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4.6 out of 5 stars98
4.6 out of 5 stars
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on 5 May 2009
As usual as soon as I recieved Annie Murray's new book, I had got to read it straight away although I had purchased it to take on holiday. I just couldn't wait till then to read it. The book is about the life of a young child Emma who has to grow up far too quickly to look after her siblings and a father who doesn't seem to care as he is so wrapped up in his own misery due to his wife ending up in an Asylum. All the way through the book I kept hopeing that someone would come to her aid and take over. For me this novel I felt was quiet dark and this was due to the fact the Ms Murray really draws you into the life of her characters and that they become so real to you. I wanted this child's life to take a turn to make her life more bearable sooner rather than later.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2011
I bought "All the Days of Our Lives" (Katie's story) when I saw it in a supermarket to take on holiday recently and I loved it! Hopscotch Summer is the first book in this trilogy and is Em's story and covers life when Em, Molly and Katie were little girls. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it was so atmospheric as was "All the Days of Our Lives". I have visited Living Museums in Birmingham and Wales and could picture the sort of houses the girls lived in! I am now reading "Soldier Girl" which is Molly's story. These books are so easy to read and really enjoyable and although life was undoubtedly much, much harder than life is today (thank goodness for the washing machine!) it was much simpler and less stressful, with all our choices and communication devices never giving us a moments peace! I have read "Chick-lit" for years but I'm really enjoying these books set in modern history, in fact the girls would all now be about the same age as my 88 year old mother-in-law! I have now ordered 4 more Annie Murray books and intend to buy them all!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 1 September 2011
I had read other peoples' reviews on this book so knew it was the first in a trilogy.
What drew me to it initially was that I would have been approximaely the same age as the little girl 'Em' in the period that the story was set and from a not disimilar background and it was like opening a door into the past, good and bad. I then read 'Soldier Girl' the second book and I am now reading the final book in the Trilogy 'All the days of our lives' and I am still as capitivated. An excellent atmospheric rendition of life from the mid 30's to post war following the paths of three young girls into adulthood. their trials and tribulations. Superbly, descriptive writing and a very enjoyable read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 August 2009
good book in the same style as others by the author bought for my mother who liked this as the others.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2009
enjoyed but did lack the oomph her other books had felt as if left in mid air will there be a follow on
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2012
I always enjoy a good book at bedtime and for me it has to be somethithing I lookforward to reading. It has to hold my interest or I get bored.

I have now read 6 of Annie Murrays books and I do not generaly stick to one Author authour except for James Patterson.For me Annie Murray is out there with the best of story tellers.

It is refreshing to read bookes that hold a historical version of life in Birmingham in a period setting. I know or have heard of many of the places mentioned in her books. This makes it personal.

I can relate to the characters and the experiences of the families in all of Annie's books because of the attention to detail with things like the out side privey and phrases and dirlect unique to Brum and the Brummie ressilience, open friendly and warm nature so often neglected in literature is highlighted and shines though all her books.

If you, like me like a good read at bedtime then go for Annie Murray.
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on 28 June 2015
This is the first of a trilogy, the sequels being 'Soldier Girl' and 'All the Days of Our Lives'. I have just completed all three (accidentally reading book 2 first) and was very pleased at the way most of the loose ends were tied up: not all of them - this author is too much of a realist, but she did wave her fairy godmother's wand enough to please me, after I had become passionately involved with the three main characters! I would still like to know more about what Molly did after the end of Book 3, and some of the other characters.

Annie Murray has a good author's website with all her books listed and the reading orders given, if applicable - do check it out. I was interested to read that she had worked for 'a charity' in Birmingham, and wonder if some of the inspiration for her writing came from this time. If you have any interest in early/mid-C20th social history you will love these books because they really bring to life the typical problems that really affected many of our ancestors; indeed, some people still living will remember these times. Sadly, some of the issues are still with us. This book deals with child sexual abuse, incest, alcoholism, mental illness and domestic violence. Incidentally, why do some people describe this type of book as 'gentle'? I think it's a narrow-minded way of dismissing anything aimed at female readers without having read it yourself. And ghettoising these books in a 'saga' section in libraries, away from the general fiction, annoys me.

Anyway, back to the story. You'll have read the outline already so I won't repeat it. You will really root for Em, wince at the physical dangers of children keeping house, grieve at the asylum scenes, recognise the childhood friend relationships (take careful note of these as they are at the heart of the trilogy!), and cheer when Dot, the stalwart neighbour, gives a piece of her mind to Em's dad. The final triumph is Em's, though. Enjoy the ride, and be prepared to go on and read the rest, to finish the stories of Emma, Molly and Katy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 October 2011
I have read a lot of Annie Murray books, and have really enjoyed all of them. This one really had me hooked, I found myself wondering about the characters even when I wasn't able to read it. I felt as if I was living their story with them. I have cried with them and cheered for them. I feel as if I have got to know all of them really well! Just about to start the next book in this seriesSoldier Girl, cant wait! Well done Annie!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 September 2012
An example of the worst of the "born to grinding poverty" genre. Every opportunity is taken to point out how awful the main character's life is and when it's really bad something else awful happens. Couldn't warm to any of the characters , struggled to halfway and gave up. Life's too short to waste reading it
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on 6 December 2014
If you like novels set before, during and just after WW2, I am sure you will enjoy these books by Annie Murray. Read A Hopscotch Summer first, then Soldier Girl and then All The Days of Our Lives. Annie Murray is quite an edgy writer compared to some in this genre and one becomes involved in her characters and their joys and tragedies. I do not come from Birmingham and do not know it all but found this did not matter and enjoyed learning a little of its past industrial life. In each book one learns about each of the three friends. They can be read as separate entities but much nicer to live with the characters for as long as possible. I shall write the same review for each of the three books
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