Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Can she follow her dreams – against all the odds?
Liverpool, 1955. With her abusive husband drinking all her wages, Alice faces a daily struggle to provide for her family. Her eldest daughter Cathy has always longed to be a nurse, but when the family’s poverty means she’s forced to leave school and get a job – without the qualifications she needs – it looks like her dreams are over.
But Cathy isn’t willing to give up without a fight, and with the support of old friend – and new love – Gianni, she manages to secure a place as a cadet nurse, learning as she works.
Cathy knows that without her around, her mam must stand up to her violent husband alone – and that with less money coming in, Alice will be in danger of losing everything. What’s more, since nursing students must be unmarried, and Gianni is desperate to settle down, it’s not just her mam who hopes that Cathy will come home…
Can Cathy find a way to have it all, or will becoming a nurse mean leaving her family – and love – behind her?
The Nurses of Lark Lane is a heart-breaking saga about a family’s battle to survive. If you love Nadine Dorries, Diney Costeloe and Donna Douglas, you won’t want to miss Pam Howes!
An earlier version of this book was previously published as Cathy’s Clown. This edition contains significant editorial revisions.
This is a family drama starting in July 1955 and featuring teenager Cathy, her family, friends and neighbours. Cathy’s father died when she was young and her Mum, Alice, remarried Jack who is an abusive, adulterer as well as the father to Cathy’s two half-siblings. It is a story which explores attitudes and expectations from the era, when nursing students had to be unmarried and husbands expected to be masters in their own home whilst their wives were expected to smile and put up with their lot in life. It is a story of friendship, romance, dreams and betrayal, blackmail and more.
I found it an intriguing story, one where you’re not really sure just how everything will work out in the end. It is part of the Lark Lane series but works well as a standalone as I haven’t read any of the earlier books and still enjoyed reading this one.
If you enjoy historic family dramas, exploring relationships and the era, or romances, you’ll probably enjoy this one as much as I did. It has well developed characters, surprise events and is a heartwarming page turner.
I requested and was gifted a copy of this book via NetGalley and this is my honest review after choosing to read it.