Duncan Barrett

Duncan Barrett is a writer and editor who specialises in biography and memoir. After publishing several books in collaboration with other authors, he published his first solo book, Men of Letters, in 2014. Barrett also works as an actor and theatre director.
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For readers enchanted by the bestsellers The Astronaut Wives Club, The Girls of Atomic City, and Summer at Tiffany’s, an absorbing tale of romance and resilience—the true story of four British women who crossed the Atlantic for love, coming to America at the end of World War II to make a new life with the American servicemen they married.

The “friendly invasion” of Britain by over a million American G.I.s bewitched a generation of young women deprived of male company during the Second World War. With their exotic accents, smart uniforms, and aura of Hollywood glamour, the G.I.s easily conquered their hearts, leaving British boys fighting abroad green with envy. But for girls like Sylvia, Margaret, Gwendolyn, and even the skeptical Rae, American soldiers offered something even more tantalizing than chocolate, chewing gum, and nylon stockings: an escape route from Blitz-ravaged Britain, an opportunity for a new life in affluent, modern America.

Through the stories of these four women, G.I. Brides illuminates the experiences of war brides who found themselves in a foreign culture thousands of miles away from family and friends, with men they hardly knew. Some struggled with the isolation of life in rural America, or found their soldier less than heroic in civilian life. But most persevered, determined to turn their wartime romance into a lifelong love affair, and prove to those back home that a Hollywood ending of their own was possible.

G.I. Brides includes an eight-pages insert that features 45-black-and-white photos.

Tales of Hardship, Love and Happiness in Tate & Lyle’s East End Factories. The Sugar Girls went straight to No.10 in the Sunday Times Bestseller List, spending five weeks in the top ten.

On an autumn day in 1944, Ethel Alleyne walked the short distance from her house to Tate & Lyle’s refinery on the shining curve of the Thames. Looking up at the giant gates, Ethel felt like she had been preparing for this moment all her life. She smoothed down her frizzy hair, scraped a bit of dirt off the corner of her shoe and strode through.

She was quite unprepared for the sight that met her eyes ...

In the years leading up to and after the Second World War thousands of women left school at fourteen to work in the bustling factories of London’s East End. Despite long hours, hard and often hazardous work, factory life afforded exciting opportunities for independence, friendship and romance. Of all the factories that lined the docks, it was at Tate & Lyle’s where you could earn the most generous wages and enjoy the best social life, and it was here where The Sugar Girls worked.

Through the Blitz and on through the years of rationing The Sugar Girls kept Britain sweet. The work was back-breakingly hard, but Tate & Lyle was more than just a factory, it was a community, a calling, a place of love and support and an uproarious, tribal part of the East End. From young Ethel to love-worn Lillian, irrepressible Gladys to Miss Smith who tries to keep a workforce of flirtatious young men and women on the straight and narrow, this is an evocative, moving story of hunger, hardship and happiness.

Tales of adversity, resilience and youthful high spirits are woven together to provide a moving insight into a lost way of life, as well as a timeless testament to the experience of being young and female.

Also includes personal photographs of the sugar girls and life at the Tate & Lyle factory, available in the ebook edition only.

This is Joan’s story, one of four stories from The Sugar Girls.During the Blitz and the years of rationing, the Sugar Girls kept Britain sweet. The work was back-breakingly hard, but the Tate & Lyle factory was more than just a workplace - it was a community, a calling, a place of love and support and an uproarious, tribal part of East London.

‘Joan had joined Tate & Lyle expressly for the social life, and she was determined to make the most of it. She could see that her old friend Peggy already had an established group of her own among the sugar girls, so she set about building a new set of friends. It wasn’t difficult for Joan, whose cheerful self-confidence, natural chattiness and naughty sense of humour acted as a magnet to those around her.’

In the years leading up to and after the Second World War thousands of women left school at fourteen to work in the bustling factories of London’s East End. Despite long hours, hard and often hazardous work, factory life afforded exciting opportunities for independence, friendship and romance. Of all the factories that lined the docks, it was at Tate & Lyle’s where you could earn the most generous wages and enjoy the best social life, and it was here where The Sugar Girls worked

This is an evocative, moving story of hunger, hardship and happiness, providing a moving insight into a lost way of life, as well as a timeless testament to the experience of being young and female.

Includes Joan’s own personal photographs of life as a sugar girl.

This is Gladys’s story, one of four stories from The Sugar Girls. During the Blitz and the years of rationing, the Sugar Girls kept Britain sweet. The work was back-breakingly hard, but the Tate & Lyle factory was more than just a workplace - it was a community, a calling, a place of love and support and an uproarious, tribal part of East London.

‘Gladys changed into her new uniform. The dungarees hung loosely on her boyish frame, the crotch resting somewhere down by her knees and the backside looking like a crumpled sack waiting to be filled with potatoes. The short-sleeved blouse seemed to have been designed with a buxom matron in mind, and one with arms as thick as her legs, not a skinny, flat-chested 14-year-old. What kind of monstrous creatures worked in this Blue Room?’

In the years leading up to and after the Second World War thousands of women left school at fourteen to work in the bustling factories of London’s East End. Despite long hours, hard and often hazardous work, factory life afforded exciting opportunities for independence, friendship and romance. Of all the factories that lined the docks, it was at Tate & Lyle’s where you could earn the most generous wages and enjoy the best social life, and it was here where The Sugar Girls worked.

This is an evocative, moving story of hunger, hardship and happiness, providing a moving insight into a lost way of life, as well as a timeless testament to the experience of being young and female.

Includes Gladys’s own personal photographs of life as a sugar girl.

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