Today is my stop on the Post Office Girls blog tour. Thank you Kate Keehan
from Hodder & Stoughton for inviting me on this tour.
1915. On Beth Healey’s eighteenth birthday, she hopes that she will be able to forget the ghastly war and celebrate. But that evening, her twin brother Ned announces that he has signed up to fight.
No longer able to stand working in her parents’ village shop while others are doing their bit, Beth applies to join the Army Post Office’s new Home Depot on the Regent’s Park, and is astounded to be accepted. She will be responsible for making sure that letters and parcels get through to the troops on the front line.
Beth is thrilled to be a crucial part of the war effort and soon makes friends with fellow post girls Milly and Nora, and meets the handsome James. But just as she begins to feel that her life has finally begun, everything starts falling apart, with devastating consequences for Beth and perhaps even the outcome of the war itself. Can Beth and her new friends keep it all together and find happiness at last?
The Post Office girls is a lovely heart-warming story set in the First World War. Beth, our main protagonist is accepted for a post office job in London working for the Home Depot in their Broken Parcel Department, where she is employed to re-parcel all the damaged packages and keep her eye out for contraband goods. Completely out of character and against the wishes of her mother and father she accepts the job and takes the huge leap from her countryside village home to the big city of London determined to do her bit for the war effort.
On the first day of her new job she meets two other new employees, Nora and Milly. Nora is from a rich family and lives in an ‘icing cake house’ in Regent’s Park and Milly lives in the East End and is involved with the Suffragette movement. This unlikely trio are from completely different backgrounds but soon become firm and supportive friends. The characters in this book are portrayed so well and it was marvellous getting an insight into their lives, their friendship struggles and their differing opinions on the war. Romantically Beth finds herself torn between Sam the young man who urged her to join the postal service and with whom she writes regular letters and James who she meets at the Home Depot and gradually starts to fall in love with. Beth struggles with her feelings in this love triangle dilemma, but it was lovely to see it all unfold and slot into place.
The historical background is beautifully described and really well researched. It is enlightening learning about how vital and incredibly important the postal system was during this era, ensuring soldiers kept in touch with their families and loved ones and to continue to experience a little taste of home with the thoughtfully put together packages sent to them. It was interesting learning about the ‘Stamp Code’, who knew that the different position or angle a stamp was put on an envelope sent a different messaged to a loved one. I don’t think I’ve ever read another novel of this era that focused on the postal system and how important it was and it was a real eye-opener.
The Post Office girls is a delightful and fascinating book and a really interesting insight into the postal service during this period of time and in particular the significance of the roles the women played. An uncomplicated read but well written and researched and there is a lot going on to engage the reader. The old post office photographs at the back of the book are a lovely bonus. A wonderful debut novel and an exciting start to a new WW1 historical saga series.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date (UK):
Series: Book 1 of a new WW1 series
Page Count: 352
Genre: Romance/Sagas/Historical Fiction
Thank you to the publisher for the gifted advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊