated at a hospital. After she is over the illness she is sent to convalesce in Devon. While there she strikes up a unlikely friendship.
  Rachel is still working at the Harper's store. Her marriage seems to be floundering, her relationship is not prospering and things are about to get a whole lot worse. Marion has been loving married life and then Reggie, her husband was sent to the front. Leaving her to care for everyone, carry on working in the hat department at Harpers and help out as a window dresser as well.
   All the Harper girls are present and correct in this Instalment. Again Rosie Clarke has brought multiple story strands and magically weaved them together so everyone is entwined with each other. I am never bored when I read these books. The fantastic sense of community and togetherness that comes with each book reminds me a little of the communities we had when I was young, and I truly miss that. Maybe that is what draws me to the Harpers, as well as the fact that they are historical sagas and I just love being in the paat with friends...friends like theae characters for sure. 
   Thank you to Rachel's Random Resources, Boldwood Books, Rosie Clarke and NetGalley for the copy of the book.
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I am a massive fan of Rosie’s work and I have been for a while.  I haven’t quite caught up with everything that she has written but I am getting there.  I especially love the series featuring the Harpers Girls.  ‘Wartime Blues For The Harpers Girls’ is the fifth book in the series and a corker of a read and then some.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Wartime Blues For The Harpers Girls’ but more about that in a bit.
As with all of Rosie’s books, I was drawn to the book by the fact that Rosie Clarke’s name was on the front cover.  Then as soon as I saw that it was the next instalment of the Harpers Girls series- well let’s just say that I felt as though all my Christmases had come at once.  I started reading ‘Wartime Blues For The Harpers Girls’ as soon as possible and I found that I just couldn’t put the book down at all.  My Kindle wasn’t exactly glued to my hand but it might as well have been because it travelled everywhere with me.  I just couldn’t bear to miss a single second of the story.  I became so wrapped up in the story that I didn’t realise just how quickly the pages were turning and how quickly the time was passing.  I finished reading ‘Wartime Blues For The Harpers Girls’ within the space of a day which is good going for me.  I found ‘Wartime Blues For The Harpers Girls’ to be a gripping and emotional read, which kept me guessing and which also kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.
‘Wartime Blues For The Harpers Girls’ is superbly written but then I think that is true of all of Rosie’s books that I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing.  Rosie certainly knows how to grab your attention and draw you into the story.  That’s how I felt at any rate.  Rosie has one of those easy going writing styles that reads more like a chat between friends rather than reading a book- I hope that makes sense.  Rosie has the knack of making the reader feel as though they are part of the story and at the heart of the action and this is all thanks to Rosie’s very vivid and realistic storytelling.  This story will certainly tug on the heartstrings and then some.
In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Wartime Blues For The Harpers Girls’ and I would recommend it to other readers.  I will certainly be reading more of Rosie’s work in the future.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.
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Wartime Blues for the Harper Girls is the fifth instalment in Rosie Clarke's much beloved Harpers Girls aga. From the start I want to say that it is possible to read and enjoy the book as a standalone, although it is better to go back to the beginning to appreciate the complexity of the plotlines and the wonderful job Rosie Clarke does with the character development in this saga.

Wartime Blues is set in 1917. The war is raging and lives have been touched and forever changed by its cruel hand. Sally Harper (it is impossible not to admire the strength of her character) is doing her best to run the Harpers, but like many other shops in the wartime, Harpers is experiencing difficulty in getting good quaility stock. Sally may not always agree with Jenni, her enterprising sister-in-law,but both of them want to keep the loyal customer base and the shop reputation. Ben Harper is doing his duty by overseeing logistics and procuring goods much needed by the soldiers in the trenches. While Maggie Gibbs is going through a really tough time in the field hospital in France. Heartbroken and overworked, she falls ill and is sent back to England to recuperate.

Meanwhile Beth Burrows, pregnant with her second child is anxious for the news of her husband, like Marion who is helping with window-dressing while talented Mr Marco is fighting in France, like countless women across Britain and other countries. Now that the united States are entering the war, they are daring to hope that the tide is going to turn and the nightmarev they've been living through may end soon. All they want is to do their duty, support each other and hope their loved ones are going to survive and come back home.

Rosie Clarke is a master of creating compelling characters and fleshing them out with fascinating details. Our protagonists continue to show their strength and kindness  in these difficult times. Their family stories are well-developed and touching.

It was great to see the historical context that defines these fictional characters and there's always so much to learn from reading books like this. The Harpers Girls still didn't have the Vote and, yet, they did their duty with love and selfless determination.

An enjoyable journey back in time, recommended to everyone who loves women's fiction.
Thank you to NetGalley and Boldwood  Books for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
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This is a book about the brave women during WWI who kept things going at ‘home’. It tells of the hardships they underwent, the fear, the loss and the feeling of everything in their world being turned upside down. And yet, they dug deep and found the resources to not only survive but also take care of the family and friends and serve the larger community. Taking business decisions they’ve never had to before, they move forward as best they can holding on to kindness and community in the face of sheer terror.

A very well written and inspiring book which will be enjoyed by those who like books set in the WWI years.

I’ve not read the earlier four books in the Harper’s Emporium series, I enjoyed this book as a standalone. Having said that, I’d love to read the previous books in this series as well.
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★★★★★ 4.5 stars (rounded up)

I have still yet to read the very first book in this series and possibly go back and re-read the second, which I didn't really enjoy all that much, because from the third book onwards I have found myself invested in the lives of the Harpers girls and all of that therein. I read "Harpers Heroes" back to back with this one WARTIME BLUES FOR THE HARPERS GIRLS and I think that this is possibly the best yet in the series.

Whilst "Love and Marriage" saw the girls amidst the suffragette movement, "Rainy Days" marked the beginning of the war and "Heroes" took us into 1915 and the throes of war, WARTIME BLUES FOR THE HARPERS GIRLS takes us into 1917 and the third year of WW1 with finally an end in sight. I'm guessing the next book will see the end of the war and the onset of the deadly Spanish flu.

Throughout the series we have watched the girls grow and become women, most of them marrying and some even having children. What began as four unmarried women - Beth, Sally, Maggie and Rachel - joining Harpers in the beginning has now become an even bigger assemblage fondly referred to as the "Harpers family". There have been good times and bad times, laughter and tears as the journey with Harpers continues.

It's 1917 and the Great War continues to claim more lives as the results of the loss of loved ones as well as the continual shortages are felt at home. Harpers has felt the sting of shortages as none of their suppliers are able to access the materials they had been before the onset of war, therefore the quality of products are suffering and Sally Harper tries her best to source newer and more interesting items to ensure the shelves of Harpers remains sufficiently stocked. Meanwhile, her husband Ben continues his secret work for the War Office, often leaving his wife and now four year old daughter Jenny for weeks at a time. Sally knows Ben, as an American, is doing his bit for the war effort and the country he now calls his own. On top of all this, Sally is being followed by a mysterious woman. Who is she and what does she want? Whilst continuing to balance work and home lives respectively, Sally falls ill and Ben fears he may lose her.

Since the birth of her first child, little Jack, Beth gave up her job at Harpers and is now expecting her second. Her husband Jack is still away for months at a time with the Merchant Navy, sometimes with little to no word. She frequents Harpers to make purchases and see her friends or just to enjoy tea and a chat with Sally in her office. Beth doesn't play as big a part in this book as she has in the past but she is still there in the background.

Working as a VAD nurse in a Field Hospital close to the frontline, Maggie has devoted her life to treating wounded soldiers and making comfortable those on the brink of death...particularly after the death of her fiance Tim. Her former colleague Sadie had left the service when she fell pregnant and is now living with a French family in the village where they would often vist. But after years of devotion to the treatment of soldiers, Maggie herself falls ill with a fever and delirium. As soon as she has stabilised enough, she is sent on a ship back home where she is to be treated in a hospital in Wiltshire. It seems after caring for so many soldiers she had picked up a fever they often carried from the trenches and she was thus lucky to be alive. After several weeks in the hospital she is sent to the countryside in Devon to convalesce where she meets the belligerent and irritable Captain Colin Morgan, who seems to have taken exception to Maggie for her having acquired the mostly unused annexe for her room in a house full of men that the Captain had seen as his own. Knowing he is lashing out due to his own situation, Maggie has seen many like him and treats him accordingly as she would have any other soldier under her care. And the two form an unlikely friendship.

Rachel continues to work as supervisor at Harpers while her personal life seems to be falling apart. Having married William Bailey and living in the beautiful flat he had decorated for her, she now finds herself mostly alone with William often working away. When he us home it feels as if he is absent or at the club with his friends and Rachel begins to wonder if he has regrets about marrying her. But nothing will prepare her for the news that is to come and sees William sent away where she will be unable to see him or even write to him. Until one day, she comes across a little girl sitting hunched over on the ground in tears, her mother having just died and her grandmother throwing her out. Little did she know that little Lizzie would change Rachel's life in more ways than one.

Newly married Marion Jackson was enjoying married life to husband Reggie who was now being sent to the front whilst she remained at home caring for her younger siblings alongside her sister-in-law Sarah. She continued to work in the hat department at Harpers as well as helping out as a window dresser in the absence of Mr Marco. Life at last was good for Marion and her family until an unexpected visitor darkened their door one evening, changing everything. Her father who was on the run after beating her mother to death had returned to claim his place in what he thought of as his house with the wife he claimed had cheated on him. Although she had died due to the last beating he gave her, her father took one look at Marion and as she resembled her mother, saw her as his wife and thus flung all his anger at her with threats of more violence until help stepped in. Believing they were safe, Marion knew her father would continue to return until the police caught up with him. And then in the midst of all her woes, came an unexpected surprise which would bring happiness to their lives once more.

Then Marco's time in France came to an end with him being recalled to Britain, his cover having been compromised. But upon his return, he brought with him a little surprise of his own - a wife and child - when Marco's persuasion had secretly been known throughout the Harpers family leaving everyone somewhat puzzled. So who were they and why had he brought them back?

As with all the Harpers books, there are several stories running throughout entwined together with each of the characters. But there was just something about this installment that I found far more engaging. The Harpers family give a real sense of community with the love and friendship they share with one another that continues over the course of each book. But like with most sagas, with each one comes ups and downs, love and loss, heartache and tragedy as new generations begin.

I thoroughly enjoyed WARTIME BLUES FOR THE HARPERS GIRLS and look forward to what comes next for each of the women and their loved ones.

Recommended for fans of historical fiction sagas and wartime fiction.

I would like to thank #RosieClarke, #Netgalley, #RachelsRandomResources and #BoldwoodBooks for an ARC of #WartimeBluesForTheHarpersGirls in exchange for an honest review.
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Rosie Clarke has done it again! I've loved every single Harper's girls books. Hope the next one isn't too far away. I highly recommend these books aswell as all of her other series too. Will everyone have their happiness in the next instalment I wonder??? A must must read. Thank you so much for letting me read it before being published. Rosie Clarke you rock!!!
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I been reading Rosie Clarke's books for sometime now (although I haven't read them all), and she was one of those authors that surprised me in the beginning and with each new book, I'm continuing to be surprised. She's one of the go-to authors when it comes to the saga subgenre of Historical fiction.

This book is the fifth one in the series, and for a better experience, you should read them in order. It has been quite a journey with the Harpers. In all the books there isn't just the element of war and fear related to it, there is a sense of community, family, love and friendship. And as we go from one book to the next, that keeps making an appearance.

Getting back to this community was kind of like going back to my grandma's house during summer vacation and reconnect with my family. That's what this felt like, learning about my family's life. Just like with our lives, in this book we follow a group os characters that have a background, a past that we have been following since book one. As time passes by, things move forward.

Ups and downs. Love and loss. New generations. Fear and war. The story, despite the time period, felt real, and it's that kind of connection we established with the characters.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, just like I did the previous one. If you enjoy historical fictions happening during WWI, and you like follow a group of characters throughout their life, then I recommend this series. And like I previous said, do read the books by order to experience the journey to its fullest, and so that you can understand the background without being confused.

[I want to thank Rachel, at Rachel’s Random Resources, and Rosie Clarke for the eCopy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.]
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I only made it through 2 chapters before DNF'ing. I didn't realize it was part of a series. There were too many characters, too many scenarios, and too much internal dialogue trying to get the reader up to speed. Too confusing.
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Holding down the Homefront

The country is at war and the Girls working at Harper's department store are hanging together to keep things going on the homefront.  They each have their own challenges during this time , but the girls help each other and others in their circle of friends. 

There are Losses and new loves, marriages and new children to bring to the world. The country is fighting the war, the ladies left on the homefront are fighting to keep home, life and work going as normal as possible. 

This book is another book about the Harper girls. I love these books they always lighten the day. They are a joy to read. I love the characters, the old ones and the new ones. These ladies are resourceful and helpful with love and grace. Maggie, Sally, Rachel and Marion are the four main characters. Lovely ladies with determination and faith. 

I love reading Rosie Clarke's books on the Harper girls as well as her other novels. This book did not disappoint and I would happily recommend it. 

Thanks to Rosie Clarke, Boldwood Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read a copy for my honest review.
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I am loving reading about the lovely Harper Girls and their families, in this story there are lots of changes as life continues to tick along despite still the war still raging on. Sally has some exciting news as she starts to piece more of her childhood together and how she came to be in the care of the nuns. Whilst Sadie must decide what to do about returning home or staying in France as she adapts to life as a Mother.

This story was full of love and loss, as everyone is gripped by the fear of losing their loved ones as the Germans continue to bomb supply boats. Despite the loss there is also lots of love to go round as new babies and children are welcomed into the fold and more Harper Girls are married.

I loved the ending of this story and already want to know what comes next as life starts to come together for some of the key ladies who make up the Harper Girls. A wonderful step back in time as everyone begins to see light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully an end to the war that has claimed the lives of so many young men
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I've read all of the previous Harpers Girls books and loved this one every bit as much. As always, the story was emotional - how can something be set in WWI and not be? As ever, after finishing the book, I am left with a feeling that I can't wait to read more about the Harpers Girls - I always feel sad when the book comes to an end - Rosie Clarke is such a great author. I can't wait for her next book.
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I am swiftly becoming a fan of wartime sagas, so decided to read and review the latest instalment in the Harper’s Emporium series.  I do wish that I’d read the previous editions, as it took me a while to find my groove and get a feel for the characters.  That said, I managed and was able to enjoy the story as a standalone.
As the synopsis explains, The Great War continues to rage, and we catch up with the Girls as America joins the allies.  Whilst war is the backdrop, the story focuses on those left behind and the impact of and to the wounded.  In particular, Maggie’s story gives a clear insight into the devastation of armed conflict, and how far medicine has come in the last century.
Speaking of Maggie, I found her story the most compelling, and will look for more books in this series, to see how she continues dealing with her choices.  She is certainly a strong character and I felt moved by her devotion to her vocation and to her decisions.  No spoilers, but I hope you also enjoy how her story develops.
The book has strong storylines and compelling characters with some excellent plot twists.  I am blessed that I’ve not experienced the struggles of living through a world war, and yet I seek out stories which give me a feeling for life in those times. I assume that it’s generational, as my parents lived through the war, and like many of their peers, their experiences stayed with them.
I would recommend this book, but would encourage you to read the whole series, if this is an example of the quality, you won’t be disappointed.
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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an early review copy. 

I’ve read the previous books in this series and was looking forward to reading this. I wasn’t at all disappointed. 

It was so nice to be back with the girls, and follow their lives. Throughout the book, you get to know the history of these girls and how their relationships were made. Each character had their own story and it was interesting reading about them. 

There was sadness and happiness so beautifully written in, you felt what the characters were feeling. 

Highly Recommend It.
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Rosie Clarke never ceases to teach me with her knowledge of the past century.  I love reading these novels.  The characters are all written so that I can relate to them.  Hearing about the Harpers Girls lives and loves during the heart  of WWII, I felt as though I could've been there.  Each one has their own story to tell but Harpers and Sally in particular, joins them together.
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