The Girls From See Saw Lane by Sandy Taylor

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What they say:I loved this novel so much, even though it’s probably the most heart-breaking story I’ve read all year…it will totally absorb you and capture your heart.That Thing She Reads

Brighton 1963. Mary Pickles and I walked along the street with our arms linked, looking in shop windows. We were best friends and together we were invincible.

Dottie and Mary forged a friendship over a bag of penny sweets when they were eight years old. They’ve shared everything together since then – the highs and lows of school, family dramas, hopes and dreams and now, at seventeen, they’re both shop girls, working at Woolworths.

As they go out in the world in pursuit of love and happiness, the simplicity of their childhood dissolves as life becomes more complicated. The heady excitement of first love will consume them both, but the pain of unintentional betrayal will test their friendship in ways neither of them could ever imagine…

A charming, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting novel which brings a bygone era vividly to life. Fans of Nadine Dorries, Mary Gibson and Pam Weaver will love The Girls from See Saw Lane. Counting Chimneys coming soon.

‘I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t put it down. It has all the ingredients for a perfect read: fantastic, loveable and very real characters, an emotional and compelling storyline, and a brilliant setting in time and place.’ Louise Douglas

‘Sandy Taylor has proven herself to be a very talented and gifted storyteller with an immense insight into family, friendship, love, and forgiveness…This is one of the most endearing, yet heart-breaking, novels that I have encountered in quite some time and will certainly not soon forget…Witty and humorous dialogue written with such ease truly brought this story to life and swept me away between the pages. Filled with unexpected twists and turns, you’ll want to keep the box of tissues nearby!’ Kimberly’s Bookshelf

‘I have just started to read this one and am hooked! I love the vivid details of the time period and the closeness of the best friends.Weekend Reading

‘I would recommend it to anyone who loves stories about female friendships, books set in the past…and for anyone who wants an emotionally stirring read!’ My Bookish Ramblings

A beautiful tale of friendship, love, betrayal and forgiveness and one that will stay with me for a long time to comeThe Girls From See Saw Lane is a truly beautiful story that will touch your heart. Mary and Dottie will certainly live on in my head and my heart.’ By The Letter Book Reviews

‘I find it very hard to believe that this is Sandy’s first book. This book is so well written…The relationship between the girls is very heartwarming, but also extremely heartbreaking, there will be times when you will need tissues at hand.The Reading Head

‘I recommend this book to all who want to take a wonderful trip back to the 60’s. I would give it more than 5 stars if there were more to give.’ Library Thing

When you read this book, be prepared to laugh and to cry (it gets really sad)The Girls from See Saw Lane is a good book to settle in and read on a rainy afternoon.’ The Avid Reader

‘Wow this book had me laughing out loud one minute and bursting into tears the next..A massive page turner.Nat’s Reading Cloud

‘I absolutely adored it…so wonderful and so captivating.The Book Cafe

Will make you smile, laugh, reminisce and perhaps even cry a little…an absorbing and charming read.’ Portobello Book Blog

The Review: First off, such a mahoosive thanks to Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review. There’s books where you enjoy every single word, and this was one of them.  It was the story of Dottie and Mary, starting with them aged 8 and continuing into teenagedom and then adulthood. I adore books told from multiple points of views and this was told through Dottie, the character who saw herself as the lesser of the pair, although I thought of her as only slightly more innocent, with a tiny diary extract by Mary sealing everything. Both characters were as strong and as lovely as each other and you could see that both through story and diary extracts.  The story was great, Dotties family aiding in the comic moments and both Dottie and Mary’s ‘beaus, Ralph and Elton’ adding to drama, warmth and gorgeous romance.

The beauty is in the everyday, the ordinary, the many examples of what great friends the two were, two people who were always looking out for each other,

” ‘Well they won’t tease you any more, Dottie Perks … Not if I have anything to do with it.’ We smiled at each other, and in that moment it was as if we both knew that something wonderful and special had just happened.”

and how their friendship continues through. There was no waiting for the next Big Bang, or whatever was going to happen at the end (although the beginning of the story did continue to return to my mind), I just read and enjoyed each description, each daily event.

There’s betrayal, of course, a betrayal that packed a punch, with repercussions both heartbreaking and beautiful that I floated through, they were so vivid. The reviews I read all told of how one of the main characters obviously didn’t appreciate the other, but there are countless examples that tell otherwise. The ending had me in floods of tears, my heart truly broke and after I put the book away it still continued to enter my mind. I cannot recommend enough and I was shocked to see this was a debut, it was so beautifully crafted.

Rating: 5/5

 

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