Come with me to Pelthams, the Manchester department store with its fading glory where nothing is what it seems and many a secret is kept… Ladies’ Day is Sarah Barton’s fascinating, entertaining and enchanting debut novel that touches your heart and brings both a smile to your face and a tear to your eyes. I love it!
It is May and whilst her mother keeps nagging at her, Amanda is examining her metal box which “held every penny that she had been able to squirrel away” for the past two months. Clearly, she is preparing for something but as to what, we have no idea. They will be here soon – Marianne, Hayley, and Jane. Four ladies, ready for “the biggest day of their lives,” that will bring the much-desired life change or their descent into misery. What intricate plan are they executing? To find out, we go back two months in time…
Marianne is overly excited to be unpacking boxes and boxes of exquisite lingerie and wishes she could purchase it all. Only to please her husband, of course. Her life is perfect apart from a tiny little thing that for now, she keeps a secret. Amanda cannot possibly imagine why Marianne would buy the umpteenth nightgown and is not just a little annoyed that Marianne, instead of getting on with her work, sits there with dreamy eyes examining every single one of the new stock.
Marianne meanwhile, envies Amanda for her doting husband, David. If only she knew… Hayley has her own troubles: she longs to become a mother. The store’s baby department is the one place that at times is too painful to access. When an opportunity arises providing funds for the expensive IVF procedure, she seizes it and, even if this turns nasty, Hayley now is completely focussed on achieving her goal. As it turns out, she has unexpected talents…
Head of the ladies’ department of the Manchester store is Jane, who is entangled in an affair with her boss, Tony Pickard. We all know he is dangling promises before her, promises he will never keep, right? Even Jane has noticed his wandering eye. A friend to confide in would be nice for Jane but alas for our ‘Ice Queen’, she has none.
Then there is Charlie, the doorman, who has a pretty accurate remark for every occasion – funnily enough, he has no idea because, for him, it is all about the horses. In his way, he looks after the women working at the Manchester department store – it is not until Charlie has to apprehend a shoplifter, Ada, that we see another side of him. Ada is good for him but how well she takes care of him, that is for you to find out…
The four ladies are getting more and more entrapped in the webs they weave and we very much doubt how they will ever get their lives back on track. For that, they might need help…
I loved Ladies’ Day! Sarah Barton takes you with her makes you part of the women’s life stories. As such, you know when a response is totally wrong and you feel joy with your character when something wonderful happens (which character that is you will have to find out for yourself!).
There is romance and sadness, deceit and (false) hopes, there are brilliant dialogues (again, you need to read it because I am surely not telling you now!) that made me smile with a tear in my eye. I thought I had a favourite character but actually, I am torn between three of them and I cannot even share them with you! Oh, and I do want to mention Charlie who stole my heart – kind and friendly Charlie – such an endearing character!
Ladies’ Day is a wonderful combination of the lives of four – but I need to say there is a fifth who deserves an honourable mention as well – women who find themselves stuck in their situation in life. Each has her own problems, but each cannot solve it alone. Some stories you just know how they will end, some are simply too funny and take a turn I did not see coming!
Despite the sometimes serious topics, this is a hilarious, light-hearted, but also touching and inspiring story of friendship. Of how you need others in your life and how you can surprise them and yourself by taking a road not travelled before. Of recognising you are stronger than you think you are – of daring to take matters – life – into your own hands.
Sarah Barton’s well-written debut is a humorous, a little bit naughty, heart-warming, entertaining and engaging novel I heartily recommend!
About the Author
Sarah Barton is a contemporary fiction writer who lives in South Manchester. While she spends her days running a property management company her nights are spent with her family and her literary work. Sarah is happiest with a G + T in one hand and a pen in the other…
Social Media Links:
Website: . https://www.sarahbartonauthor.com/
FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/SarahBartonAuthor/
Amazon Author Page coming soon – here’s the link: author.to/SarahBarton
|Publisher||Orchard View Publications (27 Jun. 2018)|