Cover Image: The War Girls of Goodwill House

The War Girls of Goodwill House

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Oh my giddy aunt,  what a fantastic 1st book in a series. Were introduced  to certain  members  of the family  and all about them  which is brilliant,  I honestly  can't wait for the next book, to have a catch up.
Can highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
The War Girls Of Goodwill House -Book Review 
📚Wartime Romance,Family and the RAF !!📚

The War girls of Goodwill House is Book 1 in in a new wartime saga series by Fenella J Miller.Lady Joanna Harcourt and her daughter Sarah are plunged into a life of independence when husband and father Lord Harcourt goes of to war.
I absolutely loved reading about the adventures of Lady Joanna and Sarah as they forged a life of independence for themselves.I loved the the characters of Lady Joanna of Sarah,both characters were believable and I loved going in a journey with them as they became more confident within themselves .

My favourite part of the book was the love story running through the book involving Angus and Sarah and I’m looking forward to reading how there relationship progresses in future books.
The whole book is really well written and researched and you can really get the sense you are back in wartime Britain.

The ending of the book made me want too read more about how the family cope in the coming years and I am looking forward to reading further instalment of the series.

This book is perfect for fans of the Land Girls series of books and fans of wartime saga series.This author is new to me,but I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.
Bookworm rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Was this review helpful?
Highly fast paced as though the author wanted to complete the entire series in one book, while the story is of Mother and Daughter more time is spent in the daughter's romance and all problems got solved in a few pages , not such a good starter although i am expecting high from the author based on previous books i have read by them
Was this review helpful?
Goodwill House was a diamond during its hay day.  Enormous, tons of rooms, servants, parties, and it sits upon acres of gorgeous land, perfect for picnics.  It is the astonishing home for Lord David Harcourt and his family.  Times have changed, lived in servants are a thing of the past and now it is just Sarah and her mother Lady Joanna rattling around this giant, drafty, cold estate.  Sarah's father is fighting in Northern France, and he left limited funds to run the house.  Sarah is left to make choices in her father's place, in order to pay the bills and to keep the estate functioning.  Only seventeen years old, Sarah knows what she wants in life.  She has the motivation and the mind to become a talented doctor.  She does not want to end up in a loveless marriage like her parents and is determined to set out on her own.  The only problem is the money situation her father left them in.  Will she be able to come up with a plan to continue with schooling and to become the Doctor she has always dreamed of being?

I am still not sure what I think of this book.  The writing is a bit stiff, which makes it hard to truly fall for the characters and to be swept away by the book.  The descriptions are fantastic, you feel the bone chilling draft blowing through the house, you can imagine the ice-cold snow blanketing the landscape, and the delicious aromas wafting from the kitchen.  Thank you to Fenella J. Miller, Boldwood Books and NetGalley for this travel back in time.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed reading this book. The height of WWII and we are in the country where a grand Manor House is taking in Land Girls and WAFs and we are introduced the lady of the house and her daughter, who wants to become a nurse/doctor, and some RAF fighters who have barracks close by in the village. 
I really love reading these type of books and historical fiction and this was one that didn’t disappoint. I highly recommend
Was this review helpful?
The War Girls of Goodwill House by Fenella J. Miller is an engaging historical novel.  I started reading this story and I was quickly engrossed.  We travel to Goodwill House in Stodham, Kent, England in January of 1940.  It is bitterly cold inside the large and drafty Goodwill House.  Lady Joanna Harcourt and her daughter, Sarah are on their own with Lord David Harcourt away fighting in France.  David only left Joanna with postal orders to handle the household finances since he was sure the war would be over in a few months.  When Sarah answers a call from Flight Lieutenant Angus Trent asking if they could house some incoming WAAFs, she quickly agrees.  This is the solution to their problem.  The pay for boarding the WAAFs will give them some much needed income.  When Sarah first meets Angus, she is put off by his attitude.  But after a couple of encounters, Sarah finds herself looking forward to spending time with the pilot.  What does the future hold for Joanna, Sarah, and Angus?  I enjoyed reading The War Girls of Goodwill House.  It is well-written with developed, realistic characters.  I liked Sarah who is seventeen and very grown up for her age.  For the first time, Joanna and Sarah are out from under the overbearing and smothering thumb of David.  With a lack of funds, they need to find a way to earn money.  They have a large drafty house (colder inside than outside) and an RAF base nearby.  It was the perfect arrangement to take in boarders.  Joanna was having to learn a whole new set of skills so she could help manage the house.  Sarah is a capable young lady who wants to become a doctor.  She was accepted at Oxford, but it looks like that will not be possible without the proper funds.  Sarah is a resourceful woman who works to find a way to achieve her objectives.  I enjoyed the authors descriptions of the area, the base, and Goodwill House.  I could envision the places from the author’s word imagery, and I could feel the cold conditions the characters were experiencing.  I thought the author captured the time period.  The War Girls of Goodwill House is a spiffy novel.  I was sorry when I reached the end of the book.  I cannot wait to return to Goodwill House in the next book.  The War Girls of Goodwill House is a captivating tale with a plucky pilot, a deficiency of funds, a polar parlor, helpful houseguests, biting blizzards, a crashed car, and a prospective physician.
Was this review helpful?
Fenella J. Miller has begun a new series called The War Girls of Goodwill House.  I have been privileged to read the first book in the series.  Lady Harcourt and her daughter, Sarah have been kept in the dark as to the finances of the estate.  Since Lord Harcourt has been called to service in France, they are left running the estate.  To be able to keep the house running, they have decided to offer their home as a home for women in service from the war effort.  

Sarah is determined to be trained to be a doctor but may have to put that on hold due to dwindling finances.  The RAF officer at the nearby base has been helpful in providing women who need housing while serving in the WAAF and as Land Girls.

I am so happy to find that this will be an ongoing series as I was extremely disappointed at the ending of the book.  I felt that I needed more closure and will look forward to reading the rest of the books in the series.  I have always enjoyed reading the works of Ms. Miller and am sure I won’t be disappointed in the rest of the books in the series.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and Fenella J Miller for the chance to read this book in return for an honest review.

This is the first book in a new series by this author, I have read other works of hers and thoroughly enjoyed them. 

Set near the start of WW2 it is a saga following the lives of a mother and daughter living in a draughty aristocratic Hall who find themselves plunged into poverty by the errant father. They are forced to take in boarders which leads to romance for the daughter. She is a modern thinking young lady who it seems will train as a doctor by hook or by crook.

Enough spoilers - I really enjoyed this and found myself finding a spare 5 mins to catch up on their lives and shenanigans. I am sure the book is well researched and lives really were changed as depicted in the book. 

My one slight moan is that the book ended so suddenly with no real conclusion or even a cliff hanger. It was not even at a particular point in the War - it just finished - obviously to continue in the next book.

However this do not put me off and I shall look out for the next instalment.

Thanks again to all involved in my chance to read this book
Was this review helpful?
What could be better than a new wartime saga series set against the backdrop of the onset of WW2? One that has a touch of "Downton Abbey" about it with the Lady of the manor and her daughter on such good terms with their employees they treat them as friends rather than servants. It is such a breath of fresh air and a delight to read and I am thrilled that this is just the beginning of the series.

Lady Joanna Harcourt and her daughter Sarah are left to run the estate with less than a handful of staff and very little means to do so after Lord Harcourt spared no time in rejoining the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and going off to France to fight the Germans in a war they believed would be over by Christmas. By January 1940, in the grip of a terribly harsh winter, there was no sign of the war coming to an end and Joanna and Sarah found that the funds that Lord Harcourt had left them with were fast running out as he had expected to be home in the autumn.

Despite having an extensive estate with an enormous house, the Harcourts are facing financial ruin if they don't do something fast. Goodwill House is a mammoth house that has been in the Harcourt family for generations, with both Georgian and Victorian extensions added onto the original house respectively, making it even bigger. With a harshly cold winter and only the two of them in residence, it seems ridiculous to run such a monstrosity. And to heat it, even worse. With just a housekeeper/cook who doesn't live in and a smattering of outdoor staff with no way to continue paying them, Lady Joanne and Sarah are therefore faced with a conundrum. And so they begin to take in paying boarders to help with the running costs. The first of their guests are six WAAFs seconded to the local RAF base which have no appropriate accommodation for them so they are billeted at Goodwill House. As they are WAAFs, the RAF supply coal for heating and remuneration for food and keep.

Lady Joanna knows that her husband Lord Harcourt would be apoplectic at the thought of the family lowering their standards to take in paying guests. But if he hadn't such a tight reign on the finances and having left no further instructions or means to make ends meet, then they wouldn't be taking in guests or selling his prized horses. But needs must.

Sarah Harcourt is just seventeen but is older than her years when she steps up to take the reigns and help her mother run Goodwill House in her father's absence. Social etiquette of the upper class would preferably see her married off to a suitable husband rather than making up rooms for paying guests, doing servants' menial tasks and running around the countryside on horseback or a Hillman with a rather dashing Flight Lieutenant. What Sarah really wants to do is become a doctor, as has been her dream for so long, but in the absence of funds to pay for her tuition at Oxford she has resigned herself to helping her mother run Goodwill House until she turns 18 in September and can then become a student nurse. But still she dreams of becoming a doctor.

When RAF Flight Lieutenant Angus Trent first sets eyes on Sarah, his mistakes her for a maid as no lady of the house would answer a door. But as soon as he realises his faux pas he is certainly not endeared to this somewhat snobbish and headstrong young woman. The feeling, as it happens, is mutual. For Sarah finds him to be overconfident and arrogant. But then Sarah also has experience with men at all.

As luck would have it, given that Goodwill House is be the billet for the WAAFs soon to arrive, Angus is the point of contact between the Harcourts and the RAF much to his irritation. As circumstances places them both in regular contact, social etiquette has Sarah being as polite to Angus as necessitates but soon the pair will find themselves thrown together in ways they could not have foreseen.

Meanwhile, Lady Joanna has had correspondence from her husband who strictly forbids Sarah to lower herself to that of a nurse and instructs Sarah to remain at home until he can return and find her a suitable husband. But Sarah, it seems, has other ideas. The freedom that has come from her father being in France has given both her and Lady Joanna a new lease of life as both women step out from under two decades of control...and they like it. War has changed the world and nothing is as it used to be as the women of Goodwill House give the house a new lease of life that hasn't seen laughter or happiness for decades.

I'm so glad I came in at the beginning of this series as I seem to stumble across many a couple of books in. I love wartime sagas like this one highlighting the struggles of daily life, even for the upper class who find themselves facing financial ruin. And while they aren't quite as comfortable as those in "Downton Abbey", society of the past has deemed a divide between the classes which now come together in the face of war as the world they know begins to change...and nothing is guaranteed anymore. THE WAR GIRLS OF GOODWILL HOUSE differs in that respect as most wartime sagas focus on the working class. It was a refreshing change to see it from the perspective of the upper class and how they bring change to their own lives in the face of war.

THE WAR GIRLS OF GOODWILL HOUSE is a delightful read that is enjoyable from start to finish. I was absorbed from the beginning that when I flipped the last page I was left with wanting more. I grew to love many of the characters, whilst some not so much. Lady Joanna, Sarah, Angus, Betty, Liza and Joe are all wonderful characters. But the Dowager and Lord Harcourt, who does not essentially appear except through thought and letter, are equally distasteful as well as Mrs Thomas who thankfully only fleetingly appears.

I cannot wait to see how this series develops especially as the Blitz has yet to begin and Angus being a fighter pilot whose desire is to run a squadron of Spitfires just as much as Sarah longs to become a doctor. Until we meet again...

Historical fiction and wartime saga fans will love THE WAR GIRLS OF GOODWILL HOUSE and I thoroughly recommend it.

I would like to thank #FenellaJMiller, #Netgalley and #BoldwoodBooks for an ARC of #TheWarGirlsOfGoodwillHouse in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The first ina new series by the wonderful Fenella J.Miller.I was immediately drawn in to the lovely story the characters the setting.I am so glad this is a series and we will get to visit with them again.#netgalley #boldwoodbooks.
Was this review helpful?
I am a big fan of Fenella so I was super excited to start a brand new series by her. Set during the war the story follows Lady and Miss Harcourt and the girls who we were billeted to Goodwill House. 

Lord Harcourt has left to fight the war and left postal orders to see them through for a few months but as we all know the war lasted much longer and with no means to support themselves or funding for Miss Harcourt to train as a doctor the women pull together to make it work. 

I love reading about what life was like during the war and Fenella capture the essence of the period perfectly. A great start to the new series and I'm looking foward to the next book.
Was this review helpful?
This was an easy read and so sweet. I enjoyed this one very much. Not an author I know very well but, I’ll certainly be finding more by her I. The future. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The War Girls of Goodwill House is set at the beginning of the second world war.  Sarah and her mother, Lady Harcourt are rattling around the huge major house not really knowing what to do with themselves since Lord Harcourt had joined the BEF in France.  They soon discover that their finances aren't what they expected them to be and have to make decisions. Sarah is turning into a strong young woman who knows her own mind and her mother, having been under the control of her old fashioned husband for 20 years, is learning to find her feet.  Brilliant women, fantastic novel - I do hope this is going to have a sequel!  Loved it
Was this review helpful?
Set at the beginning of WWII in England, The War Girls of Goodwill House is the first book in a fascinating new series.  War changes everything and luxury is becoming a thing of the past.  Lady Joanna Harcourt and her daughter, Sarah, are left to try to make ends meet financially when Lord Harcourt leaves to fight.  Money is in short supply so they decide to take in paying boarders to earn an income.  Bedrooms are numerous in the vast house but heating and servants are scarce.  The Women's Auxiliary Air Force  boarders are interesting and enterprising.  Needs must.

Sarah is desperate to become a doctor but a lack of funds restrict her.  Her First Aid knowledge, responsiveness and compassion are put to the test several times throughout the book.  Her mother who has lived under the thumb of her husband and general male domination of the times begins to come into her own.  I like her evolution.  

Enter RAF officer Angus Trent who helps as much as he can whilst showing interesting in one of the women.  I am curious to learn more about him and his past (surely he has one!) in future books.  There are hints here and there of others' secrets which leaves a lot to the imagination which is a good thing.  And then there is the Dowager...this conjures up a lot of possibilities as well!  I am a sucker for cliffhangers and surprise endings but this wasn't really was sort of offhand to me and didn't seem to flow.  Still, this is a series to anticipate!

Historical Fiction, Women's Fiction and General Fiction readers ought to read this.

My sincere thank you to Boldwood Books and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this delightful book!
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an early review copy. 

I have read other books by Fenella J Miller and was looking forward to reading this first book in a new series. 

It is set at the start of WWII in England. Goodwill House doesn’t have many people residing in it apart from Joanna Harcourt, The Lady of the house, whose learning to live on minimum funds as her husband is fighting in France. I was under the impression that this was not the case for the aristocracy, the story made me aware of the reality faced at this time. But Joanna, had her daughter Sarah, who had a good sense of judgment.

She has her dream of studying at the Medical School of London, that is until she learns there’s no money for her to go there. But, this doesn’t stop her from succeeding to where she want to be, even if that route isn’t right in society. Sarah looks for ways in which to bring in funds to keep the estate running alongside carrying on in her work for a career in medicine. 

This book gave an insight into how people were living through WWII. What the WAAF’s faced whilst being recruited. It was interesting to learn about about the RAF in the beginnings of the War, how they worked in the fight against Hitler.

Can’t wait to read the next book. 

Highly Recommend This Series.
Was this review helpful?
3 stars. I'm afraid I am the exception to all of the other 5 star reviews here. While I enjoyed it, the War Girls of Goodwill House did not capture and hold me like I wished it to. I found the dialogue unbelievable and distracting, especially between Sarah and her mother Joanna.

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced copy in exchange for my unbiased opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Fenella J. Miller is a new author to me. The War Girls of Goodwill House has me wanting to read more. I can't express how happy I am to know that this story is just the beginning of series. I have become quite fond of many of the characters. A few, not so much.

Goodwill House is an estate that is now almost empty of residents. The Lady of the House, Joanna Harcourt, is learning to survive on very little with her husband now defending England in France. I have to admit I always took it for granted that those weren't issues for the aristocracy. To say this story has been an eye-opener is an understatement. Luckily for Lady Harcourt; her daughter, Sarah has a good head on her shoulders. 

Sarah has dreams of Medical school at Oxford until she finds out there isn't the money to send her. That won't stop her from achieving her goals, even if they don't fit with society. Sarah finds ways to keep the manor going. She finds ways to bring in needed funds all while continuing to work toward a career in medicine. 

Their struggles give glimpses into living through WW2. The reader is shown how a country can come together in a common goal. The reader learns of the challenges for WAAFs when recruiting is done before plans are in place. The RAF just wasn't prepared to house them safely. I loved learning so much more about the RAF in the beginnings of the War as the worked to fight back against Hitler. 

Books like The War Girls of Goodwill House teaches us about our history with our the dryness of a history textbook. The author brought the human touch to our past. Not all was good. Not all was bad. Teamwork and civilian support helped the British succeed.
Was this review helpful?
Well deserved 5 stars, I loved this book from the minute I picked it up, a great story of how 2 woman’s lives changed at the start of the war. Sarah and her mother Joanna find their lives completely changed after her father goes to war, leaving them struggling financially. They have to find a way to keep the huge house and their lives as they know it. Sarah dreams of becoming a Dr but that all changes with the demise of their finances, and the story follows her fight to achieve her dream. An absolutely great read and I’m hoping for a 2nd book to finish the story.
Was this review helpful?
Most enjoyable read.   As the title suggests we visit Goodwill House seat of Lord Harcourt who is away serving his country.  At home his wife Lady Harcourt and daughter Sarah are trying to run things themselves, which is quite the task never having had the freedom to make their own decisions before.
Sarah is quite resourceful and manages to arrange for them to have boarders.  The local RAF base decide to station some females there.  This proves interesting for Sarah as it opens up new freedoms for her.
Was this review helpful?
would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this lovely new book in the new series by this author

an interesting story how a father goes off to war leaving behind his wife and daughter to get on with it...and how they made it work

by taking in first the ladies from the forces and then others, and seeing how the changes occurred, to how the mother and daughter thought of themselves and were about to grow in themselves...

its an interesting read and i cant wait for the next one in this series as there are some lovely characters in this book
Was this review helpful?