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by author "Jenny Holmes" in All Categories
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The Spitfire Girls
Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
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Mary is a driver for the ATA and although she yearns to fly a Spitfire, she fears her humble background will hold her back. After all, glamorous Angela is set to be the next ‘Atta Girl’ on recruitment posters. Bobbie learned to fly in her father’s private plane, and Jean was taught the queen’s English at grammar school before joining the squad. Dedicated and resilient, the three girls rule the skies: weathering storms and dodging enemy fire. Mary can only dream of joining them - until she gets the push she needs to overcome her self-doubt.
May, 1941. Meet the Air Raid Girls: three young women keen to do their bit during the Yorkshire blitz. Connie's life has taken an unexpected turn since her husband died - she's living at home and working in the family bakery - but night shifts as an ARP warden give her a firm sense of purpose. Her younger sister, Lizzie, is eager to play her part, too, perhaps as an ambulance driver. Twenty-year-old Pamela has led a sheltered life, but when her family's home is destroyed in a raid, she must learn to stand on her own two feet - helped by new friends.
It’s 1941, and as the Second World War rages on, girls from all over the country are signing up to the Women’s Land Army. Renowned for their camaraderie and spirit, it is these brave women who step in to take on the gruelling farm work from the men conscripted into the armed forces. When Yorkshire mill girl Una joins the cause, she wonders how she’ll adapt to country life. Luckily she’s quickly befriended by more experienced Land Girls Brenda and Grace.
Summer, 1936. Newly trained midwife Hazel Price returns to the Yorkshire streets of her childhood, only to find that her modern methods and 'stuck-up' ways bring her into conflict with her family and other formidable residents of Raglan Road. Determined, Hazel battles on, assisting with home deliveries and supporting the local GP. The days are long and hard, but Hazel brings knowledge and compassion to the work she loves.
Summer 1942. Britain is in the depths of war and the Women’s Land Army is hard at work looking after the farms while the men are away fighting. While patriotism, duty and a wonderful spirit of camaraderie sustain the Land Girls through tough times, it’s no surprise that love is also often on their minds. For Yorkshire Land Girls and firm friends Grace, Brenda and Una, romance in wartime comes with a host of challenges. There’s a wedding to plan, but married bliss is threatened when the time comes for the groom to enlist.
Bobbie Fraser, Mary Holland and Jean Thornton are Atta Girls - part of the Air Transport Auxiliary team flying planes between bases. Taking to the air in anything they're given, their work is dangerous but their courage always comes through. Now there's a new girl joining the ranks - Canadian Viv Robertson, who is bright, brash and brave. But can Viv settle into her new home with the other girls?
1936. George Street, West Yorkshire, houses a gleaming, brand-new telephone exchange where a group of capable girls works the complicated electrical switchboards. Among them are Cynthia, Norma and Millicent, who relish the busy, efficient atmosphere and the independence and friendship their jobs have given them. But when Millicent connects a telephone call for an old friend, and listens in to the conversation - breaking one of the telephonists' main rules - she, and then Norma and Cynthia too, become caught up in a story of scandal, corruption and murder.
Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Shop Girls of Chapel Street by Jenny Holmes, read by Janine Birkett. Orphaned young, Violet Wheeler has been brought up by her aunt - but after Winnie's death, she feels like she's lost everything. With no-one to turn to, she has to rely on the goodwill of the community to help her out. At the Jubilee drapers, amongst the spools of ribbon, skeins of silk and latest 30s fashions, Violet finds a refuge.
Winter, 1942. Brenda and Joyce are just two of the girls who have joined the Women’s Land Army and are doing their bit for the war effort. But after months working on farms in the Yorkshire Dales, they’re looking for a fresh challenge. Despite the bitter cold of their new billets high in the remote fells, their fear for those away fighting, and concern for family and friends, there is warmth to be found in faces old and new, and plans for a jolly Christmas are afoot.
On the cobbled streets of Bradford in 1931, Lily Briggs does all she can to keep trouble at bay for her and her family. She works hard at Calvert Mill to make ends meet and take care of her parents and younger siblings. Saturday nights at the dance hall and dressmaking with her two best friends keep Lily upbeat, and now there’s a blossoming romance with childhood friend Harry Bainbridge to put an extra spring in her step, too.
Yorkshire 1944. The end of the war feels tantalisingly close, but Air Transport Auxiliary girls Bobbie, Viv and Mary have plenty more flights in their beloved Spitfires yet - battling everything from snow to enemy fire on their journeys. Risking their lives doing their bit for their country, this Christmas they're determined to have some festive fun. But as they set about bringing good tidings for all, a stern and mysterious new flyer in the form of Peggy arrives. What secret is Peggy hiding?