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on 6 June 2016
Like some of the other reviewers on here, I bought this book, which is the first book in a trilogy, because it was cheap and I thought I would get around to reading it at some point. I knew who Nadine Dorries was, but had never read any of her books before.

I started this book on a Thursday and found it so compelling I could not put it down. I read it in a day and swiftly read the other two books in the trilogy over the next two days. It has been a long time since I have read a story that has affected me so deeply and still has me thinking about it days after finishing it.

I started reading this thinking it would just be about families living in a street in Liverpool in the 1950s and to start with it was. Nadine Dorries has a way of vividly describing everything so you can picture what everything looks like so easily. You sympathised with the women and their lot, a baby every year, living on a hand-to-mouth existence, where their husbands went down to the docks every day without the guarantee of any work and I was enjoying reading about their day-to-day lives when suddenly, halfway through the book, everything changed and it suddenly went really dark. I have to confess that if I had known what was going to happen in the book I probably would never have read it, but even though I found it really disturbing and upsetting, I am glad I continued and finished this book and the next two in the series.

This is an amazing read and although it covers a difficult subject matter, it does it very well and I cannot recommend it enough.
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on 11 April 2016
This is the first Nadine Dorries book I have ever read and I enjoyed it so much that I bought the next one in the series so that I could start it the minute I finished this one. For some reason I tend to read a lot of books set in Liverpool but refreshingly this one doesn't contain all the usual constant references to Liverpool which most authors seem to think they have to include.

It is easy to read and I was surprised as it did contain a shock element concerning the Priest which I wasn't expecting and although I didn't enjoy reading these bits, I can see that these events have shaped the story. As I have now started reading the second book in the trilogy, the disturbing events from this book are even more relevant as the story wouldn't have taken the same direction.

Overall, it is the usual story of a close knit neighbourhood struggling to make ends meet but it does have a twist which makes it a bit different to the norm and I really enjoyed it. I am only at the beginning of book 2 and have already purchased book 3 and I just hope they live up to the same enjoyable read as this book.
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VINE VOICEon 3 September 2014
Set in Liverpool in the 1950s this book tells of a closely knit Irish community.
It is a story of love,abuse,friendship and how adults and children alike stick together.
The main character is Jerry a docker who marries his true love Bernadette.
When Bernadette dies a strange outsider befriends Jerry.Alice has to live up to the well loved Bernadette.
The priest of the community is not who people believe him to be and his sordid goings on eventually catch up with him.
Then there is Maura the 'mother' not just her own family but to anyone in need.
I couldn't wait to read this book each night, a well written, intriuging story, a real page turner.
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on 7 October 2014
I downloaded this book on the strength of so many positive reviews and the fact that I fancied a change of genre from my usual thriller/crime choices. It sat on my Kindle for quite a while until a couple of days ago I decided to give it a go.
I found the style easy to get into and found her writing both descriptive and thought provoking. Basically it is a simple book, telling the story of Irish immigrants who having bravely left their homeland in search of a better life, have settled in Liverpool, where work on the docks was plentiful (if hard) in the 1950's.
There is no "clever, exciting" plot to this book, instead it tells the story of the day to day living of the families living in the `four streets', a run down area, where the large catholic families struggle to survive - but where the sense of community is strong and constant.
For me, the book was running along smoothly until about half way through when child abuse comes into play. I have to say that in a way, this spoiled the story for me. Perhaps that is because for me this book was a step back from the books I usually read, which are thrillers and crime. Once the child abuse was introduced the book changed for me, it became neither one thing or another - neither a pleasant story of times gone by or an exciting thriller/whodunit story.
But nevertheless I did enjoy the writing style and the interaction of the families and so I give it three stars.
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on 8 July 2014
Couldn't put this down. Having grown up in a working class area in another city in the UK at around the same time as this is set, though blessedly not in such difficult circumstances, a lot of aspects of daily life in this book were easily recognisable. This is an excellent portrayal of the way in which people would bicker and squabble, but still pull together to support one another during hardship and adversity and also what they sometimes did to survive, whether legal or not. Faced with hunger and deprivation, the moral compass may bend. It surely makes you realise how far we have come in the last 50 years - though let's hope some current policies will not reverse the trend.

Criticism and distrust of those from outside, sometimes undeserved respect for those in authority and fear of retribution which could take many forms and was far more difficult to speak out against at that time - all these are highlighted with great clarity - as is the often rough and ready, but genuine, love and strength that existed in individual families and amongst those who lived so close together. That sense of community is something very familiar to me and many others, I suspect.

Nadine Dorries may have achieved some notoriety for other reasons, however this book suggests she could not only be a good advocate for her constituents, showing a considerable degree of empathy, but a very good and popular author too. Look forward to her next offering.
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on 1 August 2017
This is not my usual type of book and it sat in my kindle carousel for quite a while but I have just finished reading it and found it thoroughly entertaining. I have now bought the other two parts of the trilogy. The story is of poor Irish immigrants in 1950s Liverpool and has wonderfully warm and real characters who stick together through all their hardships. Highly recommended.
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on 8 November 2015
The Four Streets is a story about the trials and tribulations of Catholic Irish families living in Liverpool. Nadine Dorries shares with us the amazing difficulties these extremely poor families had to cope with. But through all their struggles they stuck together and supported each other in ways that seem alien in today's lifestyle. She shows how poverty can bond families extending love and compassion that we can only dream of.

The husbands' main concern is to provide for and protect their wives and families. The wives spend their waking hours cooking, cleaning and producing children with little money and none of the luxuries that we now take for granted.

I can't wait to download the next book in the trilogy to see how life in the four streets changes as new technology takes over and families become isolated from this early post war era of poverty but intimate slum existence.

Thank you Nadine for a book that kept me transfixed till the last page.
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on 8 June 2014
I won't go into the names and details of the characters. However, this is one of the best books I have ever read. It was dark in some places and moved very quickly indeed.

The story gives a 'social insight' into some of the people/families who settled in Liverpool in the 1940's-1960's. Also the 'power' that the local priest had within their community.

There were turns and twists that I could not have anticipated. My 'minds eye' was right there with the whole of the story. This book should be a BEST SELLER - it is a story that I will never forget and was certainly food for thought...

I appreciate that the story may not be everyone's cup of tea - for those of you with an open mind read it. This is certainly an example of not judging a book by its cover!

I look forward to reading more of Nadine's books:-) Also reading other reader's views.
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on 22 October 2014
I have read the trilogy and the Lovely Lane books which broadens the lives of characters from Four Streets. I find Nadine Dorries' writing to show emotional intelligence, poverty awareness and a sense of historical context as the community moves into the era of NHS and Welfare State with the new antibiotics and medical procedures beginning to save lives. Neither does she shy away from difficult issues such as scandals within the Church. This is where I begin to scratch my head...... Nadine Dorries is part of a governing party which has repeadedly reighned down austerity on vulnerable groups of people bringing with it the need for food banks and widening the gap between the haves and have nots in these more enlightened times. The new dawn that was heralded across the books with all its hope and promise is eroding fast. That does not take away from the stonking read but I could not help making the comparison
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on 24 January 2016
very enjoyable read, I did struggle to get into until 32% finished BUT that was because the point of view this comes from was different AND the chapters were over 30 minutes a time I like shorter chapters but when I did get into it I was very drawn in.
Great characters it actually made me cry with the surprise twist early on, I've started the second and have the 3rd ready to read this series is very engrossing, as soon as anything happens you need to read that next chapter even if it is 1am and you need sleep you will forsake rest for another half hour :) made me laugh as well as cry great attention to detail really enjoyed this & started the second book the same night I finished this :)
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