My enormous thanks to Philippa McEwan of Pan Macmillan for inviting to participate in this blog tour for The Jam Factory Girls by Mary Wood. I was lucky enough to interview Mary a few years ago in a post you can read here. Today, I’m thrilled she has agreed to stay in with me to chat about her latest book, The Jam Factory Girls.
Staying in with Mary Wood
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Mary. Thank you so much for agreeing to stay in with me.
My pleasure, so lovely to have female company, can we open the wine? I’ve been ‘staying in’ with hubby for months now, but as lovely as he is, it’s not like having the occasional natter with a girlfriend over a nice red.
I know the feeling! I’m not much of a wine drinker so you help yourself and I’ll pour a Bailey’s for me!
Now, drinks poured, tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I thought I’d bring my latest – The Jam Factory Girls.
Good idea! What can we expect from an evening in with The Jam Factory Girls?
Plenty of emotion. Tears, giggles, fear, love, and a feeling that you are living in 1911 on Long Lane in Bermondsey as you begin a journey with, and through, Elsie and Dot’s life. . .
The conditions they lived under at home in a tenement block and how they worked long hours for low pay and had no rights.
Their spirit and that of the Cockney women they worked with when they joined in the fight for better pay and safety measures, by daring to go on strike.
Their deep and bonding friendship and the sense of family and community they have.
But this is no cosy read, it is gritty and tells it as it is.
The Jam Factory Girls sounds fabulous and I’m thrilled it’s on my TBR Mary.
What else have you brought along and why have you brought it?
The afore mentioned bottle of red – a must have for a girlie night in, some nibbles, as we’ll have a take away later, and Millie.
That’s a plan. I’ll order a pizza. Now what do I need to know about Millie?
I think you’ll like Millie. She is the Jam Factory Owner’s daughter. Brought up in a gentile way, she discovered secrets that will change hers, Elsie’s and Dot’s life.
You’ll discover what a strong young lady she is and how lonely, till she met Elsie and Dot.
Millie, will fight your corner if you need help, she’ll stand up for what is right, and she’ll battle to make your life better. She’ll never abandon you, or think herself better than you. And she will fight to get you and all women the vote.
Millie sounds a fantastic friend to have.
But I thought we could talk fashion with her. How fascinating it would be to hear what it was like to wear such clothes as this outfit that Millie wore to her so-called-friend’s mansion, only to find her friend’s brother had ideas for her that totally went against the grain of this modern-thinking new friend of ours.
I think we’ll have a lovely time with her – I wonder what she’ll make of Pizza?
Good question Mary. I’m not sure there will be much left for her once we’ve helped ourselves! Thanks so much for staying in with me to chat all about The Jam Factory Girls. I can’t wait to read it and I think blog readers need the following details too:
The Jam Factory Girls
The Jam Factory Girls is an uplifting and emotional novel of friendship set in the heart of pre-WWI London from bestselling author, Mary Wood.
Life for Elsie is difficult as she struggles to cope with her alcoholic mother. Caring for her siblings and working long hours at Swift’s Jam factory in London’s Bermondsey is exhausting. Thankfully her lifelong friendship with Dot helps to smooth over life’s rough edges.
When Elsie and Dot meet Millie Swift, they are nervous to be in the presence of the bosses’ daughter. Over time, they are surprised to feel so drawn to her, but should two East End girls be socializing in such circles?
When disaster strikes, it binds the women in ways they could never imagine. Long-held secrets are revealed that could change all their lives . . .
The Jam Factory Girls is available for purchase through the publisher links here.
About Mary Wood
Born the thirteenth child of fifteen to a middle-class mother and an East End barrow boy, Mary Wood’s childhood was a mixture of love and poverty. Throughout her life Mary has held various posts in office roles, working in the Probation services and bringing up her four children and numerous grandchildren, step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren. An avid reader, she first put pen to paper in 1989 whilst nursing her mother through her last months, but didn’t become successful until she began self-publishing her novels in 2011.
Her novels include All I Have to Give, An Unbreakable Bond, In Their Mother’s Footsteps and The Breckton Novels.
You’ll find more information about Mary on her Facebook page, her website (where you’ll find a three monthly newsletter and draw for new subscribers to win a signed book – competitions and all the latest news) and by following her on Twitter @Authormary.
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