The war may be over, but for newly reunited sisters Babs and Beth, peace has yet to find them. Having been taken from their mother at a young age and then separated themselves for twelve years, their family has encountered enough pain to last a lifetime.
As the festive season approaches, they realise their struggles are far from over, but if they want to look forward to a happy future together they must work to put the past behind them. Will the joys of Christmas be enough to unite their family once more?
I am delighted to be posting this review on publication day of A Blackpool Christmas. huge congratulations to Maggie Mason.
This is the third and final book in the Sandgronians trilogy, I haven’t read the 2 previous books but as a fan of historical fiction, this book sounded interesting so when invited by Frankie Banks to be involved with this blog tour I jumped at the chance. Thanks Frankie for the finished copy of the book.
Firstly do you know what a Sandgronian is? I didn’t but can now confirm it is a person born and bred in Blackpool. This book starts towards the end of the first world war, twins Beth and Babs, both nurses have been working on the battlefront and both return home damaged, recently reunited after a period of estrangement from each other and their family, laden with losses and baggage. It wasn’t always clear to me what had happened and when in the past but the story was easy to follow.
This read like a true saga and there were many gaps and allusions to what had occurred before. However the books were exceptionally well written and the author skillfully filled in the gaps but only to the extent that I knew enough, I still want to read the other two books! The characters were engaging, the family, led by matriarch Tilly, a loving but inspiring mother with a chequered history that I would like to read more about led an eventful life but nevertheless her story and indeed the story always felt authentic.
The story was told from the perspectives of Babs, Beth and Tilly, always in the third person and spanned several years, with the family Christmas a pivotal point each year. A strong cast of supporting characters gave this book depth and a heart and within this story the author created a memorable group of likable individuals.
The Spanish flu was touched upon and I liked this aspect which felt particularly relevant and of interest right now, interestingly it offered some hope as despite being devastating it passed. I wondered if that part had been added or developed in light of the current pandemic.
This was a very enjoyable piece of historical fiction, dramatic at times with a range of story lines and a warm northern heart making it an uplifting and pleasing read, which I would recommend.
About the Author
Maggie Mason also writes saga as Mary Wood. Mary was born the thirteenth child of fifteen and throughout her life had various factory, office and home-based jobs, finally becoming a probation service officer before she retired. Mary married in 1963 and with her husband Roy has four children, eight grandchildren, and five step-grandchildren. She got her first book deal in 2013 and has not looked back since.
This is a blog tour celebrating the third book in the Sandgronians trilogy by Maggie Mason. Do check out what others are saying and please do share across social media.