The Glasgow Girl At War by Eileen Ramsay

A stunning saga – PLUS A FIVE COPY GIVE-AWAY!

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Orphan Ferelith Gallacher is brought up by kindly nuns who recognise her sharp intellect and fund her university place at Edinburgh. As a female law student in the 1930s, Ferelith stands out from the crowd, but she she’s determined to study hard and fulfil her ambition of one day being an advocate.

Then she meets Blair Crawford, and it looks like love might get in the way of her dreams when they elope to Gretna Green. But theirs is a forbidden love and their marriage is short-lived. Heartbroken, Ferelith returns to her studies, determined that she will never again give in to temptation.

Her studies take her abroad to France, then to Italy, where she meets handsome Pietro but manages to resist his charms, insisting they remain friends. At home, she finds more true friends in Dominic, who works with the poor and oppressed, and in closet homosexual Simon, scion of a leading law firm.

But she resists any of his, or other men’s, attempts to give her a hand up the career ladder. Ferelith is determined to make her way on her own terms. She holds fast to her dream of one day helping the poor and oppressed of Glasgow and Edinburgh’s slums – but will she ever get to take the silk?

Told over several years, including a fascinating first few chapters of how Ferelith came into the world and ended up with the nuns in Glasgow, the story follows her fortunes, friendships, and the joys and pains of a second chance at love against the background of the rise of Fascism in Europe and the outbreak of WWII, when both Ferelith and her friends find themselves facing tragedy, danger and heartbreak.

I found this a really gripping saga. Ferelith is a worthy heroine – she’s funny, witty, kind and loyal to the nuns who brought her up, the people she loves and even to her first love. Most importantly, she is true to herself, in the days when all women faced an uphill struggle to get their voices heard.

Her friends are all sympathetic characters, well-rounded, with their own stories slotting neatly around Ferelith’s. The plot is well-paced and convincing and the setting of time and place is immaculate – you really feel part of 1930s and 1940s Glasgow and Edinburgh.

All in all, a wonderful story that will inspire your laughter, tears and admiration for a heroine who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go out and get it.

The Glasgow Girl At War is published by Zaffre in paperback, RRP £8.99

5 Copy Giveaway!

Thanks to the publishers at Zaffre, I have five copies of this gorgeous story to give away to lucky readers. For the chance to win, just leave a comment here, then email your name and address to info@karensbookbag.co.uk , with GLASGOW GIRL AT WAR in the subject line. I’ll pick the winners on January 15 at 10 am. Good luck!

 

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