Even though I haven’t read any of the other books in the Pennington’s series, I still enjoyed A Shop Girl at Sea because Amelia and Samuel’s story did not need any preamble.
I am impressed by the amount of research that has gone into writing this book, from the construction of the Titanic to the descriptions of the interiors based on class and the fallout of the tragedy. I wasn’t aware that people looked upon the male survivors of Titanic with disdain and suspicion.
The story made me think about the aftermath of the tragedy, something I hadn’t considered before. How did the survivors pick up the broken pieces of their life and continue living? More practically, did they face discrimination because they survived the tragedy? I don’t know if PTSD was understood at the time, but I’m sure I saw traces of it in both Amelia and Samuel.
Amelia’s past is shocking, but what is truly sad is that she blames herself for it.
“Do you really believe it is nothing I have done or am doing, that makes me look as though I want male attention?”Amelia Wakefield
It looks like women through the ages haven’t really changed, always second-guessing themselves.
Samuel is a rare gentleman, almost ensnared by his mother and sisters. It was good to see him finally put his family in order, not by force but with sensitivity, empathy, and determination.
I was also interested to read about LGBTQ rights in the 1900s, which were non-existent. How people were aware of such relationships but considered them discordant and justified their abhorrence because it was deemed illegal.
The hidden but deeply passionate love between two workers at Pennington’s drew plenty of nasty gossip from the shop girls, but the discretion of certain other coworkers and the owner restored my faith in human generosity.
This is a book that you can just dive in, become fully absorbed, and keep turning the pages until the end.
Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources and the author for my copy of the book!
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication date: April 9, 2020
Publisher: Aria Fiction
Amelia Wakefield loves working at Pennington’s, Bath’s finest department store. An escape from her traumatic past, it saved her life. So when Miss Pennington sets her a task to set sail on the Titanic and study the department stores of New York, she couldn’t be more excited – or determined!
Frustrated with his life at home, Samuel Murphy longs for a few weeks of freedom and adventure. Meeting Amelia on board the Titanic, Samuel can’t help wonder what painful history has made the beauty so reserved. But he already has too many responsibilities for love.
Ruby Taylor has always kept her Pennington co-workers at a distance. Making sure her little brother is safe has always been her priority. But when that means accepting Victoria Lark’s offer of sanctuary, more than one of Ruby’s secrets is under threat of being revealed…
A riveting and uplifting saga, perfect for fans of Elaine Everest and Fiona Ford.
Amazon India — https://amzn.to/2VVuJTc
About the Author
Rachel lives with her husband and their two daughters in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of over 20 published novels including the Pennington’s department store series (Aria Fiction) and the Templeton Cove Stories (Harlequin).
In July 2019, she signed a three-book deal with Aria Fiction for a Victorian trilogy set in a Bath brothel which will feature three heroines determined to change their lives and those of other women. The first book is due for release in Autumn 2020.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and has thousands of social media followers all over the world.
To sign up for her newsletter (a guaranteed giveaway every month!), click here:
Social Media Links
Facebook Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RachelsReaders/?fref=ts