Book Review “The Mersey Angels” by Sheila Riley

ISBN: 9781800485846


The Mersey Angels


Following the death of her father, Ruby Swift, and husband Archie finally move back into Ashland Hall.

As the Great War rages, fathers and sons take the King’s Shilling and head off to fight the unknown enemy, not knowing what horrors lie ahead.

With Ned Kincaid in the Navy, Archie signs up to the volunteer constabulary and nurses Anna Cassidy and Ellie Harrington enlist to do their bit for King and Country.

Soon the true casualties of war are being brought home in droves, Ruby converts Ashland Hall into an auxiliary hospital for wounded servicemen.

It’s not long before the true cost of war is brought closer to home and Anna and Ellie enlist in the British Military Nursing Corp and soon find themselves in the battlefields of France in search of the truth.

But they soon discover more than they bargained for…


5 stars

The Mersey Angels is an absolute marvel of a book. It is a gut-wrenching novel based around the First World War and truly brings home the utter brutality of war, how it devastated many lives whilst also making people stronger and seeing people coping in situations they never believed they would see.

Anna and Ellie dream of being nurses on the frontline, however their romantic ideals are soon shattered when they arrive ankle deep in mud, bodies strewn all over, men in agony with Doctors and nurses never having time to rest. The job is relentless, yet strong relationships are still formed amidst all the anguish.

I found this book almost impossible to put down, a definite “just one more chapter” book. I needed to know the outcome for Anna and Ellie. Were they safe? Did they really find the answers they were looking for? did they find love? I am not going to spoil that. You will just have to read for yourself. In many ways this book is uplifting and shows just how resilient people can be in the face of adversity. The characters and their emotions are brought to life in a striking manner that makes the reader have a great affinity for them, from the main characters to the injured solders. A Heart wrenching read that takes you through happiness, despair, disbelief at what the brave nurses had to endure and how they remain resilient throughout and right back to happiness again.

I would highly recommend this book to those who love an historical fiction book written from mainly a woman’s’ perspective of war and all its horrors.  A story of endurance in the face of devastation and a belief that they will make a difference to this awful war and boy did they make a difference.

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Author Bio –  

Sheila Riley wrote four #1 bestselling novels under the pseudonym Annie Groves and is now writing a new saga trilogy for Boldwood under her own name. She has set it around the River Mersey and its docklands near to where she spent her early years. She still lives in Liverpool. Her new trilogy began with The Mersey Orphan in September 2019.

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ISBN: 9781800485846

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