My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Baggy Pants and Bootees is a historical fiction set in England with two time settings. We first meet Sophie in 1968, she’s a trainee newspaper reporter in Yorkshire. She’s determined to make a go of a job as a woman in a male dominated career. There is prejudice and unfair working conditions for Sophie but she is strong willed and determined.
A phone call out of the blue from her mother who threw her out when she was just sixteen, concerns Sophie. When she finds out her Mum has been hospitalised Sophie feels obliged to visit. An alcoholic Frances is in a bad way.
The clock turns back to 1940. Frances just fourteen lives in Coventry with her Mum, Dad and younger brother. On one night of bombing Frances runs out into the street to see the action. This saves her life as her house took a direct bomb. Left with no relatives the system puts her in an orphanage in Leicester, but she runs away for her own safety. Working in an factory Frances and her fellow workers meet Americans from the 82nd Airborne Division, known as “The Baggy Pants”. Ed Trask helps Frances and they fall in love, only for Ed to be sent out on his next mission.
A young Frances has to cope in severe conditions and delays in shock cause her mental health to become unstable, she had a very hard life and in the 1960’s Sophie tries to build up a picture of her life and find answers to questions from long ago.
The book title and cover give very little away about this book, it’s quite a little gem. Well paced, scenes move on quickly which keep the reader engaged. I felt very connected to both Sophie and Frances in their separate plights. I liked the fact that several of the character’s endings were left quite open and not all tied neatly off, it made the book more realistic.
This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by Publishing Push.
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