Book Review “Fire and Fury For The Tobacco Girls” By Lizzie Lane


Fire and Fury for the Tobacco Girls

As war rages, everyone has to do their bit…

Bristol 1941

As the clouds of war grow bleaker both at home and abroad, the Tobacco Girls are determined to do their bit for King and Country. To that end Maisie Miles and Bridget Milligan become voluntary ambulance drivers.

As well as coping with the frequent air raids, Maisie is kept on her toes with three new junior employees one of whom is particularly testing.

Bridget’s heart becomes torn between family loyalty and American tobacco tycoon Lyndon O’Neill III, the man she loves.

Meanwhile Phyllis Harvey has joined the WAAF, opting to serve overseas whilst trying to escape her past. Her letters home are upbeat and her friends are initially envious of descriptions of sunshine and blue sea. The truth she hides is that life on the island of Malta is fraught with extreme food shortages, daily air raids and the fear that tomorrow might never come.

The future appears far less certain as the reality of war bites into The Tobacco Girls’ lives.


Fire and Fury for The Tobacco Girls is a totally gripping and highly emotional read. One of the best war time based novels that I have read. I particularly enjoy WW2 stories with strong female protagonists and this book has them in spades. There is no nonsense Maisie, who is admired by her friends for her forthright attitude that quite often gets her into trouble. Phyllis Harvey, who desperately wants to escape a life with her in laws after her ill chosen husband is presumed dead. Then there’s Bridget ever the romantic who can’t believe her luck with her rich American boyfriend.

The brutality of war gets brought home to Maisie and Bridget as they train to become ambulance drivers during the air raids over the city of Bristol. Doing there bit for the war effort brings them face to face with gruesome situations and even the death of friends they work with in the tobacco factory. Phyllis who has joined the WAAF to escape her life of, what she thinks will become drudgery has been sent to Malta and endures horrific bombings and food shortages. She writes happy, life is great letters back to her two best friends so that they won’t worry about her. These girls are all strong willed in their own ways and rely on each others happiness more than they seem to realise. An escape perhaps from the horrors of war.

Although this is the third book in a series, it works equally well as a stand alone book. You get to know the characters thoroughly and I didn’t feel I had missed out on anything by not reading the first two. However I am going to go back and read them now. The book ends on a bit of a cliff hanger, yet I didn’t feel there were any loose ends. The ending definitely leaves you wanting more and I for one can not wait to get my hands on the next instalment of The Tobacco Girls.

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Author Bio –  Lizzie Lane is the author of over 50 books, a number of which have been bestsellers.  She was born and bred in Bristol where many of her family worked in the cigarette and cigar factories.  This has inspired her new saga series for Boldwood The Tobacco Girls.

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