Lesley Eames comes to the blog today with a lovely post WWI story in
The Brighton Guest House Girls
Thea has had a rough few years, after the death of her mother and her stepfather’s pilfering of anything of value in their house, she’s finally laid him to rest and now must figure out her next step. Knowing that the house is now hers, free and clear, is a benefit: finding out how to earn a living to keep the house is her struggle. Until her step-brother shows up with a new will, deeding the house to him and leaving Thea with only 3 months to vacate, and a certainty that the will she’s been shown is a forgery. When searching for the witnesses to the will, she sees a young woman who had been accosted, her bags stolen, and the thief coming straight at her. She downs the thief, recovers the young woman’s bag and offers her assistance.
Anna has quit her job at Selfridge’s in London, a saleswoman in Ladies Fashion, she’s used every available option to rise above the poor circumstances of her birth, helping to raise her siblings, seeing they pay attention to school and opportunities, and avoiding her dockworker father’s fists and temper. But now, pregnant with a child from a man of a much higher station, and he off to Brazil to “adventure” with no word back to her in months, she’s been put out of her family house and is heading for Piers’ family home to introduce herself and hopefully, find assistance. Rebuffed at the door and discovering that Piers is believed dead, heartbroken and homeless she was in Brighton when spotted by Thea. With her impending homelessness approaching, Thea has thought that running a guest house will both bring in money and leave her time to investigate her concerns about the will, and with Anna staying on to help, at least for the moment, Thea’s got a plan and something to work toward. Meanwhile, Anna has not let on about her pregnancy, deciding that the ‘high born’ Thea will be shocked and judgmental. In fact, Thea is none of those things: well-raised, polite, intelligent and fair-minded, she’s not a member of the upper echelon, although her parents did have friendships with many of the finer families in the area.
As the girls are working to get the house ready for guests, they encounter Daisy who is in town from the farm, looking for work and to find something that may have been missing in her years helping her father at the forge and in the small community. In many ways, she’s running from the farm in hopes that soon, her cousin Max, a horse trainer, will be able to hire her to work with him. But, both Thea and Anna are welcoming despite her spilling the beans about Anna’s pregnancy, and the girls are soon fast friends: dividing the work (and Thea’s investigations) among themselves. Truly a story of the three coming together when they needed one another most, with interactions and introductions to friends and family members that show each of the girls a light at the end of the tunnel as they band together to save Thea’s house. Laden with moments to love and friendships that are clearly defined and more solid than the mere ‘acquaintances’ that Thea was used to when her circumstances were better, the three have hope, love, laughter and new options opening up to them all as a result of their friendships and cooperation. A lovely story that brings a sense of sisterhood, determination and hope to the forefront.
Title: The Brighton Guest House Girls
Author: Lesley Eames
Genre: British, Edwardian, Family Saga, Friendship, Historic Elements, Historic Woman's Fiction, Post World War I, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain
Published on: 4 July, 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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A saga of immense charm and warmth, with three characters you won't forget. Thea, Anna and Daisy forge an unbreakable friendship through adversity.
Thea's loathsome stepbrother is trying to trick her out of her inheritance of her parents' beautiful house in the seaside town of Brighton by means of a Will which Thea believes to be forged. He gives her three months in which to leave. Afterwards she will face destitution.
Anna is pregnant and grieving, her explorer fiancé lost at sea. Her violent father drives her from the family home in the back streets of London's Bermondsey and her fiancé's upper-class relatives cruelly reject her.
Daisy is in search of independence, running from a man she doesn't want to marry.
Together the three girls set up Thea's home as a guest house and embark on a mission to outwit her stepbrother by proving his fraud. In a race against time, nothing will turn out to be quite as it seems.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.