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Publisher's Summary

An utterly heartbreaking tale of two young girls, worlds apart, who are thrown together when they have lost everything. Fans of Wives of War, Before We Were Yours, and Diney Costeloe will absolutely love this poignant and moving World War Two novel.

England, 1937: After a devastating childhood at Blakely Hall Orphanage, 15-year-old Sandra is released. She finds work as a housemaid, finally able to put her past behind her. But the start of World War Two throws the country into turmoil, and her brother, Alf, is sent away to fight, leaving her completely alone.

Germany, 1939: Eleven-year-old Frieda is about to board a ship bound for England with her brother, Kurt. Life at home is perilous, with synagogues set alight and innocent lives lost to the Nazis. They have no choice but to flee, with only their identity cards and a small suitcase. But at the last moment, as Frieda stands on the deck crammed with frightened children, she spots her brother jumping off, back to land.

England, 1943: Joining the Land Army, Sandra is sent to a farm in the remote countryside where she meets evacuee Frieda. The girls are grappling with their own tragedies - Sandra fretting over whether Alf, flying a bomber in the heavens, will see tomorrow, and Frieda distraught that Kurt abandoned her, uncertain whether he is alive.

Sandra and Frieda form a friendship that sees them through the darkest of days, but in times of war, heartbreak is always just around the corner. Will the girls ever be reunited with their loved ones? And will the relationships they have fostered amidst the terror of war survive?

©2020 Shirley Dickson (P)2020 Bookouture

What listeners say about The Outcast Girls

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A nice story

I enjoyed the story. It's emotional and shows beautiful friendship. It's also sad at times, but quite predicable, and I would not go as far as calling it heartbreaking. The story plotted a somewhat slow pace, which made for relaxed listening. The ending felt rushed, but all ends were tied up.

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Profile Image for Jan M
  • Jan M
  • 11-03-2020

Heartbreaking and Poignant

The Outcast Girls by Shirley Dickson is a heartbreaking and poignant story of survival during WWII in England. The author wrote a very compelling story that pulled me in. Frieda travels from Germany to England to get away from the Holocaust. She is about 15 and doesn't know if she will ever see her family again. The friendship with Sandra was well written. The perspectives of the young girls during war was enlightening to me. Rosie Jones was fantastic with her performance. She brought the characters to life with her voice, and had appropriate emotions inflected. The book is full of both love and sorrow.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Jo Reason
  • 05-02-2020

enjoyable

Stunning book, beautifully written, such a different storyline about the war with what happened in the UK rather than the typical warfront or POW camp book. There is plenty of emotion, details of the era and location, friendship, loss, love during the Second World War.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Maria Teresa V. McGeehan
  • 02-06-2020

beautiful story of friendship

This was a beautiful story of friendship. Revealing how similar very different people's paths can be and how together they can find peace. I just felt like I needed to know more about what happened to the characters ahead. Maybe a part 2?

1 person found this helpful

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  • uffdasuzanne
  • 03-05-2020

WW2 Land Girls

Very sweet story about the hard working land girls of WW2 and their many struggles.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Charlotta Cook
  • 26-11-2020

You will not want to put this book down!

A great story where you will get to know two wonderful girls and follow their journey towards hope and happiness in grim times.

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  • Rebecca Morton
  • 09-11-2020

I ADORED this book!!!

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED this book! The fact that it was set in the North of England where I was from was even better! My best friend lives a few miles from Hexham and I could picture the people and the countryside perfectly. Even the language and slang is familiar to me- even though I’ve not lived in England for 30 years. I found myself so involved in this story I was thinking of the girls when I wasn’t listening and wondering what was going to happen next. It was interesting to learn so much about a time when my parents were young children and remembered a few things about the war. This story tied it all together. WONDERFUL!

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  • Pooldawg
  • 28-07-2020

great narration

book was meh and i would tune out a few times, but the narration was really good and I was able to kind of piece together what was going on because of it. I probably would not have wanted to "read" it.

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  • Carol Nelson
  • 17-07-2020

Great story!

Very good read, enjoyed this book very much. Loved the setting and the reader did a great job.

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  • Betsy E.
  • 08-07-2020

Outcast

Excellett story. Kept me wondering what would happen next. Narration sometimes hard to understand but did great job differencat

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  • DubaiReader
  • 13-03-2020

Land Girls

I really enjoyed this book, it was just the right balance between happy and sad, loving and losing. And reading it in the middle of the Coronavirus scare, it kind of put all our current concerns into perspective. These people were worrying for their families and young men for years on end, I have no idea how they coped. The two main characters are young women who volunteer to help farm the land while the men are off at war. They were known as the Land Girls. They did all the work previously done by the men and they worked long hours. Frieda was a German Jew, sent out of her country with hundreds of other children, to save them from being sent to the concentration camps. She struck lucky with Doris, a very caring step-mother, but her worries for her family haunt her. She meets Sandra, raised in an orphanage after the death of her mother, she has only her brother Alf for family and he has volunteered with a bomber squadron. The two girls recognise the similarities in their situations and strike a firm bond. Through hard work, love affairs, bomb attacks and food shortages, the girls get through the war and help each other to survive. I was very surprised to find that one of them had eating issues, I had thought that a modern problem. The narration of my audiobook was excellently done by Rosie Jones, who did a fabulous job with the accents of the two girls. Shirley Dickson was a new author to me and one I shall look out for in the future.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sam Smith
  • 10-03-2020

Beautiful story of friendship, love and loss

The main part of this heart-warming story is set in rural England and follows the lives of Sandra and Frieda and the loves and losses that they each face during WWII. Frieda is a young Jewish German girl who is sent as a refugee to England and whose brother jumps ship and leaves her alone with no knowledge of what is happening to her family left in war torn Europe. Sandra, a Northern lass; orphan and former house maid/servant, whose brother is away fighting in the war, joins the Land Girls to do her bit for the war effort. The story tells of their lives and how their friendship forms over the years with them both dealing with the trauma of their past as well as their current situation. We journey with these characters through love, loss and heartbreak and how they both bond through similarities of their situations and experiences. The author has woven a gentle, heart-warming story with genuine slightly broken characters who as a reader/listener, I couldn't stop thinking about. I listened to the narrated version of this by Rosie Jones, who brought a lovely local accent to the story. This is the first novel by Shirley Dickson that I have read but it certainly won't be the last! In fact I am struggling to get into another novel as this beautiful, heart wrenching story has left me with a book hangover and I'm not ready to move on yet!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Allie Samuel
  • 08-03-2020

WWII

I loved listening to every word of this beautiful novel but be warned - listen in the car and prob shouldn’t when it’s such a weepie! 5 stars from me!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Maggie Kiely
  • 28-02-2020

Gripping

This is my first book by this author I found it really gripping from the start and I loved the characters of Sandra Olive and Freda It was interesting to see how their war progressed and Freda's eating disorder and Sandra's illiteracy was an interesting twist. I was sad when it ended and would recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Steven
  • 24-02-2020

Lovely world War 2saga

this was a lovely story about 2 young girls, Sandra and Frieda thrown together in England during the second world War. I really engaged with both of the characters, particularly Sandra after the terrible situation she finds herself in at the start of the book. Rosie Jones' narration is utterly spell binding, she pulls off a range of accents with ease and really made me feel part of the story. this isn't a book I'd usually read but it made a lovely change and i'll look out for more books written by this author.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Skye's Mum
  • 14-02-2020

A heartwarming story brought alive by the narrator

I really enjoyed this story, it was simple and heartfelt. Living in the North East I was impressed with the narrator. I was pleased that I listened to it instead of reading it. Brilliant and definitely recommend it if you're interested in WW2 genre and how we were affected in the UK.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Melanie Preston Lewis
  • 12-02-2020

Glorious

As the daughter of a Kindertransport child, I was very much looking forward to listening to this book. Frieda's lodgings with Auntie Doris were so lovely. Credit to Ms Dickson for not falling into the cliche of Kindertransport children all being treated like slaves, as many were very satisfied with their families and appreciated greatly the sanctuary they so generously gave. Again, with Sandra, there were no tried and tested storylines. Olive and Sandra were a smashing pair and then Frieda and Sandra were a smashing pair. You'd have to possess a heart of stone not to be moved by this book. The anguish felt by those waiting for news from loved ones was almost tangible. The British war spirit was alive and well and each and every character was endearing and credible. Wonderfully performed by Rosie Jones, I will be seeking out more of Ms Dickson's enjoyable writing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kirsten Carlyle
  • 12-02-2020

Fantastic, emotional, heartfelt listen!

I absolutely loved listening to this audiobook! Finished it within a few days! It is set during World War Two and tells the story of two girls from very different backgrounds. It was quite an emotional listen. Brilliant, well developed characters and good plot. The narrator was fantastic, so good at different accents! I would thoroughly recommend this story and will look out for more by this author! 10/10!

1 person found this helpful

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  • michael perrins
  • 23-11-2020

very enjoyable

we both loved it, kept us listening and waiting for the next twist and turn, enjoyable.

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Profile Image for Patrick Dee
  • Patrick Dee
  • 24-09-2020

Loved it

Shirley is a great writer , another great book, I didn’t want it to end , looking forward to whatever is next , thanks Shirley

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