The Bermondsey Bookshop: A heart-wrenching saga of love and loss in 1920s London

Head of Zeus Ltd
2
Free sample

'Happiness had never been something she'd looked for. A quiet day with no insults or wallops, that was the best she could imagine.'

Kate Goss lives in a dark, freezing cold garret, despised and bullied by her aunt and cousins after the death of her mother. She dreams of being rescued by her handsome father, who she only dimly remembers. No one quite knows where he is, or what he is doing, just that he is sure to come back a rich man.

By the time Kate is seventeen, she is tough and hardened. When her aunt throws her out on to the streets of south London, she answers an advert for a cleaner in the Bermondsey Bookshop and Reading Room, founded by a wealthy woman who dreams of bringing literature to the poor.

Here she will find a world she never knew existed. But for Kate, trouble is never far away and long-held secrets are about to burst into the open and ensnare her in a web of lies and violence. Can she ever escape? And will the man she has begun to love still be there if she does?

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About the author

Mary Gibson was born and brought up in Bermondsey, south east London, where both her grandmother and mother were factory girls. She is the author of the bestselling Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts, which was selected for World Book Night 2015, and five other novels, Jam and Roses, Gunner Girls and Fighter Boys, Bourbon Creams and Tattered Dreams, Hattie's Home and A Sister's Struggle. marygibsonauthor.co.uk @MaryGibsonBooks

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4.5
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Additional Information

Publisher
Head of Zeus Ltd
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Published on
Feb 6, 2020
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Pages
448
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ISBN
9781788542630
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Cultural Heritage
Fiction / Family Life / General
Fiction / Historical / General
Fiction / Romance / Historical / General
Fiction / Romance / Workplace
Fiction / Sagas
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The beautiful Vanessa Shotworth was being made extremely unhappy at the way she was being treated by her stepmother while her beloved father was away in India with his Regiment.
When she was late for breakfast because she had been out riding on a lovely summer's morning, she was humiliated by her stepmother by being told to scrub the kitchen floor or she will not be given anything to eat.
Vanessa then decided to run away to her relatives in the North of England, having elicited the help of the faithful family butler, Bates.
She sets out on her adored horse, Samson, and had not gone far when she stumbled into a group of highwaymen preparing for their evening meal in a wood.
Initially she was frightened, but the Chief highwayman, who was well-spoken and who had obviously had a good education, offered to accompany her on her journey North and make sure that she came to no harm.
It was when they were near the estate belonging to the Marquis of Westfield that the Chief highwayman told Vanessa that the Marquis was looking for a Governess for his very difficult niece aged twelve, who was impossible to teach and previous Governesses had left in despair after a very short time in the job.
How Vanessa secures the position as Governess at Westfield Castle with no references.
And how she manages to tame the difficult niece with charm and subtlety and encourages her to ride and dance.
And what happens when Vanessa's cruel stepmother eventually catches up with her.
And how unexpectedly she finds love in what can only be described as a strange way is all told in this unusual romance by BARBARA CARTLAND.
The captivating bestseller about a factory girl in Bermondsey during World War 1.

Britain, 1911.

Strikes and riots erupt countrywide as the shadow of the Great War looms over Europe. But in one small corner of London, factory girl Nellie Clark's wages are all that keep her younger brothers and sister from starvation.

And, as the young women of Pearce Duff's custard factory watch their menfolk prepare to march off to war, Nellie is forced to make a difficult choice: between the family who depend upon her, and the man she loves...

Following Nellie and her struggle through the hardship of life in First World War London, Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts is an outstandingly moving novel full of tenderness and drama.

PRAISE FOR CUSTARD TARTS AND BROKEN HEARTS:

'The twists and turns of the friendship, love and family keep you gripped throughout. The characters are engaging and soon feel like old friends' Joanna, Amazon reviewer.

'Well written and beautifully told story of the hardships and heartache of early 1900's Britain. Couldn't put it down and had tears rolling down my face as I became entwined with the wonderful "cuckoo" family wanting them to survive' Dell, Amazon reviewer.

'This is a wonderful read. It has everything a good story should have, it made me laugh, smile and weep in parts. So well written that the characters come to life' Mafanwy, Amazon reviewer.

'Brilliant book – well written, well researched, compelling read' Squirrel 59, Amazon reviewer.

'An amazing and at times heart-rending story about the struggles of young women before and during the war. I was gripped from the start!' Mrs S, Amazon reviewer.

The poignant and powerful second novel from the bestselling author of Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts.

London, 1923.
Bermondsey is the larder of London with its bustling docks, spice mill, tannery and factories.

Milly Colman knows she's lucky. Working at Southwell's jam factory all week means she can have a pay packet and a laugh with her mates come Saturday. It's a welcome escape from home, where Milly must protect her mother and sisters from her father's violent temper.

When autumn comes, hop-picking in Kent gives all the Colman women a longed-for respite. But it is there, on one golden September night, that Milly makes the mistake of her life and finds her courage and strength tested as never before.

PRAISE FOR JAM AND ROSES:

'This book is raw and powerful and a fabulous read. This is where girl power came from; women like Milly and her family, girls who did not even have the vote at this time. This book is also a history lesson, telling the story of the general strike' Mrs H, Amazon reviewer.

'Well written, with pace, engaging characters, a good narrative and some suspense. A real authentic tone, too: the central characters reminded me of the formidable spirit of my mother/grandmothers who lived through, and survived, these demanding times' Fredmart, Amazon reviewer.

'A fantastic read! I was hooked from the first paragraph, Mary Gibson is a fabulous and talented writer. A book you can't put down but, yet you want to find out the ending without wanting the book to finish. Well done and thank you. Can't wait to read the next book' Michelle Thompson, Amazon reviewer.

'If you enjoy post war stories of women's hardship, based in london, then this is the book to read. It kept me enthralled from the start. Highly recommended' Shell R, Amazon reviewer.

'So full of emotion and tragedies, but also humour, happiness, love and hate' Patsy, Amazon reviewer.

From America to Bermondsey, a story of hope, heartbreak and hardship, by the bestselling author of Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts.

London, 1930.
He promised her the earth. She found herself in hell.

Handsome Frank Rossi took Matty Gilbie away from her working class roots in Bermondsey, East London and promised her fame and fortune. In America, the Cockney Canary would become a movie star. As his wife, she would be half of a power couple, fêted and adored by all. But the Wall Street Crash of 1929 puts paid to all that, and as Frank becomes more violent and unstable, Matty flees in the dead of night.

Once home in Bermondsey, she goes into hiding and starts desperately looking for work. But only Peak Freans, the hated biscuit factory, is hiring staff. Then, as a secret from her past comes back to haunt her, Matty learns that Frank is on the move, determined to find her and get her back.

PRAISE FOR BOURBON CREAMS AND TATTERED DREAMS:

'This book should not be missed. I cannot recommend it highly enough' Mrs H, Amazon reviewer.

'I LOVED this book. So much detail that I felt I was there. Great characters and so emotional' Oriette, Amazon reviewer.

'Amazing, heartfelt and moving' 23reviewstreet.

'This book is filled with love, laughter and hope, and while the characters do have their share of misfortunes and tragedies, what comes across in Gibson's writing is something that is sadly missing in today's modern, fast paced world – Community' Andrea Pryke, Amazon reviewer.

'The fascinating history combined with a story about real people with real problems and a lovely romantic ending made me fall in love with this book. I highly recommend this heartwarming story, it has a lot of charm and character' Suze Alexander, Amazon reviewer.

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