Sophia from Piatkus has kindly sent out copies of Ten Bells Street for my team of readers to review.
Loved the story of Becky Bernie and Rose, 3 best friends from very different backgrounds and how they fought together through all they had to endure .
Would highly recommend this book. Gave it 5 stars.
This book is set in the Spitalfields area of London in the years leading up to the second world war. It follows three girls Becky who is Jewish, Bernie who is part of a large Irish family with the men working on the docks and Rose whose mother works the streets and her pimp/boyfriend, who thinks he can treat Rose as his own plaything.
We first meet the girls in 1930 when they are eight and ten years old, then the years progress to 1936 and the era of Mosley and his blackshirts and the Cable Street Riots. As the years go on the lives of the three girls become sometimes more complicated, love affections to Solly who has gone out to Spain to fight, will it come between them or bring them together. Rose seems to fare worse than the others and when she has to visit a woman in a back street, she realises that something has to change.
Life in these times is certainly full of its ups and downs and these families certainly seem to have their fair share of them. The book truly has three very strong female lead characters and although the book finishes almost at the eve of the second world war, I understand that there is to be a follow up book set in the 1940s which will be a must to read, to find out what happens to our three characters and their families.
This book will appeal to fans of Saga books, but not just female readers, I think the men will enjoy this too, plenty of action and romance to suit all.
I am on page 149 of the book and I have decided I am done with it. When it is very well written, with interesting descriptions that really make you feel you are there in the story in that street, it is a bit like being in a Maeve Binchy novel, the story is too miserable for me.
The dialogues are very well written. In a 2019 era where women are always pitched against each other by the media, it's lovely to see a real friendship story. The characters are strong and interesting.
However I am tired of the misery in it. I have learned a lot about this time, the Jewish culture, the England the 1930's. But I need happy thoughts and happy events in a book and this one lacks cruelly of it. The author has a great writing style, I will go and see what other books she has out there.
I will donate the book to my local library.
This book is set in the 1930's, in the years leading up to WW2. It follows 3 girls Becky, Bernie and Rose who are best friends from different backgrounds. The majority of the book is set around the Jewish community in London's East End, which is a really interesting point of view.
The girls join in to try to help stop the marches made by Oswald Moseley and his blackshirts supporters from coming into their community. It touches on some of the horrors surrounding the way that Jewish people were being treated in Europe at the time. Bernie longs to be a photographer and travel, but her poor Irish dock working family can't afford the camera, can she find a way to fulfil her dream?
Rose lives with her drunken mother and her beast of a boyfriend. Can Rose escape the future that seems inevitable for her?
And what of Becky? Rebekah lives with her widowed father and dreams of being a nurse, but her father, a Jewish tailor wants her to marry a Jewish boy of good standing.
There are some funny parts, some awful parts, and some of them tug at your heartstrings as you know many of these things really did happen. It highlights how brutal life was in the East End. Can these girls find their way in life, or will they just succumb to the inevitable?
My only 'criticism' is that I didn't understand some of the words used as they are part of the Jewish culture and I found myself googling them to find out what they meant, a list of some of these words and their meanings would have been really helpful.
Other than that I really enjoyed this book, it was good to get an insight into the Jewish community in the lead up to WW2 and I am glad to hear that there will be another book carrying on the story, as I felt at the end of the book that these young characters had lots of scope to develop further and I wanted to read more.
I definitely recommend this book, it is a really enjoyable read.