Cover Image: Hard Times for the East End Library Girls

Hard Times for the East End Library Girls

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I have read quite a few books that have been written around libraries in the second world war. I felt this book lacked substance and I couldn't 'feel' the characters. I am afraid I skimmed read it, as it didn't hold my attention.

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Fabulous book, loved the characters and the plot. Showed how life was in WW11. The characters were well described as you could see what the looked like! Would recommend this to anyone. The only issue was that ambulance men were referred to as paramedics, they didn’t have paramedics then.

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Hard Times for the East End Library Girls is the second book in the Library Girls series. I didn't realize this was a series, but I had no problem enjoying this story as a standalone. Having said that, I do want to go back and read the first one, to get all the background of these three wonderful friends. In this book, war has come to England, and the East End of London has become victim to the blitz. Head Librarian, Cordelia, is bombed out of her home, and needs to find a new place to live. She is also dealing with her beau, a doctor, being sent to the front. Her two co-workers, Mavis and Jane are also dealing with loss. Both their men are also at the front, as well as Mavis' son, and Jane's daughter has been evacuated to the countryside. The three women want to do their part for the community, and after seeing what quilting does for the men at a convalescent home, decide to have a group in the library for those who are dealing with loss. With the library playing a central part in this story, we see how these three friends deal with all that is happening in London, the East End and their own lives.

This was a wonderful story of life on the homefront, friendship, resilience, supporting others, family, grief, and more. I really liked the three main characters. Cordelia came from a well to do family, but respects and cares about the people in the East End. She is smart, strong, and stands up to others, even her own father, when he puts down the people and community. I think Mavis was my favourite. She was tough, had a son out of wedlock who was now in the army and loved a little girl she rescued when a bombing killed her mother. She shoots from the hip, and doesn't mince words, often making me laugh. She kept everyone on the straight and narrow at the library. Jane was such a sweetheart. Her husband was injured at the front, and come home with "shell shock". She was also dealing with her mother who had lung cancer, as well as a tumultuous relationship, and the sadness at sending her daughter to live out in the countryside. With all this going on, she was so caring toward others. She even does something that makes her a hero. Tom is the volunteer from the library who is a conscientious objector. He only lets Cordelia know this, as he has a "gammy leg" so most people assume he was injured at the front. He was a Godsend to the ladies. His calm and caring demeanor had him working with some of the troublesome patrons and making them comfortable, and feel accepted. There is a lot that happens in this book, which made it seem very realistic. I can only imagine what living through the blitz was like. The library was such a central part of this story. Not only was it used to exchange books, but brought so many people together to make the memory quilt. I loved how some of the secondary characters reacted to this endeavor and it showed another side to how people dealt with being on the homefront while their loved ones were fighting. Being uses by the Red Cross as an IIP center helping reunite families or let them know what happened to their loved ones, was heartbreaking, but a necessary role. Overall, this was a heartwarming and uplifting story, highlighting community, friendship and the importance of books and the library in these times. I highly recommend Hard Times for the East End Library Girls.

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Another great book in this series. I love sagas and this one hits the spot for me. I enjoyed read4a out the antics in the library and all the characters. Just perfect. My thanks to netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.

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I just love this series and I was so delighted to be catching up with the Library Girls again. Things are difficult for everyone in this latest book and no-one is unaffected by the hardships and heartbreak of wartime.

There are a lot of changes for the characters as they contend with loved ones who are away, the blitz and changes in their personal lives. But, as always, they show such strength and they keep going without complaint.

I was completely captivated by this book as I was once again drawn into the character’s lives. The three women come from different backgrounds but each of them have to deal with the uncertainty and stress of wartime.

I loved the way the library is at the heart of the community, and how it provides both support and refuge for people. It is more than a library during wartime, where it becomes a central hub for community events.

This gentle tale is a heart-warming read, but it doesn’t gloss over the horrors of war, or the hardships that people endured. It simply puts a human perspective on the suffering and shines a light on the strength of those who endured. A really beautiful and compelling book, one that I would heartily recommend.

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A solid WWII homefront book--also the second in a series but can be enjoyed without reading the first. Full of strong female characters who support each other and keep their chins up during the horrors of the Blitz. As a librarian, I really enjoyed reading how these women used their profession in the library to positively impact their community. An uplifting, sweet read.

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This was an excellent follow-up to the first book in the series, I thoroughly enjoyed this heartwarming and well-written story and I was rooting for all the girls to find some happiness in the dark times they were facing. I found the book to be a delightful, heartwarming, and emotional read, and I eagerly await the next installment.

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What a brilliant follow on from the first book.

We see what happens next to Cordelia, Jane & Mavis at the library. The woman start to think things up they can do in the library to bring the community together. We see Tom join them as a volunteer and he helps the people who visit the library. The bombing is still going on but the library stays firm.

The book concentrates on the lives of the woman and what happens to them and their families.

The book does not disappoint and is just as good as the last book.

The plots in the book were good and some exciting bits.

Would recommend this book.

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In this charming historical fiction novel, readers travel to wartime London and the tiny Silvertown library in the East End. Librarians Cordelia, Jane, and Mavis are all dealing with their own struggles, personal ones from before the war and others caused by the war, but they band together to tie Silvertown together in the library. Supporting their patrons and each other, the three women must stay strong as the war continues and life changes around them. Each woman finds a way to cope with the stresses of war, and McBride balances these three different narratives beautifully over the course of the novel. Her characters are charming and dynamic, and readers will definitely enjoy the small location of Silvertown and the role that its library plays for wartime morale. The various obstacles that the three women face are all period-typical and add to the scope and scale of the novel, connecting this micronarrative to the larger world. The setting is another character in the novel, and between Silvertown and the library, readers get the chance to see the locations change over the course of the novel. Readers are sure to enjoy McBride’s latest historical fiction series and the continuing story of the Silvertown library and its caretakers.

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Hard Times for the East End Library Girls 📚📖

This is the second book in the series but can easily be read as a stand alone. Having read the first one I knew what to expect with this one and it did not disappoint.

Continuing to follow the three library girls, Cordelia, Mavis and Jane. I really enjoyed learning more about these girls and their lives, while they tackle to blitz but manage to carry on and keep the library alive.

Highly recommend for fans of WW2 historical fiction.

Thanks @netgalley and @theboldbookclub for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

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I thoroughly enjoyed this heartwarming and well written story set in the East End in 1940, during the Blitz.
It's the second in a series but I had no issues with plot or characters even if I didn't read the first one.
I loved the tone and the style of writing, even in the most tragic moments there's always something that makes you think about future and hope.
Cordelia, Mavis and Jane are very differents persons. They comes from different social backgrounds and their characters are very different. But they're able to join forces and face the difficulties of the the historical moments and those cause by bureucracy or simple pettiness.
Tom, a part time volunteer, is a very original character: he's a conscientious objector and it's the first time I read about one in a historical fiction set in WWII
The author did an excellent job in mixing tones as there's humour, some drama and some moments when you feel angry.
The historical background is well done as it makes you feel how hard it was.
I cannot wait to read another book in this series, this one is highly recommended.
Many thanks to Boldwood Books and Rachel's Random Resources for this arc, all opinions are mine.

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I first discovered Patricia and her work when I had the good fortune to be invited to take part in the blog tour for the first book in the 'Library Girls' series which is called 'The Library Girls Of The East End' last year. Since then I have been (im)patiently waiting for the second book in the series to be released. Well ladies and gents the wait is over because the second book in the 'Library Girls' series is called 'Hard Times For The East End Library Girls' and it was released on 19th April 2024. It's a cracking addition to the series. I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'Hard Times For The East End Library Girls' but more about that in a bit.

I made the fatal mistake of starting to read this book shortly before I went to bed. Let's just say that bedtime was delayed and I had a distinct 'lack of sleep' hangover the following day but it was so worth it. To say that I became addicted to this story is a bit like saying that I like to eat cake - in other words a huge understatement. This was one of those stories that got under my skin to the extent that the book was always on my mind whether I had the book in my hand or not. If I wasn't reading the book then I was thinking about it. If I had to put the book to one side then I would automatically look forward to being able to pick the book up again. I felt as though I had reunited with old friends in the form of the 'Library GIrls' and their regular customers. The more of the book that I read, the more I wanted to read and the quicker the pages seemed to turn. I was so wrapped up in the story and in the lives of the different characters that I lost all track of time and just how quickly I was getting through the book. All too quickly I reached the end of 'Hard Times For The East End Library Girls'. I found 'Hard Times For The East End Library Girls' to be a gripping piece of historical fiction, which certainly kept me guessing.

'Hard Times For The East End Library Girls' is superbly written but I am coming to expect nothing less from Patricia McBride. Patricia certainly knows how to grab the reader's attention and draw them into what proves to be one hell of a story. Patricia clearly cares about her characters and this shines through in the very vivid and realistic way in which she describes them. She makes her characters seem just as real as you and I. I grew to consider some of the characters to be friends of mine and I cared about what happened to them. Patricia has clearly done an awful lot of research into the time period during which the story takes place and this research makes the story seem that bit more authentic. I always find that the sign of a good book is when I find that I become far too involved with the story to the extent that I 'interact' with the characters as if they can hear me. That's exactly what happened with 'Hard Times For The East End Library Girls'. I 'lived' the story as if it were real. I love the way in which the author makes the reader feel as though they are part of the story and at the heart of the action.

In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'Hard Times For The East End Library Girls' and I wholeheartedly recommend this book to other readers. I will certainly be reading more of Patricia'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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I'm reviewing this via NetGalley, as part of a tour with Rachel's Random Resources.

I chose this book because I typically feel drawn to any book with a setting like a bookshop or library.

This is a historical saga set during WWII. At the start of the book, we met Cordelia, whose family has lost their home. I liked Cordelia a lot, as she seemed a very warm, kind-hearted character, who was always willing to help others in need. I also identified with her and her love of books. Mavis was another character that I liked and found very endearing.

I found parts of the story upsetting, but parts of it were heartwarming and humorous. It seemed that the characters were able to find reasons to laugh, reasons to be cheerful and thankful, despite the difficulties they faced.

Over the last few years, I've taken to reading historical sagas more and more. I find that a book like this is often a good choice if you're looking for a light read that will help you to escape, and take you on an emotional journey.

Thank you to NetGalley, Boldwood Books, Rachel's Random Resources, and to the author, for the opportunity to read and review this.

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I really enjoyed reading this, it had that historical element that I wanted from a world war 2 element and as a sequel in this series. The characters were everything that I was hoping for and worked with the first book. I was invested in what was going on and left me wanting to read more in this series.

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This is the second installment in the series, following the stories of the East End Library girls in Silvertown. It begins with Cordelia losing all her things in a bombing and then finding out her boyfriend Robert is being called up to serve, even though he is a doctor. After staying with her friend she finds another place to live. She soon focuses on building up the library and making it an enjoyable escape for the locals, along with Mavis and Jane.

I enjoyed both installments of this story and I hope there will be more in the series. I thought the writer once again did a great job of bringing this time alive. Even though I’m sure it was an incredibly difficult time with all the bombings and worry for the soldiers and those serving, it’s also an interesting time for me to read about. As an avid reader, I loved how the library was a refuge of sorts, for the locals during the war. Not only did it provide them an opportunity to read, but it became a community center of sorts providing help for the locals. This time around, a quilting group was organized to give the neighbors help and support during this challenging time. It was also nice to learn more about the stories of Mavis, Jane, and Cordelia. I’d love to see this book series turned into a mini-series.

Thanks to @boldwoodbooks, @netgalley, and the author of this book.

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Hard Times for the East End Library Girls marks the second installment in Patricia McBride's series.

Cordelia's home is bombed, and despite being a doctor in a reserved occupation, her partner Robert is conscripted. Jane's husband is injured, and Mavis worries about Joyce. Will these women unite to support each other through these challenging times?

Once again, I was captivated right from the start, witnessing the strength and adaptability required of the women during WWII. It felt like I was part of the quilting group!

I urge you to grab a copy today and delve into the world of these remarkable women.

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This is the second book in the East End Library Girl series and it was just wonderful to be back in the company of Cordelia, Mavis and Jane. The book begins at the end of December 1940 and Cordelia arrives back to her flat in London after spending Christmas with her parents and to her horror she discovers it had been bombed and she is now homeless. Luckily she has her dear friends to help her get through this difficult time and she of course has her work at the library. Mavis and Jane are also going though some rough times with the war and family but all three ladies are there for each other thorough thick and thin. Reading this book gave me such a lovely feeling as to how true friends can be there for one another regardless of their background and social status. The characters are written so well by the author and it was lovely to be introduced to a new character, the delightful Tom. I won’t say much more about him but I think he will be a well loved character going forward. As mentioned this is the second book in the series but can be read as a stand alone but I do recommend reading book 1 (The Library Girls of the East End) as it’s also a wonderful read.

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Firstly let me say I really enjoy this era, and these stories, which depict a time that must’ve been horrific for everyone but in these books you can feel the heroics of the characters and how it generates that lovely feeling of how people can bond together in the toughest of times.
Hard Times for the East End Library Girls is the second in a series and Cordelia and her colleagues are trying to balance work and life through the London Blitz. Cordelia finds that her flat has been bombed to smithereens but she’s lucky that her work pals are there to help her. The library is a place of refuge for a lot of people who have nowhere else to go, and these girls make sure to capitalise on this and help the less fortunate.
A lovely story about a terrible time in people’s lives.
I would give this book 4⭐️
Many thanks to #NetGalley for my ARC of this story.

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Lovely, easily read book about a community library in London during WW2. Plenty of characters, some amusing, others rude and obnoxious! Not too exciting but gives an idea of the rigours of war.
Many thanx to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for allowing me to read and review this book

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Whilst I'm yet to read the first book in this series, I did find it easily reads as a standalone and previous events were easily picked up on.

I'm a huge fan of #hisfic and absolutely loved the book, it was about a library full of books after all!

It was the first I've read by McBride and I really liked her writing style. She encapsulated the harsh realities of a war ravaged London perfectly, her descriptions making it easy for the scenes to come alive from between the pages.

Whilst the library girls are all dealing with their individual problems, they still have a great sense of community and cameraderie towards others in need.

I found the book to be a highly enjoyable, heartwarmer of a read and eagerly await the next installment.

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