There are a whole lot of characters in Elaine Everest’s Wedding Bells for Woolworths – and most of them are related either by blood, marriage or kindness. At one of the weddings – there were a number – one of the characters jokingly suggested their future kin shouldn’t marry each because it was confusing enough to figure who was related to whom.

I hear you.

I spent a bit of time trying to keep all the characters in my head and who was the parent and grandparent of each character. It wasn’t until I realized I was likely reading a sequel that I decided just to read the book and figure it out along the way. I was wrong through. Wedding Bells for Woolworths is the fifth book in the series. There is also The Woolworth Girls; Christmas at Woolworths; Carols at Woolworth; A Gift from Woolworths; Wartime at Woolworths.

So despite the fact I have missed four books where I could have learned more about the women who work at Woolworths in a town called Erith in 1948 (a real place and a real store), Everest did a good job of making Wedding Bells for Woolworths a stand-alone book. Other than a family tree, which perhaps should have been included, Wedding Bells for Woolworth was, for the most part, a light story perfect for the beach, and a quick read: I finished the book over a couple of days.

Wedding Bells for Woolworths begins after the Second World War. Britain is still gripped by rationing making food and clothing scarce. The book focuses on the women who work at Woolworths and their families.

Freda, a young woman who works at Woolworths, is wondering if she will meet her Prince Charming when she knocks a fellow employee – and Olympic hopeful – off his bike, injuring his leg. Sarah, another employee, worries whether her husband Alan still loves her.

“The friends must rally around to face some of the toughest challenges of their lives together. And although they experience loss, hardship and shocks along the way, love is on the horizon for the Woolworths girls.”

For the most part I enjoyed the characters, although I did question the choices Freda, Alan and Sarah made. I am not sure if Wedding Bells at Woolworths is a true representation of the time in Britian’s history, but based on Everest’ words, it certainly felt like a great period of time to live in.

I wasn’t keen on the ending. It seemed a little dark for an otherwise fairly light read.

Wedding Bells for Woolworths retails for $17.99 and is from PGC Books and Pan MacMillan.

A copy of this book was provided by PGC Books for an honest review.
The opinions are my own.