The Clarks Factory Girls at War

The first in a BRAND NEW emotional wartime saga series from May Ellis for 2024

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Pub Date 09 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 09 Mar 2024

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Can love blossom in times of trouble?

Life-long friends Louisa, Jeannie and Kate are following in the footsteps of their families, working at the Clarks shoe factory.

But when Britain declares war on Germany, the Somerset village of Street is shaken to its core. The Clarks factory is at the heart of life in the village, but the Clark family are Quakers and pacifists. Before long, there are fierce debates amongst the workers and tensions between those who oppose the war and those who believe the village men should go to fight.

Each of the girls must decide her own position but as brothers and sweethearts leave for France, Louisa is relieved that her beloved Mattie, a Quaker, won’t be signing up. But she’ll soon find that they face fierce opposition at home as well as across the Channel.

Will the girls’ friendship be enough to keep them together, as everything around them falls apart?

A heartwarming and gripping new saga series perfect for fans of Elaine Everest and Rosie Clarke.

Can love blossom in times of trouble?

Life-long friends Louisa, Jeannie and Kate are following in the footsteps of their families, working at the Clarks shoe factory.

But when Britain declares war on...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781835330210
PRICE £1.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 84 members

Featured Reviews

C&J Clark shoe factory in the Somerset village of Street as we join Louise Jeannie and Kate in the year 1914.
I enjoyed every bit of this book right from the start. The author has done a great job in this heartbreaking story. A new author for me. Superb reading right to the end.

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I love historical romance books and this one is no exception. The characters were very love able and I was hooked from the start. I would highly recommend this book!

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I loved this book! Set at the beginning of WWI, it tells the story of 3 young women, Jeannie, Kate and Louisa who all work for the Clarks factory. May Ellis, the author of this book, tells the story so well, I actually found myself being cross at certain points and having a lot of empathy with the characters. I won't spoil the book by going into too much detail (I hate it when reviewers do that) but what I will say is that I can't wait to read the next in the series.
This is the first book I've read by this author but it certainly won't be my last!

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The Clarks Factory Girls At Work by May Ellis is a fabulous new series which focuses on the Clarks family in Street, Somerset during 1914 and 1915.
We follow three young girls who work at the factory. They come from three very different families but are firm friends who support each other.
The plight of women was very different a hundred years ago. Women were definitely inferior to men. They earnt less, were not in positions of responsibility and were supposed to submit to men. There were snippets of talk about suffragettes. A young girl has to hand her wages over to her father until she is twenty one.
The plight of a widow with young children was precarious as they lived hand to mouth.
In another household, the father is cruel. He drinks his wages away and is handy with his fists.
We drop in on discussions about the various denominations. The Clarks family were Quakers as were many of the community but some were Church Of England. The community was divided, no one wanting inter-marriage between the denominations. It seems alien to the modern reader.
World War I had begun. Young men go to war. Some are killed. Some suffer from shell shock. Women organize white feather committees which is shameful. Women step into men’s roles as they have been vacated.
Life still goes on. New relationships form in the shadow of war.
All the characters were realistic and well drawn.
I am looking forward to the subsequent books in this series.
I received a free copy via Rachel’s Random Resources for a blog tour. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.

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This book was a most welcome surprise! It gave more than I was expecting, it had me looking up the history of the Clark’s before I’d finished chapter one. It’s just so interesting on so many ways.

The main story follows the lives of Kate, Louisa and Jeannie who have known one another since they first went to school and now they have joined the workforce at Clark’s shoe factory which is based in their home village of Street. In fact their families either work there or have done.
When war is declared it causes a divide in the village in more ways than one. With half of them including the Clark family being Quakers who follow their testimony whereby they are pacifists and the rest who either sign up to the forces or answer the call when it comes leaving their families behind. What will become of the young quakers will they allow their conscience to dictate !
This also causes issues for Louisa who want to start waking out with Mattie Searle but her parents forbid it because Mattie is a Quaker, what will happen to them?
Kate lives at home with her parents , her mother is poorly and her father is more interested in his cider, and having his food in front of him.
This puts Kate off the thought of being tied to one man, then Ted Jackson asks her out she’s not sure what to do.
Jeannie is the quiet one, lacking confidence and convinced she isn’t pretty.

I found the story just flowed effortlessly. Then when I reached the end I was delighted to find there is to be more, bring it on.

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