Cover Image: The Mersey Angels

The Mersey Angels

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Member Reviews

As with the first book "The Mersey Mistress" , there are various stories running throughout involving each of the key players. There are still many secrets but they too come to the surface and bring everyone full circle. As this book begins in 1916, the war is well underway so a fair portion of it is devoted to the battlefield both in the trenches and the field hospitals. There are more losses along the way - some tragically cut short while others may not be so missed.
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𝘽𝙤𝙤𝙠 𝙍𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜: ⭐️⭐️⭐️✨ (3.5 out of 5)
⠀
I didn’t realize this was part of a series until after I had started (I need to start checking that better 😂) but for me it was fine as a stand-alone book.
While I didn’t like that the writing style felt very repetitive, the overall plot and historical references to WW1 were good. The characters were really good. It was easy to get attached to these women doing good works, being so kind, and basically being angels. The feel of family in this novel was wonderful and made me enjoy the story even more. The family aspect and medical aspect kind of reminded me of one of my favorite TV shows “Call the Midwife” but just in a general feeling sense, as the story was completely unique.
The pace was a little slow for me, but I will still try other saga books from this author.
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This book is part of a series, i havent read any of the others  however it doesnt deter you. It tells a story of what it was like during ww1 and what it was like for the young men fighting on the front line and for the women who were left behind. It’s a truly moving story.
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I am a sucker for stories set during the great war, it’s an era I am fascinated about and I have read a lot of books set in this era, that was one of the reason’s why I decided to read this book. Even though it did leave me in two frames of mind (more about that later) I did enjoy it, I can’t say I loved it but it was a decent story.

I did love the premise of the plot and that the story revolves around two women in particular who take up the call and lend their hands to the Nursing core.

This is the second instalment in the ‘Dockside Saga’ as I haven’t read the first book I can honestly say that you don’t need to, I read it as a stand-alone and it worked well enough for me. It’s an easy enough book to fall into without stressing that you have missed out on something from the previous stories.

I liked Anna and Ellie, they are both courageous, loyal, kind and caring young women who just want to do their bit. They have this calling and that calling takes them to the front, I admired them and liked their compassion and understanding of how they stick together and their genuine kindness.

One of the things I did love about the book is the extraordinary attention to detail, the hard work and research which has gone into The Mersey Angels are wonderful, the rich historical detail shines through and it is that part of the book which I enjoyed the most. I loved the little details which bring the entire story to life, the vivid detailing from their clothing to their day to day life puts meat onto the bones and keeps you engaged.

As I said above, that I am in mixed feelings about this, I did struggle with it quite a bit – which is the reason why this review has taken me so long to write, I will never write a slating review that will upset, I will always take time to say what I feel about a book in an honest but non-critical/hurtful way. This was one of those books which I did have to put down and come back to as I felt there were moments that I did find it a chore to read. Sorry!

Yet, on the other hand, there were times when I enjoyed it and thought ‘right, we are finally on track’ and those parts of the book spoke to me and I started falling into the lives of the characters once more. But more often than not there was a lot of repetition in phrases and wording. Again, apologies!

Overall, The Mersey Angels is an enjoyable story of secrets, family and friends, it’s full of courage and emotion. I think it’s a tad long-winded for my liking, but for those who love their family fuelled saga’s then this is a must-read.
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The Mersey Angels is a sequel to The Mersey Mistress and I would recommend reading the books in order to understand the characters and what is happening...
The Mersey Angels is a detailed well thought out story that is easy to read and hooks the reader in from the first page!
I like how Riley has transported the reader into the action through the use of an interesting plot that is well researched with historical events are very informative giving an authentic feel to the backstory as the reader reads more!
The character development of The Mersey Angels is good. The characters are realistic and interesting. The reader catches up with old characters like the clever Ruby Swift and Anna who is endlessly looking for he brother...
I would recommend reading The Mersey Angels to lovers of Women's Fiction and Historical Fiction, as it is a gripping emotional story filled with secrets, loss, love and hope as the reader joins in the action at the front and home as the war progresses...
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The book “Mersey Angels” by Sheila Riley is a book full of adventures, courage, war, determination with a little touch of romance.

The characters in this book were fun to read with. I admire Ruby, Ellie and Anna.

Going further in this book, I personally felt the war was dragging for too long and I got bored at some pages.

The book cover is captivating enough and the title was well explained in the plot.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.
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It was great to catch up with everyone in this second book of this series. World War 1 is tearing people’s lives apart, and Anna and Ellie try their best to help by nursing all the sick and terribly injured men. Ruby is taking to life back in her old family home and turns it into a hospital for the soldiers. As with book one I was drawn into this book from page one. Eagerly catching up with the great characters I followed them through the highs and lows as they tried their best to cope with what life threw at them. A well deserved five star read.
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The Mersey Angels by Sheila Riley takes readers back to 1916 in England where our characters are dealing with injured soldiers from the war.  Ruby Swift decides to turn Ashland Hall into an auxiliary hospital.  Ruby, Archie, Anna, and Ellie move into the hunting lodge as a drill sergeant of a doctor takes over the hospital.  Each person is worried about a loved one while they work to help the injured soldiers.  The Mersey Angels can be read as a standalone in case you have not had the opportunity to read The Mersey Mistress.  I thought The Mersey Angels was easy to read with developed, realistic characters.  The author did her research for this series.  She captured the time period, so the reader felt like they were back in 1916.  I liked most of the characters with my favorite being the formidable Ruby Swift.  She was a clever, shrewd woman.  Ruby did not let any grass grow under her feet.  If she had an idea, she was off to make it happen.  The Mersey Angels is an emotional novel.  There is heartache, hope, deep sorrow, disgust, joy, love, and hope.  We get to follow Anna, Ruby, Ellie, Lottie, and Izzy as they go about their everyday lives with the additional workload of helping the war effort.  Each person “wants to do their bit.”  They experience losses, but they continue to have hope.  With loved ones away fighting in the war, they worry they could receive a dreaded telegram.  A telegram in 1916 told you if your loved one was missing in action, dead, or injured.  There were, on occasion, telegrams that would bring joyful news. Letters would be exchanged between those at home and those away.  Women at home worried when they did not receive consistent communication.  The war wreaked havoc with mail delivery.  While most of the characters are those that readers will love, there are some that you will love to hate.  Jerky Woods is one of those.  I just wanted to shake Lottie who was naïve and refused to see the man’s true nature.  The Mersey Angels is an appealing novel that will delight fans of historical fiction.  The ending will leave you smiling.  The Mersey Angels is a compelling tale with a dedicated doctor, an awe-inspiring woman, an absent brother, a despicable son, courageous soldiers, and a waging war.
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The Mersey Angels
By Sheila Riley
Pub Date August 10 2021

This book was a brilliant book set in the war I loved the characters and the settings of the story the writing style was amazing I loved how the hospital during the war looked after the soldiers and they were so close in the hospital I loved learning about the hospital nurses how they look after each other and they patience such a great community. I loved how people were so close to each other and they look out for each other they loved waiting to here if they were getting a letter and they loved setting up charity shops for the community and soldiers I loved the atmosphere in the story full of love family drama and friends sticking together through hard times everyone will love this one.
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Book Review “The Mersey Angels” by Sheila Riley
AUGUST 14, 2021 ~ NIKIPRESTON ~ 
ISBN: 9781800485846


Synopsis

The Mersey Angels

1916 LIVERPOOL

Following the death of her father, Ruby Swift, and husband Archie finally move back into Ashland Hall.

As the Great War rages, fathers and sons take the King’s Shilling and head off to fight the unknown enemy, not knowing what horrors lie ahead.

With Ned Kincaid in the Navy, Archie signs up to the volunteer constabulary and nurses Anna Cassidy and Ellie Harrington enlist to do their bit for King and Country.

Soon the true casualties of war are being brought home in droves, Ruby converts Ashland Hall into an auxiliary hospital for wounded servicemen.

It’s not long before the true cost of war is brought closer to home and Anna and Ellie enlist in the British Military Nursing Corp and soon find themselves in the battlefields of France in search of the truth.

But they soon discover more than they bargained for…

REVIEW BY NIKI PRESTON

5 stars

The Mersey Angels is an absolute marvel of a book. It is a gut-wrenching novel based around the First World War and truly brings home the utter brutality of war, how it devastated many lives whilst also making people stronger and seeing people coping in situations they never believed they would see.

Anna and Ellie dream of being nurses on the frontline, however their romantic ideals are soon shattered when they arrive ankle deep in mud, bodies strewn all over, men in agony with Doctors and nurses never having time to rest. The job is relentless, yet strong relationships are still formed amidst all the anguish.

I found this book almost impossible to put down, a definite “just one more chapter” book. I needed to know the outcome for Anna and Ellie. Were they safe? Did they really find the answers they were looking for? did they find love? I am not going to spoil that. You will just have to read for yourself. In many ways this book is uplifting and shows just how resilient people can be in the face of adversity. The characters and their emotions are brought to life in a striking manner that makes the reader have a great affinity for them, from the main characters to the injured solders. A Heart wrenching read that takes you through happiness, despair, disbelief at what the brave nurses had to endure and how they remain resilient throughout and right back to happiness again.

I would highly recommend this book to those who love an historical fiction book written from mainly a woman’s’ perspective of war and all its horrors.  A story of endurance in the face of devastation and a belief that they will make a difference to this awful war and boy did they make a difference.


Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3cfGsUl


Author Bio –  

Sheila Riley wrote four #1 bestselling novels under the pseudonym Annie Groves and is now writing a new saga trilogy for Boldwood under her own name. She has set it around the River Mersey and its docklands near to where she spent her early years. She still lives in Liverpool. Her new trilogy began with The Mersey Orphan in September 2019.

Social Media Links –

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SheilaRileyAuthor

Twitter https://twitter.com/SheilaR76607533

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/sheilarileynovelist/

Newsletter Sign Up Link http://bit.ly/SheilaRileyNewsletter

Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sheila-riley

REVIEW LINK www.nikipreston.com

ISBN: 9781800485846
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The Mersey Angels by Sheila Riley is the second book of a historical fiction series called The Dockside Sagas. They are set in Liverpool in the first World War. I love all of Sheila's stories so knew I was heading for a belting read with her latest book.
1916 LIVERPOOL
Following the death of her father, Ruby Swift, and husband Archie finally move back into Ashland Hall.
As the Great War rages, fathers and sons take the King's Shilling and head off to fight the unknown enemy, not knowing what horrors lie ahead.
With Ned Kincaid in the Navy, Archie signs up to the volunteer constabulary and nurses Anna Cassidy and Ellie Harrington enlist to do their bit for King and Country.
Soon the true casualties of war are being brought home in droves, Ruby converts Ashland Hall into an auxiliary hospital for wounded servicemen.
It’s not long before the true cost of war is brought closer to home and Anna and Ellie enlist in the British Military Nursing Corp and soon find themselves in the battlefields of France in search of the truth.
But they soon discover more than they bargained for...
 Although this is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone as all of Sheila Riley's books can. My personal preference is to always read them in order but it isn't needed as every book is focused on someone different. Sheila Riley writes what she knows so we are able to glimpse in to the lives of the community in Liverpool and how they survived the first world war. These people had to suffer the hardships of war and still life their lives. Women doing jobs they would never have been offered if it wasn't for war, longer hours, less food. The hardships are there, laid bare for all to see while war is raging in the background.
   Every character has their own story and I was so engrossed with them all I couldn't put the book down. I am a history geek and I come from Manchester, well, just outside but Liverpool is a stones throw away from us. I have always been fascinated in the North West and how they dealt with the wars. I just felt like I was at home reading this book and the characters reminded me so much of people like my grandmother and our older generations, the similarities between the two places (Liverpool and Manchester) are very striking and I could have been reading about my own family from generations gone before.
   Sheila Riley writes from her heart and her books strike a chord within me everytime I read one. The poverty, warmth, inner strength of these people all make these books an emotional read for me and I feel like I have spent the time it took me to read the book, side by side with these people. I am looking forward to the next story to catch up with everyone. 
   Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources, Boldwood Books an NetGalley for the copy of this book.
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Set in the early days of WW1 in Merseyside, Lancashire, this story follows the journey of Anna and Ellie, two young female nurses, who long to do their part to help in the war effort. 

It’s a grim and difficult period for those left behind - the docksides dirty with coal and dust from railway locomotives and the gasworks; the tenements, factories, and alleyways, reeking of beer, tobacco, poverty and misery. 

The second in the “Dockside Sagas” series, I read this book without having read the previous installment and had no difficulties following the continuing storyline.

With the help of their headstrong and tenacious “Aunt”, Lady Rowena Ashland, (also known as Ruby) the women secure resources and join the staff working to set up Ashland Hall as an auxiliary hospital for wounded and recuperating soldiers. 

The story is told primarily in a variety of female voices, each depicting another perspective riddled with fear, hope, terror and anxiety associated with the war-mandated transcription of male husbands, fathers, sons and lovers - made acceptable against a backdrop of widespread community-generated fervor for the war effort which is buoyed by a shared (and deeply unsettling) abhorrence of those cowardly enough to not join in the fight.

Anna and Ellie’s journey, from somewhat naive but determined young women,  brimming with “dockside toughness”, to compassionate shared survivors is interesting and the story told is rich with WW1 historic details and context.
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Wartime historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. Reading about how the civilians do their part to help the earth effort is encouraging and refreshing. It’s one of my favorite parts of historical fiction to better understand the heart of the people during that time and it makes me wonder how the people of today might respond on a similar situation.

Ruby and Archie offer up their beautiful Ashland Hall for recovering soldiers who have been fighting the Great War. They’ve brought in a female doctor and nurses from the Red Cross as well as volunteer nurses to care for the injured. Two of the nurses they have there are Ruby’s daughter and her best friend.

Ashland Hall is the main setting of this story with all its activity with Ruby and Archie, the girls, and the family as well as the happenings at the auxiliary hospital. There’s an increase of injured showing up at this palace of a hospital where most of the men are mostly expected to return to the war. Ruby and her sister keep busy with war efforts and doing all they can to support the soldiers in the hospital and those on the front lines.

This is the third book I’ve read this summer with a main character named Ruby. After a while it gets difficult to decipher one from another, especially when they’re such caring and loving women! I love Ruby’s eye for good business and how she takes advantage of what she has to benefit the war efforts and make it profitable as the owner of Ashland Hall as well.

Thank you to Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for access to The Mersey Angels. What angels they really are with their compassion and empathy! I give this book 5 out of 5 tiaras because of the love and care that took place in auxiliary hospitals during the Great War. It was such an honorable effort to support those fighting for King and country!
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Nurses and best friends, Anna and Ellie, soon find doing their bit for the war effort at Ashland Hall with Aunt Ruby isn’t enough. For many reasons they want to help in the field hospitals in France. Anna has a troubled past and in order to make peace with her future, needs to do what she can to get to France, even if it’s a million to one chance she’ll find her brother Sam there.
 
The two girls couldn’t be more different, but I found both were characters who kept my interest. They were strong, followed their hearts, but were not afraid of hard work. They met the horrors and losses they saw on the battlefields with real Liverpudlian grit and determination, never losing their focus.
 
Alongside the personal dramas, I also enjoyed the social history aspect to this novel. From the converting of grand manor houses to recuperation hospitals, to the rise of women in the workforce and the poverty portrayed in the Liverpool dock vignettes, as well as the horrific conditions of the mud-filled trenches of France. 

There was a lot to like if you are a historical fiction fan like I am.
 
I hadn’t read the first book in this series, which introduces eccentric Aunt Ruby and Anna’s tragic childhood story, and although I felt a bit lost at the beginning, I soon caught up and enjoyed following her journey. I would, however, recommend starting with The Mersey Mistress.
 
If you enjoy historical dramas with a real sense of place, I’m sure you will like this series.

#blogtour
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Sheila Riley’s fabulous Liverpool sagas just keep getting better and better and her latest novel, The Mersey Angels, is a gritty, heart-wrenching and absorbing tale set during the Great War that continues to affirm her standing as one of the genre’s most gifted writers.

It’s 1916 and the First World War has changed everybody’s life beyond all recognition. As the war rages on all over the world and wreaks plenty of mayhem and destruction, losses are endured, hearts are broken and sacrifices are being constantly made by people across the land. Taking the King’s shilling and doing one’s duty for king and country is an obligation men all over the country feel compelled to do. Fathers, sons and husbands have all bid a tear-jerking farewell to their loved ones and set off to defeat the enemy. Yet, the women they left behind refuse to wait idly by while their men risk their lives.

Ruby Swift has only just moved to Ashland Hall after her father’s death, but after seeing her husband Archie signing up for the volunteer constabulary, she decides to open up the Hall as an auxiliary hospital for wounded servicemen. Anna Cassidy and Ellie Harrington enlist in the British Military Nursing Corp and find themselves in the French battlefields where they get far too close to the atrocities of wartime.

The coming years are going to be full of hardship, sacrifice and sorrow for The Mersey Angels. Will hope, love and friendship see them through this horrible war? Or will the price they have to pay for peace prove far too dear for them all?

A powerfully written, highly emotional and utterly captivating historical tale that tugs at the heartstrings, The Mersey Angels is a terrific saga about resilience, sacrifice, love and war full of beautifully drawn characters that jump straight off the pages and straight into readers’ hearts.

The Mersey Angels is superb storytelling at its finest and readers who enjoy Nadine Dorries, Dilly Court and Lyn Andrews will certainly not want to miss Sheila Riley’s latest Liverpool saga.
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We are back in 1914 and the second book in the series.(book 1 is “ The Mersey Mistress”) Ruby is determined to turn Ashland Hall, the home she gained from her father in his will, into a much needed hospital for the war effort. Men are coming back wounded and worse and everyone knows someone affected in one way or another. Young boys are singing up being deceitful about their age- to begin with it was only single men being conscripted, now as the need grows ever greater it is married men too. Not everyone wants to fight for their country- some would rather be on the wrong side of the law  and opt for an easy life as Lottie is finding about her young man. May is now back under Ruby’s wing having endured Giles' wrath and conniving ways for far too long- he having taken every penny and more to fuel his gambling. When Anna and Ellie volunteer for the front line and end up at Ypres they see rather more than they bargained for.  A nostalgic, informative, well researched read. We too easily forget what generations at that time went through- so much more than anything in recent times in this country.. The losses and loves and anxieties and heartaches are well portrayed and you can’t help but feel for the young women portrayed. A highly enjoyable read.
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I have been a fan of Sheila’s work for a while now.  I have read and loved each and every book that she has written to date.  I especially love ‘The Dockside Series’.   The first book in the series is called ‘The Mersey Mistress’ and was released in April 2021.   Ever since I finished reading ‘The Mersey Mistress’ I have been very (im)patiently waiting for the second book in the series to be released.  Well ladies and gents, the second book in the series called ‘The Mersey Angels’ was released on 10th August 2021.  It is another superb book from the pen of Sheila Riley.  I flipping well loved reading ‘The Mersey Angels’ but more about that in a bit.
It didn’t take to me long to get used to the characters again.   In fact, I felt as though I had reunited with old friends with most of the characters whilst at the same time I wanted to sort out the nasty characters and give them a sharp telling off for upsetting my ‘friends’.  I won’t go into too much details but needless to say the nasty characters are less than desirable and should be avoided at all costs. 
As soon as I started to read ‘The Mersey Angels’ that was it- I just knew that nothing else would be done for the rest of the day because I wouldn’t be able to put the book down.  My Kindle wasn’t exactly glued to my hand but it might as well have been because it travelled everywhere with me.  I couldn’t bear to miss a single second of the story.  I became totally wrapped up in the story.  I had my own suspicions as to what was going to happen and I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough as I worked my way through the story.  At one point the pages were turning that quickly that the page numbers became a blur.  I found ‘The Mersey Angels’ to be a gripping read, which held my attention throughout and which kept me on the edge of my seat.
‘The Mersey Angels’ is superbly written but then that’s certainly true of Sheila’s books in general.  Sheila has one of those writing styles that is easy to get used to and easy to get along with.  She grabs your attention from the start and reels the reader in in the same way as a fisherman would reel in a catch.  Sheila has clearly carried out a lot of research into the period in which the story is set and this shines through in the quality of the story.  I felt as though I was part of the story myself and at the heart of the action and that’s thanks to Sheila’s very vivid and realistic storytelling.  I found that I became so convinced by the story that I began to interact with the book as if the different characters could hear me.
In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘The Mersey Angels’ and I would definitely recommend this book to other readers.  I will certainly be reading more of Sheila’s work in the future.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.
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Saga books, at least those that I have read, have this sense of community and family. Maybe because of the circumstances following the characters, with the wars and the dangers. Nevertheless, it's something I love. In this book we follow a group of characters during the WWI.

As Ruby turns Ashland Hall into a hospital and Anna and Ellie follow their path as nurses right to France, a lot can be said for these angels. The characters touched my heart, their kindness, their role in the story... I could feel compassion for them. I worry for them and for their loved ones. That's the power of stories like this one, even if they are fiction, they feel real, because the events are realistic and the Great War really existed.

Like I previously said, this is about family, about the way we are connected, the way war affects people's life. It's also about secrets, and there are a lot of them when it comes to our society. It's about hardship and love and finding your path and strength. In the end, it may feel like a rollercoaster of emotions, but it gives me hope.

Overall, it was an amazing book. And even though it's part of a series, I felt it could be read as a standalone. Although, it was a nice continuation of book one and I loved to be back to this group of characters. Sheila Riley did a brilliant job with the characters and with transporting us to their sides in this setting and time period. If this genre and setting is one you enjoy reading about, do give it a change.

[I want to thank Rachel, at Rachel’s Random Resources, Sheila Riley and Boldwood Books for the eCopy of this book, via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.]
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Having previously enjoyed the author's Reckoner's Row series and then "The Mersey Mistress" , which was the first in this new Docklands series set on the River Mersey, I was excited to meet up with Anna and Ruby once again. I thoroughly enjoyed their stories in the first book, their tragedies and heartaches along with their lives, loves and joys. The first book introduced us to a cast of characters we grew to love in Anna, Ruby, Archie, Ned, Izzy, Lottie, Sam and Ellie including the not so nice ones in Jerky, Giles and the priest Father Parsons. In THE MERSEY ANGELS we meet up with them once again as life takes a different turn in each of their lives.

When we left them at the end of "The Mersey Mistress" , Ruby's father had passed away and she was finally able to marry her lifelong love Archie. Surprisingly her estranged father had left Ashland Hall and its estate to Ruby while his elder daughter May inherited Ashland Lodge within the grounds of the estate. Giles was so angered by the outcome that he packed himself and May back up and they returned to his parish in Scarborough, for he had been so sure the Hall was coming to May and therefore him and he'd already begun firing staff and making arrangements to move in.

Now Ruby was in the process of refitting Ashland Hall with electricity and making the necessary arrangements to open as an Auxillary Hospital for soldiers returning from the Front. With Anna and Ellie trained up as nurses, they handed in their notices at a nearby hospital and took up positions at Ashland to treat returning soldiers alongside Doctor Bea, a brash wiry haired Scotswoman who does not suffer fools.

Anna's story began in "The Mersey Mistress" also as a young girl who was made homeless when her house was burnt to the ground with her mother and twin brothers inside. Her ten year old brother Sam had been picking up a birthday gift for their mother he had saved for by carrying passengers' bags from the docks for them. But he had returned to find his home a pile of ashes and was taken to the vicarage where Father Parsons had taken him to the orphanage and nefariously arranged a passage for him to Canada and a new life, telling Sam that his sister Anna had died in hospital. But his new life was nothing like it was promised and Sam was beaten and abused before he managed to escape and was taken in by a kindly doctor. When war broken out in 1914, Sam signed himself up in the hope that he will one day return to Liverpool. He wrote a final letter home to Ruby and Archie asking them to put some flowers on Anna's grave for him, which is when they realised Sam believed her to be dead.

Now as a nurse in the Ashland Auxilliary Hospital, Anna works tirelessly alongside Ellie, Ruby's secret daughter who had been stolen from her and Archie ten days after her birth by Giles and her father. But Anna dreams of searching for her brother Sam and when young Nipper Woods is brought in as a casualty of war, he tells Anna that Sam says hi. Is he delirious? Anna isn't sure but one thing she is sure about...she wants to be posted overseas so she can find her brother. In his letter two years ago, he told Ruby and Archie that he was going off to war so where else would he be but at the Front? But for now, Anna knows she is needed here. Besides, when Ned comes home on leave she wants to be here to see him. The couple have grown closer over the years they have lived with Ruby and Archie, particularly when Ned rescued her from Jerky Woods' advances in a dark alley one night. The friendship then grew into something more and it is her fondest hope that he will return unscathed so that they may marry.

When Doctor Bea announces she is joining the Red Cross overseas, Anna and Ellie decide to go with her...much to Ruby and May's horror. But the two women are old enough and their services are needed at the Front to the many soldiers that come in by the hour. Both are excited by their new adventure but nothing prepares Ellie for the lack of facilities available, having been sheltered all her life. They meet and make fast friends with the effervescent Daisy Flynn who, as luck would have it, was shipped to Canada on the same passage as Anna's brother Sam.

But nothing could prepare Anna for the sheer joy she would feel when she finally comes face to face with her brother now all grown up at 17 and working as a medic. But just as quick as she found him comes the threat of her losing him all over again. And with not having heard from Ned in months, Anna fears she has lost the two men she loves the most in the world.

Back home in Liverpool, life goes on as normal for those left behind on the home front. And yet it has changed dramatically for so many in the years since war began. They said it would be over by Christmas...they just didn't define which Christmas!

As with the first book "The Mersey Mistress" , there are various stories running throughout involving each of the key players. There are still many secrets but they too come to the surface and bring everyone full circle. As this book begins in 1916, the war is well underway so a fair portion of it is devoted to the battlefield both in the trenches and the field hospitals. There are more losses along the way - some tragically cut short while others may not be so missed.

The reader will be taken through a range of emotions as we are left wondering who will return from the Front and who will not. THE MERSEY ANGELS is a delightful addition to the Dockside saga series and while there was an element of rounding off the stories by the books conclusion, I hope this isn't the end and that we hear more from Anna, Ruby and their extended families.

Thoroughly enjoyable, THE MERSEY ANGELS can be read as a standalone as there is enough backstory included to not leave the reader behind. But I do recommend reading "The Mersey Mistress" as it is a very different tale to this one that is emotional and tragic on a whole other scale. To better understand the characters in this one, I do recommend reading "The Mersey Mistress" first.

Enjoyable easy read, THE MERSEY ANGELS is perfect for fans of historical wartime fiction and sagas. I highly recommend.

I would like to thank #SheilaRiley, #Netgalley, #RachelsRandomResources and #BoldwoodBooks for an ARC of #TheMerseyAngels in exchange for an honest review.
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Another gripping saga from an author at the top of her game!

Ruby and husband Archie have finally moved into Ashland Hall. As the Great War rages on, most of the family are doing their bit one way or another and with the ever increasing wounded returning with injuries, Ruby decides to turn the Hall into a hospital. Anna and Ellie take the decision to take their nursing skills to France while they worry about loved ones in the throes of the action.

This is a thoroughly good tale which doesn’t shirk away from the horrors of war – nor should it. A family saga following lots of different angles all brought together with some very skilful writing. Great characters and more that a bit of truth sprinkled through the pages making this an interesting and stirring read. I have enjoyed previous novels by this author and this is of the same high calibre. A moving and inspiring read which I’m happy to recommend and give 4.5*.

My thanks to the publisher for my copy via NetGalley. This is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.
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