Today it is my pleasure to help kick off the blog tour and bring you my review of A Shop Girl at Sea by Rachel Brimble.
Amelia Wakefield loves working at Pennington’s, Bath’s finest department store. An escape from her traumatic past, it saved her life. So when Miss Pennington sets her a task to set sail on the Titanic and study the department stores of New York, she couldn’t be more excited –or determined!
Frustrated with his life at home, Samuel Murphy longs for a few weeks of freedom and adventure. Meeting Amelia on board the Titanic, Samuel can’t help wonder what painful history has made the beauty so reserved. But he already has too many responsibilities for love.
Ruby Taylor has always kept her Pennington co-workers at a distance. Making sure her little brother is safe has always been her priority. But when that means accepting Victoria Lark’s offer of sanctuary, more than one of Ruby’s secrets is under threat of being revealed…
A riveting and uplifting saga, perfect for fans of Elaine Everest and Fiona Ford.
As you will be aware, I have followed the Pennington’s series ever since the first book was released. With the release of A Shop Girl at Sea today, the whole series has had a facelift, and each book has been given a new title. If you’d like to see my reviews of the previous books in this series, follow the links below;
A Shop Girl at Sea is the fourth book in the wonderful Pennington’s series, a series based around the Pennington’s department store in Bath. Pennington’s is a true rival to big department stores in the city of London, and Elizabeth Pennington dreams that she can make her store rival even the huge stores on New York. In her quest to make Pennington’s an international name amongst department stores, she enlists her employee and friend, Amelia Wakefield, to make the historic trip to New York aboard the Titanic to explore shopping trends of the major New York stores and their shoppers.
Samuel Murphy is a man weighed down by his responsibilities. His mother and two sisters are entirely dependent on him following the tragic death of his father, and he sees his own dreams slip out of reach as it becomes clear that they are unwilling to let him go. When an opportunity arises to work on the Titanic for its maiden voyage, he grasps it with both hands knowing that this is a once in a lifetime chance that could really further his prospects. When he unexpectedly meets Amelia onboard, he finds himself hoping for a future that he thought out of reach.
This is the first novel in the Pennington’s series which is actually set predominantly outside of the department store. Amelia’s time on the Titanic is beautifully described, you really feel as though you are there with her experiencing the decadence and luxury of the ship deemed to be ‘unsinkable’. Of course, we all know the story of Titanic; its hard not to. But it was lovely to read a novel that focussed on the passengers and how they felt about being on such a historic journey, rather than on the tragedy that followed. Naturally, the tragic sinking cannot and is not ignored, but it was nice to see that it wasn’t the sole focus of this novel. Instead it was focussed on the characters who had each suffered in their own way, and how that fateful journey changed them both. It changed their outlooks on life, and rather than being victims it was nice to watch them both emerge stronger than ever.
I hope to learn more about Ruby Taylor in future novels, as I felt there was more to say about her past, present and future. I really enjoyed the brief look at her life though, and the hardships she faces going forward at a time when people were certainly not open-minded or welcoming to anyone that was deemed to be different.
This really is a lovely novel, and an excellent addition to the Pennington’s series. Whilst it can definitely be read as a standalone, I highly recommend getting all four novels. They will provide you with the perfect escapism during this period of uncertainty and lockdown. Stay home!
Rating: 📖 📖 📖 📖
Thank you to Rachel Brimble and Vicky Joss at Aria for asking me to be a part of this blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
Rachel Brimble lives in Wiltshire with her husband of twenty years, two teenage daughters and her beloved chocolate Labrador, Tyler. Multi-published in the US, she is thrilled to have a new beginning writing for Aria in the UK. When Rachel isn’t writing, she enjoys reading across the genres, knitting and walking the English countryside with her family…often stopping off at a country pub for lunch and a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc.