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The Saturday Girls Paperback – 23 Aug 2018
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A book to read in great gulps Author: Sheila Newberry
Beautifully written . . . Elizabeth Woodcraft has a real talent for teasing out all the uncertainties, anxieties and fierce loyalties Author: Mary Gibson
I really enjoyed being whisked back to suburban Essex in the 1960s in The Saturday Girls and I am sure that the author has more stories of this fascinating time to share Source: Jaffa Reads Too
It's a nice story of self discovery and development...I like that not everything is perfect and the idea of a perfect relationship isn't forced upon you. It's much more relatable Source: Loubeelou Blogs
Step straight into 1964 England: the fashion, the music and the culture immerses the reader as Linda begins to make the personal choices that led to a cultural revolution.See all Product description
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I was drawn to this book because of the time period it is set in - I wasn't even a twinkle in my mother's eye during the heyday of the Mods and the Rockers but it still feels almost close enough to touch, almost as if I could have been there. Maybe because my early childhood was set to a backdrop of the Sixties Sounds courtesy of my mum's rather Rocker collection and my dad's rather Mod collection of LPs.
This is really Linda's story and yes, it has a great deal of the coming-of-age saga about it. However, you are not beat over the head with it and the author allows events to unfold naturally on to the page and the characters are complex and multi-dimensional. Initially you are lulled in to a sense of a rather mundane tale of two wannabe-Mod girls who are going to get in to trouble with the company they keep; fortunately this is not what you get.
The story itself takes you from the Corn Exchange to the Aldemaston March, stopping off in Paris, Wethersfield Air Force Base and Wormwood Scrubs. Sandra might only want to get married but Linda wants more from life - she just doesn't know what. Until that is she meets Sylvie, damaged and ostracised by the community it is Sylvie that provides the perfect foil to Linda's story.
Overall I did enjoy the book, the story moves at a leisurely pace and at times I did find my mind wandering away from what was unfolding there. The character interactions are, on the whole, believable and I liked the fact it showed a teenage girl as being both politicised and still interested in fashion, struggling to find her place in the world and seeking to find it through knowledge and personal enrichment rather than through a man.
Don't be misled by the cover, this not a World War II saga, although you can be forgiven for believing it to be of that ilk. It is definitely a saga though and a rather enjoyable one at that and it did leave me wondering exactly what happened to Linda - did she achieve her ambitions? I certainly hope so!
The story centres around Linda a teenager attending Chelmsford High School, growing up as a mod, living on a council estate and her dad is a local Labour councillor in the town. She is asked by her mum to befriend a young unmarried mother Sylvia or Sylvie as she likes to be known. Things are so much different in the 60s and attitudes towards Sylvie are unkind. Sylvie is unwell with the baby blues and has even been put in Severalls Hospital in Colchester. Linda looks after Sylvies baby Mansell for short periods, getting two biscuits as payment! This is a book about growing up, music, boyfriends, cultures and friendships. I don't think things have really changed through the years it doesn't matter if you grew up in the 60s, 70s, 90s or present day although many things may change friendships are still there and choices to be made. A lovely nostalgic read.
Then into Linda’s life comes Sylvie and Mansell and suddenly Linda begins to think of what she can achieve in life even though she knows that this will mean seeing less of her best friend Sandra. In some ways Linda is accepting of this as Sandra is in with a bad crowd and Linda can’t make her see sense.
This is a very enjoyable book about growing up in 1960’s Chelmsford.