It’s Day 2 of my Twelve Books for Christmas blog, where I introduce you to twelve romance books to warm your heart and make you feel all Christmassy. 🙂 They’ll all make wonderful presents for a friend, or you could even treat yourself. Today’s festive treat, The Patchwork Girls by bestselling historical romance author Elaine Everest, is a moving story about the ties of friends and family set during the turbulence of the Second World War.
The Patchwork Girls
1939. After the sudden and tragic loss of her husband, Helen is returning home to her mother’s house in Biggin Hill, Kent – the one place she vowed she’d never go back to again.
Alone and not knowing where to turn, Helen finds herself joining the local women’s sewing circle despite being hopeless with a needle and thread. These resourceful women can not only make do and mend clothes, quilts and woolly hats, but their friendship mends something deeper in Helen too. Lizzie is a natural leader, always ready to lend a helping hand or a listening ear. Effie has uprooted her life from London to keep her two little girls away from the bombing raids, and the sewing circle is a welcome distraction from worries about how to keep a roof over their heads and about her husband too, now serving in active duty overseas.
When the reason for Helen’s husband’s death comes to light, her world is turned upside down yet again. The investigating officer on the case, Richard, will leave no stone unturned, but it’s not long before his interest in Helen goes beyond the professional. As she pieces together old fabrics into a beautiful quilt, will Helen patch up the rifts in her own life?
Fancy reading the book: You can get a copy here: Amazon
Elaine is going to tell us a little about one of the characters, Effie, and her first Christmas away from her family.
Effie’s New Life, December 1939
The Patchwork Girls
For Effie King, December 1939 would be far removed from the usual East End family affairs she was used to. There’d be no boisterous family get-together at her mum’s house with everyone mucking in, even sleeping on floors if the Christmas Day celebrations went on too far into the night while their kiddies slept nose to toe in the beds.
After her husband had joined up Effie only wanted her two girls to be safe and had shipped them off to the countryside to keep them away from the bombing, which was all people spoke about. When someone pointed out an advert in The Lady magazine for live-in help Effie had applied and within the week was on her way to the countryside and the position of live-in help to Mrs Hillary Davis and her husband. As she’d told her mother in the scribbled note, she’d sent home to say she’d arrived safely in the back of beyond of Kent, that Mr Davis was a miserable so-and-so. However, to keep the job and earn a few bob she would keep her head down, work hard and stay in the kitchen out of the way as much as she possibly could.
However, the best laid plans go astray when her two nippers ran away from where they were evacuated and she had no choice but to collect them and take them back to Biggin Hill to be met by the wrath of Mrs Davis who had made it very clear children were not welcome at The Maples. Thank goodness The Davis’s daughter, Helen Wentworth turned up at the house after the death of her husband. She was a lovely woman with not an ounce of poshness about her, which was strange considering she had been the wife of a Member of Parliament. Effie couldn’t begin to imagine what Helen’s life had been like before the sudden death of John Wentworth forcing Helen to return to her mother’s home.
What Effie did know was that in Helen she had found a friend when she most needed one.
Buy Link for The Patchwork Girls: Amazon
Elaine hails from northwest Kent and grew up listening to stories of the war years in her hometown of Erith, which features in her bestselling Woolworths Girls series. A former journalist, author of non-fiction books for dog owners, and qualified creative writing tutor. Elaine has written hundreds of short stories for the women’s magazine market. When she isn’t writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school in Kent.
Elaine is currently published by Pan Macmillan for her Sunday Times Bestselling historical sagas including the Woolworths Girls series and The Teashop Girls series. Her latest novel, The Patchwork Girls was published on 14th October and is available in all good bookstores and online selling sites. She lives with her husband, Michael and Polish Lowland Sheepdog Henry.
You can find out more about Elaine here:
Website and blog where you can sign up for her newsletter: www.elaineeverest.com
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/ElaineEverestAuthor
Thanks so much for dropping by to talk to us, Elaine. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!
Karen King – Writing about the light and dark of relationships.
Amazon Author Page: https://tinyurl.com/y2q5audb