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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cuppa tea and an aspirin
Living in a court in one room in 1939, with nine kids and a husband who tries to get hired twice a day for the tides, Martha Connolly has no way to better her conditions. She buys old sheets and tears them into square rags to sell for cloths, and her few pence barely cover food. When she has no food she goes around the charities of Liverpool, hoping for a pot of soup to...
Published 15 months ago by Clare O'Beara

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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars average
This book isn't a patch on Helen's own story. I have also read all of her other fiction books, and this is fairly weak even compared to them. The central character isn't one that you warm too, which means that you don't really care what happens to her, unfortunately!
An average read, but there is much better out there. If you haven't read...
Published on 6 Nov 2005


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars average, 6 Nov 2005
By A Customer
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This book isn't a patch on Helen's own story. I have also read all of her other fiction books, and this is fairly weak even compared to them. The central character isn't one that you warm too, which means that you don't really care what happens to her, unfortunately!
An average read, but there is much better out there. If you haven't read Helen Forrester before, try her four autobiographic books- they are truly excellent.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Life's struggle in Liverpool during the 2nd world war, 28 Jun 2004
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Having really enjoyed Helen's autobiographical books (2p to Cross the Mersey, Liverpool Miss,By the Waters of Liverpool, Limestreet at Two)I was really looking forward to this new novel but in the end I was quite disappointed. The main character lacks the warmth and appeal of Helen's own story and the plot struggles to get going for me. The central character starts in a care home as an elderly person and relays her life story of poverty and hardship during the second world war to a member of staff and so the story alternates between the two periods. It ends satisfactorily, but over all was not a patch on Helen's own story.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Cuppa tea and an aspirin, 13 May 2013
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Clare O'Beara - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Living in a court in one room in 1939, with nine kids and a husband who tries to get hired twice a day for the tides, Martha Connolly has no way to better her conditions. She buys old sheets and tears them into square rags to sell for cloths, and her few pence barely cover food. When she has no food she goes around the charities of Liverpool, hoping for a pot of soup to carry home and some bread. They have to meet rent and coal, and several families use one toilet. Martha has one child in a TB sanatorium and one boy away at sea, and keeps her daughter home from school to help hemming handkerchiefs and mind the youngest child.

Life was cold and tough and dirty and people did not wash, carrying vermin. There was never enough food and kids did almost unthinkable things to get treats. Boots had to be begged. With a large population of workers and more desperate men coming from Ireland all the time, labour was cheap.

Then the war came along and everyone's life changed. Liverpool was a prime target as a port, and was bombed for a solid week. Young people got work and money, but at a terrible cost.

Looking back over her life from a care home where she has been put after falling and hurting her hip, Martha bemoans the fact that the family got broken up and kids moved abroad for work, others just dropped her when they married up in the world. This is a sad tale and it makes us grateful for the better conditions we have today. I found it readable and very evocative of the hard times endured in many cities.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable., 8 Jun 2013
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This review is from: A Cuppa Tea and an Aspirin (Kindle Edition)
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys family sagas, before and during the war years, I rate this author very highly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 12 Jan 2013
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This review is from: A Cuppa Tea and an Aspirin (Kindle Edition)
A look at what life was like in the slums of Liverpool, how poor defenceless people had to fight for their survival
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not my cuppa tea, 27 Mar 2014
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This review is from: A Cuppa Tea and an Aspirin (Kindle Edition)
Found it a bit heavy going for me even from the start and a bit depressing know these things happened and life was like that but I need to escape when I read a book sorry Helen
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT, 9 Feb 2014
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This review is from: A Cuppa Tea and an Aspirin (Kindle Edition)
AS ALWAYS A GREAT ACCOUNT OF HOW LIFE WAS MANY YEARS AGO. I LOVE THESE BOOKS AND HAVE ORDERED THEM ALL TO READ THROUGH
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What rubbish, 13 Sep 2013
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This review is from: A Cuppa Tea and an Aspirin (Kindle Edition)
Having read the first two chapters and being utterly disgruntled with it, I went to later chapters and lo and behold it was more of the same.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but not brilliant, 5 Aug 2014
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This review is from: A Cuppa Tea and an Aspirin (Kindle Edition)
I struggled with this one I have to say. Nothing really seemed to develop with the characters and there was a big gap in Martha's life between the war and going into the care home. I didn't really like the central character and found it hard to sympathise with her. The book ended very abruptly and seemed to meander throughout.
However, was a very interesting insight into slum living in the 1930s.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very good read, 15 July 2014
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This review is from: A Cuppa Tea and an Aspirin (Kindle Edition)
This is not always an easy book to read but gives one an insight into a different way of life. What comes across is the hard work and appealing conditions that some have to endure, but family ties and looking out for each other help you through difficult times.
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A Cuppa Tea and an Aspirin
A Cuppa Tea and an Aspirin by Helen Forrester
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