A Girls' Guide to Winning the War

The most heartwarming, uplifting novel of courage and friendship in WW2

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Pub Date 25 Jul 2024 | Archive Date 8 Aug 2024
Headline | Headline Review

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'A heart-warming tale about resilience, friendships and family, and the inestimable power of the written word' RUTH HOGAN

'A heart-warming depiction of strong female friendships tested by suffering - Annie Lyons really is the queen of the wartime saga' CLARE CHAMBERS

Can two young women and one book change the course of war . . .?

1940. Whip-smart librarian Peggy Sparks is determined to make sure that her brother Joe returns from the frontline to their London home, which they share with their beloved mother and grandmother. So when she is offered a once-in-a-lifetime job at the heart of the war effort, Peggy jumps at the prospect of making a real contribution to her country.

But when she finds herself working under the fanciful socialite Lady Marigold Cecily, Peggy discovers that those around her are more keen on dancing at the Café de Paris than on ending the war. Writing accounts of her daily life is the only thing keeping Peggy's hopes alive. But when she finds her inner-most thoughts accidentally published by the Ministry of Information, Peggy realises she needs Marigold's help to save her job, and to bring her brother home . . .

From the author of The Air Raid Book Club comes a powerful tale of unexpected friendship, community and two remarkable women who change the course of the war. Full of heart, emotion and drama, it is the perfect uplifting story for fans of Kate Thompson and Natasha Lester.

'Annie Lyons writes with compassion and heart, leaving the reader feeling like there is always hope, even in the darkest times' KATE STOREY

'This book is a delight! A warm hug of a story with gorgeous characters who felt like friends... Loved it! KERRY BARRETT


'I loved every page of it... I found myself just wanting to get back to read it. I Iove, love, loved it' ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Real reader review

'Annie Lyons writes amazing historical fiction... So many emotions, fabulous writing and a thoroughly enjoyable read!' ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Real reader review

'My favourite thing about her books is the way a tight community is formed throughout the story, and they always include strong female characters both young and old. Did I mention there are libraries?' ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Real reader review

'A heart-warming tale about resilience, friendships and family, and the inestimable power of the written word' RUTH HOGAN

'A heart-warming depiction of strong female friendships tested by suffering -...

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781035401079
PRICE £22.00 (GBP)

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Average rating from 9 members

Featured Reviews

Annie Lyon’s writes amazing historical fiction so I can never pass them by when I see a new one is released! And this one, coupled with the name and the cover, had no problem drawing me in. Just reading the Prologue I knew it was going to be another winner.

It was so endearing and the characters were very easy to love. And I also never thought Lady Marigold would rapidly become a favourite!

Peg finds herself landing a job in the Ministry of Information and she wants nothing more than to bring about the end the war and bring her twin brother, Joe, home. And if that’s proofreading leaflets and keeping the nations morale in good spirits, then so be it! It was great to see her expand in her role, make new friendships and do her bit for the war effort.

Following Peg and her work days, and getting to know her lovely family, Alice, Nancy, Emily and Flo was so nice to read and it was impossible not to feel homely with this lovely book.

The whole story was great and it was as amazing as I thought it would be. So many emotions, fabulous writing and a thoroughly enjoyable read!

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This was my first book from this author. I loved every page of it.

No spoiler alerts but the main character Peggy, was someone I would want on my side if ever an injustice had occurred. To see her grow into a strong, determined female, was heart warming. The book flowed well and I found myself just wanting to get back to read it. I do like stories set during WW2 and this was one of those that I would encourage others to read. Well explained and thought out. I Iove, love, loved it.

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Last year I read and enjoyed this author’s The Air Raid Book Club. With her latest novel, Lyons again sets a story during WWII.

Lyons has a gift for writing about characters with warmth and caring. Readers will be hoping for the best for many of those that they meet in these pages.

I loved how the book’s protagonist Peggy believed in libraries and stories. The author also makes literary references that I enjoyed.

Peggy is trying her best in all ways to help the war effort while working for the Ministry of Information. At the same time, her twin brother sees active service and Peggy hopes that her work will somehow end the war sooner and bring him home.

In contrast, when readers meet Lady Marigold Cecily, Peggy’s nominal boss, she is more of a socialite than a worker. Will she change and make a contribution? What about the others in Peggy’s unit? Some are irascible; all have personalities.

Readers also get to know generations of Peggy’s family. They are an endearing group.

This is a book that is very easy to like. I recommend it.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Headline for this title. All opinions are my own.

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I really enjoyed this book which opens a window onto a different world and time. The girl of the title is Peggy, a young librarian who desperately wants to do something proactive to help win the war and more importantly end all of the fighting. She is offered a job with the Ministry of Information and soon finds herself fighting for her right to be recognised as a working woman.
The characters within the book show us the world of women, left at home to literally 'keep calm and carry on'. I loved the way the author shares the women's thoughts and struggles, highlighting what it was truly like during this time ; and these characters really spring to life on the page. A thoroughly enjoyable read!

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When Peggy Sparks' twin, Joe, is called up, she knows she has to help him come home safely. She joins The Ministry of Information which is tasked with providing a flow of information to those at war and those left at home to boost morale. All is not plain sailing. She forms an unlikely friendship with Lady Marigold, who also works in the office and sparks begin to fly as Peggy enjoys her new found freedom in the workplace and fights to play a small part in bringing her brother home safely.
If you loved 'Dear Mrs Bird' then you will love this wartime romp. This is a story of hope, of friendship and has a sprinkling of romance.

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