I just couldn’t resist this book from the title alone. What book lover doesn’t enjoy reading books about books, or in this case, a bookshop? Not just any bookshop either, but the famous Foyles in London.

The girls of the title are Alice, Molly and Victoria, although this is very much Alice’s story (I understand book two of the trilogy concentrates more on Molly). She’s a privileged young woman, living with her parents and siblings when the story begins. Despite those privileges, she’s one of the kindest people around, even if her actions do sometimes come across as more do-gooder than helper. She has a gorgeous man in Freddie and she is allowed by her father to work part time at Foyles. I say allowed as her father is a very difficult man and Alice has worked hard for her little bit of independence.

If I say the book begins in 1914 then you’ll surely know the direction it’s going to take. The outbreak of WWI is a catalyst for change in Alice’s life as she takes on different roles and witnesses some of the men in her life going off to fight.

The Foyles Bookshop Girls is a lovely read, a sweet one in so many ways, although I did find a tear springing into the corner of my eye once or twice at some of the consequences of the war. However, I do think it could perhaps have been a bit more in depth, a bit more meaty, but what suits one reader does not always suit the next.

I did very much hope for a happy conclusion for Alice and I was pleased with the way the book ended. I’m looking forward to finding out a bit more about Molly and also, hopefully, to following Alice through the remainder of the war years. Overall, I enjoyed this delightful and touching read.

Nicola Smith, Short Book and Scribes 4/3

The Foyles Bookshop Girls by Elaine Roberts
Aria 9781788544856 pbk Jun 2018