The Candle Factory Girl by Tania Crosse
1930’s London – A backstreet saga full of hopes, dreams and the fight for survival. Perfect for the fans of Rosie Clarke and Lindsey Hutchinson.
Work at Price’s Candle Factory in Battersea is tedious for intelligent, seventeen-year-old Hillie Hardwick, but she knows she is lucky to have a job at all.
Her home life is no better, as she constantly battles with her exacting and bullying father in order to protect her mother and five younger siblings from his abuse.
Her only solace is her loving relationship with the chaotic Parker family and her best friend, Gert Parker.
When matters violently escalate for Hillie, smitten Jack-the-Lad Jimmy Baxter seems her only salvation.
But could this be the biggest mistake of her life, and should she be looking for protection nearer home?
A story that crackles with unease where courage and friendship are the only hope.
The setting for the book is Price’s Candle Factory in 1930’s London. One of the girls who works there is Hillie Hardwick, a seventeen-year-old who works long hours only to hand over her paycheck to a violent and cruel father. By her side at all times is best friend Gert Parker who was born just a few days apart from Hillie. Their mothers are best friends and the two girls, who grew up together have a tight bond.
Hillie’s father is an ex-army sergeant. He rules his family with a rod of iron and expects the house to be pristine at all times. If things are not as he pleases, Hillie and her mother pay the price.
Times are hard, the family face extreme poverty but Hillie stands up to her father’s rants and helps her mother out any way that she can. When Jimmy Baxter starts to show an interest in Hillie, she knows that her father would never approve and turns him down flat. However, Jimmy’s cheeky humour soon wins Hillie over and a secret romance develops.
Hillie is an amazing character, she stands up to her father when it would be easier to just say nothing. The friendship between Hillie and Girt is so precious and I loved the fact that the Parker family are the exact opposite of the Hardwicks..loving, carefree and united.
I loved Hillie’s story, the characters were all well rounded and believable (unfortunately even Hillie’s father Harold) and the story had a solid flow.
For anyone who loves a great historical family saga.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a copy of this book, which I have reviewed honestly.