Start reading Martha's Girls on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Martha's Girls [Kindle Edition]

Alrene Hughes
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £2.29 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £6.70 (75%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £2.29  
Hardcover, Large Print £20.99  
Paperback £8.99  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged £67.80  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Book Description

A moving saga that takes the reader to the very heart of a close-knit, fiery, loving family – perfect for fans of Mary Larkin, Pam Weaver and Maggie Craig.

Belfast, 1939, and Martha’s daughters are beginning to make their way in the world.

Irene, the eldest, is on the lookout for a new job and romance. She is torn between Sean O’Hara – wanted by the police for something he didn’t do – and RAF radio engineer Sandy, serving in India.

Pat is sensitive and thoughtful, and dreams of life beyond the Ulster Linen Works. When she is introduced to a dashing tenor, the possibility of a new life seems ever more real …

Peggy, hot-headed and glamorous, loves her job in Mr Goldstein’s music shop on Royal Avenue, where she catches the eye of a Humphrey Bogart lookalike, but he isn’t all he appears …

Sheila, the youngest, wants to stay on at school, but her family desperately needs another wage. Above all, she longs to be treated like a grown-up.

Although they lead very different lives, the sisters share a passion for singing, and when they are asked to join a new troupe of entertainers, Martha fears this will put them in temptation’s way. Can she hold her family together and keep her girls safe, even when the bombs begin to fall?

Product Description


A deeply moving book which succeeds in balancing the complex emotions of the characters with the social and political life of the time. --Rose Morris, Cultural Director, Irish World Heritage Centre

About the Author

ALRENE HUGHES was born in Enniskillen, grew up in Belfast and now lives in Manchester. She is a member of the Manchester Irish Writers and her short stories and poetry have been published in anthologies and broadcast on radio. Martha's Girls is her first book.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1207 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Publisher: Blackstaff Press (11 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FZVR796
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,340 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Author

Alrene Hughes was born in Enniskillen, grew up in Belfast and now lives in Manchester. She is a member of the Manchester Irish Writers and her short stories and poetry have been published in anthologies and broadcast on radio. She was an English teacher for twenty years and now writes full time.
Her first novel 'Martha's Girls' was inspired by a family scrapbook of concert programmes and newspaper cuttings about The Golden Sisters - her mother and aunts. Her second book 'The Golden Sisters' was published in March 2015. It is the second book in a WW2 trilogy, but can be read as a stand alone novel. 'The Golden Sisters' was launched at the Northern Ireland War Memorial museum in Belfast and the scrap book and photographs are currently on display at the museum as part of its Women in WW2 season.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book 4 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have thoroughly enjoyed Martha's Girls and would highly recommend it. The story is a mixture of romance, drama, happiness and sadness and the characters come to life as you read, you really feel as though you know these women personally. My teenage daughter has read this book and while she has not read a book of this style before, enjoyed it immensely. My mother-in-law is now reading it and loves it. Am waiting eagerly for the sequel.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down 17 July 2012
After reading this memorable novel, I could not help but share it with other members of my family who have all found it appealing . Although it is generally uplifting, there are times of trouble and worry, with mixed emotions, just like any family in real life. I thoroughly enjoyed finding out about each of the characters and would love to read any sequels.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where's the sequel? 14 Dec. 2013
A fabulous read. Not my usual sort of book but I bought one for my sister and she enthused so much about it, I read it myself. Can't wait for the sequel to find out how the characters fared. I would recommend. It's warm, funny, sad, poignant and above all so tenderly human.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 12 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An absolutely brilliant read - so much so I was unable to put it down!
I would certainly recommend the book - my 3 daughters have read it and were equally as complimentary as me!
Martha's Girls is a perfect combination of drama, accurate historical events and romance, tinged with both sadness and happiness.
I can't wait to read the sequel in this unfolding family saga!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Martha\s Girls 26 Jan. 2014
By AngelaQ
An absolutely brilliant novel, easy to read and once started I could'nt put it down or stop thinking about it. The story was about a Mother and her daughters, and everyday life in the build up to war torn Belfast. A lot of drama around the budding romances of the girls along with the Belfast humour of real life situations, living in Belfast myself I could easily identify where the family lived and therefore felt involved with there journey through life, there is definately an opening for a sequel and I would be first in the queue to buy it
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I‘ve just finished reading ‘Martha’s Girls’ and I was not disappointed. The gentle, fluid writing carries you along like one of the wartime songs featured in the story, emitting feelings of nostalgia, courage and hope for a peaceful and happier tomorrow. The historical background is well researched and brings the reader into the heart of the story with characters who are believable and who act and react in tune with the times. There are many amusing elements on stage and off and I will never think of the Christmas turkey in quite the same way again. With four young women in the mix, you are seldom far from romance and the sisters’ dreams and aspirations hold the reader in high expectation. Despite their individual circumstances, all the girls are upheld with the love and constancy of their strong and devoted mother. This is an uplifting tale with great characterisation and insight. I look forward very much to the next book in the series.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent first book I hope she has more to come. 16 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved the book the style of writing suited my taste and I think the author has captured the spirit of the period.
Her description of the interaction of the girls and their different characters was excellent.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction. Although this one is a lot more than that.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it loved it loved it! 2 July 2012
By simmo79
I wholeheartedly agree with fischer.usa's review...I have absolutely no doubt she was reading a different book! There is no other excuse for such a negative review of this lovely, atmospheric and honest novel!

This is a fantastic read...and from someone that doesn't usually touch the 'Family Saga' genre with the proverbial bargepole this is quite a statement.

I loved this novel! Well-written and honest, it is an amazing portrayal of an amazing family; their lives, loves and heartaches at an unbelievably emotional and unsettling time - the Second World War. Each character is so well written you feel as if you know them personally. The shifting narrative viewpoint lets the reader inside the minds of all the girls and contributes to the overall atmosphere and experience of the novel. The portrayal of Belfast during wartime is brilliantly intoxicating and really makes the reader as if they are there; experiencing every twist and turn by the side of Martha and her daughters.

I desperately hope the sequel is on it's way pretty soon...either that, or some tv producer reads it and realises that it would be fabulous on screen. One can dream.

Absolutely, wholeheartedly recommend this novel. No doubt!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category