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Martha's Girls [Paperback]

Alrene Hughes
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 1 Feb 2012 --  
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Book Description

1 Feb 2012
Five women and one city in a heartwarming story of life, love and war. Belfast 1939: Martha Goulding's world is shattered by a sudden death and the outbreak of war that leaves her family facing an uncertain future. Her daughters are talented singers who join a troupe of entertainers led by Goldstein, a Polish Jew, who is determined to raise morale and money for the war effort. But Martha is torn between allowing her girls to perform and keeping them safe from men, both in and out of uniform, and their own headstrong personalities. Irene is drawn to Sean, but the relationship leads her into danger. Peggy is charmed by the enigmatic Harry. Pat doesn't realise she's fallen in love at all until it's too late. Sheila longs to sing with her older sisters. The rise in the girls' success as the renamed Golden Sisters is played out against a backdrop of Belfast life - from elegant Royal Avenue, into the mills, aircraft factory, concert and dance halls to the heart of the Stormont government. Apathy and lack of resources have left the city unprepared and vulnerable, its people unaware of the horror about to befall them, and Martha's family will need all their strength and courage to survive.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Matador (1 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780881924
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780881928
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 13 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 941,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.The book was originally self published and is now published by Blackstaff Press, the leading Northern Ireland publisher.

Product Description

Review

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. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down 17 July 2012
Format:Paperback
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book 4 July 2012
By JS
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.
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1 of 1 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!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Martha\s Girls 26 Jan 2014
By AngelaQ
Format:Paperback
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
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where's the sequel? 14 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 13 Dec 2013
By Prinny
Format:Paperback
I couldn't put this book down. It is a brilliant and heartwarming read. I would highly recommend this author. Great buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 26 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
An absolutely brilliant novel which was so easy to read that once started I was unable to put it down. From the very first page I was instantly drawn into the heart of a loving family and thoroughly enjoyed every chapter in the lives of the characters. The author's observations of everyday life, recounted in the intricate detail of the descriptive language brought both the events of the book and the characters to life. The story was gentle and evocative of the period of the build up to war torn Belfast but as such also brought to life the moments of frightening drama, the excitement, the romance and the sadness all retold with the underlying humour present in such real life situations. More more more please ....... and soon as I can't wait to find out what happens to the Goulding sisters next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good indeed 16 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was introduced to us by the author who was present at a local vintage fair a few months ago. I decided to buy a signed copy for my mother-in law because the story sounded like just her cup of tea, since then I decided to download a copy to my kindle and also recommend it to my auntie who has since read it, its a very nice read and a very highly recommended read
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read
I enjoyed this book and couldn't put it down kept me captivated all the way through well worth the money
Published 8 days ago by Helen Dolan
5.0 out of 5 stars First Time
This was a fabulous read and coming from Northern Irealnd made it even better - can't wait for her next book to come out
Published 12 days ago by Mrs. Sandra Mcnally
5.0 out of 5 stars Manchester girl
This book is a very detailed account of the dreams and heartache of three young girls living in Belfast. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mg
5.0 out of 5 stars .
I wanted to keep reading even though my eyes would be closing with tiredness. A lovely story, easy to read, you just want to know how the sisters' lives would be affected by WW11... Read more
Published 2 months ago by jOAN rIDING
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
Martha's Girls was thoroughly enjoyable, so I'm really looking forward to the sequel. It showed how the people of Belfast rallied round & carried on, when the outbreak of war hit... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars A well written, evocative novel.
I bought and read Martha's girls shortly after it was published. I think it is the only family story of it's kind that is set in Northern Ireland in the second world war period. Read more
Published 4 months ago by eileen holroydE. Holroyd
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved the storyline
I met the author at a vintage fair & downloaded this book. I enjoyed it greatly the characters we alive and real. The story wove a tale that kept me as a reader interesting. Read more
Published 9 months ago by M. N. Wilson
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