Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (29 April 2010)
Book Description: When dynamic, power-dressing Christie blows in like a warm wind to take over their department, five very different women find themselves thrown together at work. But none of them could have predicted the fierce bond of friendship that her leadership would inspire…Anna, 39, is reeling from the loss of her fiance, who ran off with a much younger woman. Her pride in tatters, these days Anna finds it difficult to leave the house. So when a handsome, mysterious stranger takes an interest in her, she’s not sure whether she can learn to trust again? Then there’s Grace, in her fifties, trapped in a loveless marriage with a man she married because, unable to have children of her own, she fell in love with his motherless brood. Grace worries that Dawn is about to make the same mistake: orphaned as a child, engaged to love-rat Calum, is Dawn more interested in the security that comes with his tight-knit, boisterous family? When a sexy, footloose rock singer catches her eye, will Dawn have the courage to follow her heart? At 28, Raychel is the youngest member of their little gang. And with a loving husband, Ben, and a cosy little nest for two, she would seem to be the happiest. But what dark secrets are lurking behind this perfect facade, that make sweet, pretty Raychel so guarded and unwilling to open up? Under Christie’s warm hand, the girls soon realise they have some difficult choices to make. Indeed, none of them quite realised how much they needed the sense of fun, laughter, and loyalty that abounds when five women become friends. It’s one for all, and all for one!
I didn’t cry!! I didn’t cry!!
This is the only Milly Johnson book I hadn’t read and there was a slight delay in my reading of it owing to my mother coming and stealing my copy (which meant i ended up paying for it again on Kindle!) and my uni work getting in the way – 2 x 2000 word essays, a 4000 research project and a 30 min presentation all in the last 4/5 weeks! phew!
The book starts with the retirement of the head of the bakery department for White Rose Stores and focusses on the lives of the ladies who work in that department. Their new boss, Christie, comes into work on Monday and finds their unattachment from each other very odd so she sets about uniting them.
Each of the women has their own story and I really enjoyed all of them and how they moved the story forward – I was a little frustrated that Christie’s story didn’t get developed but then, having read all of Milly’s other books, i know that there is always one character who remains mystical!
Dawn is about to get married to the AWFUL Callum. He is so lazy!! He really frustrated me and he reminded me of the family of Olive in “Here come the girls” – intact, Doreen and Dave could be part of that Crooke family, I’m sure! Her story was such a lovely one and it was lovely to see Freya from “White Wedding” make an appearance. Dawn’s story picked up a lot of pace at the end and I could have easily read “Dawny’s” story as a standalone book.
Anna is living in denial and nursing a broken heart, she is living surrounded by memories of her lost love and pieces of her broken self-esteem. I loved Anna’s story, it might even be my favourite story of the book. She really does bloom and I could perfectly visualise her. In fact, i think i might know her!
Raychel is very much in love with her husband Ben but there is a secret they are hiding. Raychel’s story is very discreet and just chugs along in the background. It doesn’t need to be dramatic or overpower the main plot. It also brings in the much-loved Elizabeth from “The Yorkshire Pudding Club” – I won’t say anything else there but it is definitely worth reading that book before you read this one!
Grace lives with her husband Gordon who is suffocating her with his plans for her retirement and his willing of her to get old. There’s a very lovely under current to her story with her children Laura and Paul but Sarah is a horrible brat!! Grace’s story takes a dramatic turn and it reminded me of the story “Before i go to sleep” at one point. I would love to meet Grace again (in detail) in another book and find out what happened to her.
All in all, a fantastic book with plenty of laugh out loud (and cheering out loud) moments. There were a few tear jerker moments too but it didn’t make me cry. A fantastic holiday read.
I can’t believe I have to wait until June for the next Milly Johnson book…..!