It is my pleasure to bring you my review of Heaven & Hell for the Tobacco Girls by Lizzie Lane as part of her fabulous blog tour!
As you are aware if you follow my little blog, I am a big fan of World War II historical fiction, so I jumped at the chance to read this! I have been aware of the Tobacco Girls series for a while now, but haven’t had the time to get stuck in, so this seemed like too good an opportunity to be missed! Heaven & Hell for the Tobacco Girls follows a number of girls who originate from the Tobacco factory in Bristol.
Bridget is leaving the tobacco factory in order to train as a nursing auxiliary, as she is keen to make a real difference to those fighting in the war. But she needs to work out if she can have a career, love and family.
Phyllis has already left the tobacco factory for foreign shores. Based in Malta, she has seen the real impact of the war. Having found love, she has dreams for the future but the unpredictable nature of the war means that nothing is certain.
Maisie remains at the tobacco factory, but feels lonely as her friends leave her behind. When her Grandmother passes away and leaves her an unexpected inheritance she hopes to really help those around her.
This is a novel all about women keeping the home front running for those away fighting. It is about a group of women who want to make their mark and help with the war effort, whilst also realising how much of the world is opening up to them – they have choices, they can look for love on their own terms and they can find fulfilling work. Careers are opening up to them like never before and they are finally starting to be able to make their own decisions on how they want their lives to be.
I read Heaven & Hell for the Tobacco Girls as a standalone novel, but if I’m honest I wish I had read the others in the series first. Whilst the characters all had back stories that were mentioned, I would have preferred to have known about their stories in more detail. That’s just me though, this novel gives you more than enough information to be able to thoroughly enjoy it without having read the previous novels in the series! It was also nice to read a wartime novel not based in London. London suffered the brunt of the bombing during the Blitz, but it is often easy to forget that the whole of the country was doing everything it could for the war effort, so it was nice to read a novel set in Bristol!
I am more than happy to recommend this novel to you all. It is a great example of war fiction, but it’s also a lovely novel about women, friendship and love.
Thank you to Lizzie Lane, Boldwood Books and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting 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.
Lizzie Lane is the author of over 50 books, a number of which have been bestsellers. She was born and bred in Bristol where many of her family worked in the cigarette and cigar factories. This has inspired her saga series for Boldwood The Tobacco Girls.
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