I am really enjoying reading historical fiction and sagas at the moment, so Welcome to Weaver Street sounded just my kind of thing. This is the first book in a series.
Set in Liverpool in 1916, it tells the story of Kitty and Tom Conlon, a married couple who arrive from Ireland. They move into 11 Weaver Street, after Tom inherits the house from his great-uncle.
Kitty is only nineteen, but already having to go through so much, moving from one country to another and having to start again, making friends in a brand new area. It also shows how young many women were to get married back then, as Kitty’s neighbour Maggie is also nineteen, with her husband at war. They are just getting settled into the area when Tom gets conscripted into the navy. Kitty is going to have to cope on her own while he is away.
One slight criticism of the book is that it’s a bit slow-paced and maybe could have been edited a bit, as it’s quite long and occasionally repeats itself. But it didn’t take away too much from my enjoyment of it and I would recommend it to other fans of this genre.
The anti-Irish sentiments the Conlons have to endure from some people are quite shocking. I think a lot of younger people are unaware of this, so it’s always good to remind them. Also it showcases the jobs women did at home once the men were at war. The job they do in the munitions factories was something I never fully understood before reading this novel and I was shocked how dangerous it was.
I loved the characters and how realistic and believable they are. Kitty is wonderful, I loved her straight away and the fact she’s so young made me feel quite maternal towards her. She is amazing how she copes with everything thrown at her. In many ways, she is much stronger than Tom who is a bit whiny and annoying, as well as stubborn. He wants to be the breadwinner and refuses to see how beneficial it would be if Kitty got a job too.
When he goes into the navy, she finds an inner strength to keep going. I loved the friendships she made with the other girls at work and in Weaver Street, who each have their own worries and problems to work out. I especially warmed to Beth, who initially used to sneak out of her house to visit Kitty only when her father wouldn’t find out. But Kitty gave her the motivation to stand up to her father a bit more and to control her own life. All the female characters are particularly well written.
I have read lots of novels set in England during WWI and WWII in recent months and have enjoyed them all. Welcome to Weaver Street was no exception and I look forward to more books in the series.
Welcome to Weaver Street
Kitty and Tom Conlon arrive in Liverpool in July 1916 to claim the house Tom’s great-uncle has bequeathed him in his will. The move to England couldn’t have come at a better time. Dublin is in turmoil following the Easter Uprising and Kitty’s brother is now in prison.
The house in Weaver Street is all they hoped for, and after a shaky start with her new neighbours, Kitty believes the world is her oyster. Until that is, Tom is conscripted into the navy.
With Tom away, it’s up to Kitty and the women of Weaver Street to get each other through the war.
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3LPI0UH
Author Bio –
Chrissie Walsh was born and raised in West Yorkshire and is a retired schoolteacher with a passion for history. She has written several successful sagas documenting feisty women in challenging times for Aria. Welcome to Weaver Street, the first title in her new WW1 saga series for Boldwood.
Social Media Links –
Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/chrissie-walsh