Love this wonderfully melancholic, sad, yet uplifting novel, set in wartime Manchester! It is a story of war and insecurity, of working hard to provide for your daily meals, of manipulators and persecution but most of all, it is a story of love.
Picture this: Manchester, 1939. Gracie and her single mother Sarah work hard – Sarah works at a hotel, Gracie at the Rosenberg Raincoats factory. Owned by the Jewish Rosenberg family, who came over from Germany long ago. Whenever Jacob Rosenberg, the boss’s nephew, walks by, Gracie just has to observe him. He is good-looking, dressed smartly, and not only knows his business but also every employee by name.
Is it a wonder Gracie is falling in love with him? Is it a wonder Jacob admires her free spirit, her confidence, her ability to see the world with fresh eyes, her storytelling? Apart from the unbridgeable class difference, the clouds of war are closing in on
I LOVE ‘The Girl in the Pink Raincoat.’ It’s engaging and entertaining – it shows us all aspects of life in wartime Manchester – life isn’t easy for Gracie and Sarah, they have to work so hard but they are strong women. The pink raincoat – I won’t give away how Gracie came by the raincoat and the meaning of it as I feel you need to read, nay absorb this story for yourself.
The writing style draws you in and, even though it was late, I just had to read one more chapter… yes, I finished it in two sessions! The author has done a great job of describing life in Manchester in the 40s, the class differences, the discovery of say jazz – the descriptions of Blackpool – as if you could have been there with them!
The crazy thing is that the book somehow could have nothing to do with the war – and at the same time, it has everything to do with the story. There are other characters personalising human weaknesses and behavioural flaws – there are a mother and daughter, each with a secret but in the end, the novel’s main topics are friendship, love, (something else which I cannot divulge) and, perhaps, forgiveness.
I highly recommend ‘The Girl in the Pink Raincoat’ – a brilliant read!
About the Author
Alrene Hughes was born in Enniskillen, grew up in Belfast and now lives in Manchester. She was an English teacher for twenty years and now writes full time.
Her first novel ‘Martha’s Girls’ was inspired by a family scrapbook of concert programmes and newspaper cuttings about The Golden Sisters – her mother and aunts. Her second book ‘The Golden Sisters’ was published in March 2015 and launched at the Northern Ireland War Memorial museum in Belfast. The final book in the WW2 trilogy ‘A Song in my Heart’ was published in June 2016.
Alrene Hughes on Social Media:
|Publisher||Head of Zeus (7 Mar. 2019)|