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Title: Rainy Days for the Harper Girls (Welcome to Harpers Emporium #3)
Author: Rosie Clarke
Published: 2nd of June 2020 – Boldwood Books
Format: eARC (Netgalley) – 344 pages
Hard times ahead for the Harpers girls… It is two years since Harpers opened in Oxford Street and Ben is planning to expand the premises.
Life is good for Sally and Ben as they look forward to their first child and hope for a prosperous future. Beth is settling into married life with Jack, gradually recovering from her aunt’s tragic death, though still unable to conceive a child.
New girls have joined Harpers and Marion, Janice and Becky all become a part of the daily life at the busy store. Rachel is undecided whether to marry a man she isn’t sure she can trust, while Minnie meets an old love.
The sun is shining in English streets but on the horizon dark clouds gather over Europe and war looms threatening bringing rainy days for the Harpers girls…
Rainy Days for the Harper Girls by Rosie Clarke is the third book in the Welcome to Harpers Emporium series. I love reading historical fiction, especially when the time period is before WWII, I don’t seem to have read many, but I’m definitely trying to change that. I have to say that I didn’t read the first two books in the series before picking this one up, and I don’t think you have to either because I didn’t struggle whatsoever with the characters or the plot. I thought the author did a good job of reminding people what had happened in previous books, it could be annoying to people who have already read the other books in the series but I found it really helpful and it fit well with the writing style and language.
One thing I really enjoyed about this book was how authentic it felt to me. The language is quite old-fashioned and there are a few different dialects or slangs in the text which really helped to set this story in London in the 1900s. I was expecting to have the whole book be about WWI, but I was actually pleasantly surprised that the story is leading up to it and I thought it was structured really nicely, I’m sure any more books in the series will be set later in time and probably include a lot of the war, but having it not include the war was actually rather pleasant.
I definitely would describe this book as a pleasant read, nothing extravagant happens and it is a rather mundane setting and plot, but I actually really enjoyed it and it was nice not having a really complex plot for once. I thought that the writing style was very nice and the languages and different class-distinctions were well executed. The setting was really well described as well and I felt at times like I had travelled through time.
I found the characters to represent their time well, they felt quite modern but not overly so for the setting. I particularly liked Sally, Maggie, Marion and Rachel, I found them to be really down to earth and even though they are in the 1918s, I did find them rather modern. I also thought it was a very interesting setting to have the backdrop of women’s rights and to have references to Emeline Pankhurst and many other suffragettes, I don’t see that in books ever, so it was a really nice addition to the story and I thought it made it much more realistic.
MY THOUGHTS AND RATINGS
Having read and enjoyed this third book in the series, I definitely would like to find the time and go back to books 1 and 2 in this series. They seem to me to be really uplifting and delightful books, centred on women and their friendship. Although the main story is about the shop and about their daily lives, I really enjoyed seeing all the women who worked at Harpers Emporium come together “once again” apparently, and they showed just how strong-willed and determined they were to survive during the war and welcome their families back home.
I gave this book 4 stars, it was a really lovely read and I definitely recommend to historical fiction fans. Thank you to Rachel and the author for inviting me to this tour and for letting me take part and thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed this review. See you soon, stay safe,
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – ROSIE CLARKE
Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire.