By: Sandy Taylor
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Historical Fiction
Brighton 1963. Mary Pickles and I walked along the street with our arms linked, looking in shop windows. We were best friends and together we were invincible.
Dottie and Mary forged a friendship over a bag of penny sweets when they were eight years old. They’ve shared everything together since then – the highs and lows of school, family dramas, hopes and dreams and now, at seventeen, they’re both shop girls, working at Woolworths.
As they go out in the world in pursuit of love and happiness, the simplicity of their childhood dissolves as life becomes more complicated. The heady excitement of first love will consume them both, but the pain of unintentional betrayal will test their friendship in ways neither of them could ever imagine…
Review by Coll
My Rating: 5 Coffee Cups!!!
**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**
My thoughts on this book? I absolutely adored it! Dottie was that shy little girl who felt out of place until she met Mary, the girl with no fear and no reservations. Separate they were opposite but together they were the perfect match and they became instant friends, doing everything together and sharing the same dreams for the future. What Mary wanted to do Dottie wanted to do and that is how their childhood went. As they grew up they were thrown from the carefree lives of children into the complex lives of adults where they were forced to deal with heartbreak, deception, and tragedy and watch their lives and friendship change forever, as everything always does. Friendships are tested, hearts are broken, and bonds are strengthened as Mary and Dottie grow up and are forced to face the inevitable challenges of life while trying desperately to hold on to one another.
At the beginning of the book the writing seemed a little simplistic but as the story progressed and the girls grew so did the writing style. It was as if Sandy Taylor depicted the growing up of Dottie and Mary not just through the words she told the story with but also through variations and increased maturity in the writing style. This technique helps to bring you through a childhood that you can really feel and allows for you to grow with the two girls. The writing progression and style in this book was done so well and added so much to the story in an underlying way.
What was so great about this book was how easy it was for me (as I am sure it is for most readers) to relate to it. With The Girls from See Saw Lane, Sandy Taylor takes you through the childhood of two best friends and brings you back to the time when you had your first best friend, making you feel as if you can completely empathize with what the girls go through. Both of the main characters are developed so well and you learn their strengths and their flaws and see how these things affect their relationships as they get older. The characters were written as real people, who do not always think the logical way and I often found myself getting frustrated with them and wondering why they didn’t just react in a certain way that seemed so obvious to me. Then I thought back to when I was younger and how I reacted to things and realized the characters in the story were thinking with their hearts and emotions, as any other person would in real life. I found such a brilliance in this portrayal of emotional, not perfect characters and it made the story seem that much more real.
This book was not exciting in the typical sense but it was completely intriguing and nearly impossible to put down. Taylor told a story that could have been out of anyone’s life and made it so enthralling that it was hard to stop reading. I kept catching myself thinking “Okay just one more chapter” and the next thing I knew it was an hour later and I was still reading. For a book to be written about the childhood days and early adulthood of two regular girls and be so thrilling to read, with no action packed plot being involved, takes genuine talent and Taylor executed it all so perfectly.
Something that was so wonderful and so captivating about The Girl’s from See Saw Lane was the book’s portrayal of life and all the love and heartbreak that comes with it. It was both simple and complicated and told a tale full of realism and truth instead of a story full of perfectly resolved scenarios of a fairy tale nature. I find myself missing Dottie and Mary and wondering about their lives, wishing I was still a part of them. This book had sincerity, humor, happiness, sadness; so many different emotions that make up our everyday lives also made up this story and I don’t feel as if it could have been any more incredible.
“You’re a very strange girl, do you know that?”
“Oh I do hope so!” She said, smiling.
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