A Wealth of Warmth and Understanding

Posted on 14th May, 2021

I don't often review books on this blog, but sometimes a book comes along that just has to be celebrated - and The Halfpenny Girls by Maggie Mason (the pen name for saga author Mary Wood) is just such a book.


This is a gripping family saga set before the war and follows the lives of three friends - Marg, Edith and Alice.


Touchingly, the three heroines, as well as other characters in the story, are named after late loved ones of followers of Mary Wood's thriving Facebook community.


What I loved about this book, and what made it, for me, a stand-out saga, was the concentration on family life. Sagas often revolve around the work-place, but this one is firmly rooted in the hardships faced by the girls because of their family circumstances. Violence, alcoholism, betrayal and dementia are all woven into the tale - alongside love, loyalty and the determination of the three young heroines to do their very best for their nearest and dearest, despite every hardship. There are no easy answers to the problems each family faces - just a wealth of warmth and understanding from an accomplished author.


This is a complex story with strong, cleverly interwoven plots, well-drawn, multi-layered characters, and, above all, a powerful sense of the importance of family.


Now I'm looking forward to the sequel, The Halfpenny Girls at Christmas, which is published on November 11th.


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The Halfpenny Girls on Amazon


The Halfpenny Girls at Christmas on Amazon


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Comments (4)

Maggie/Mary - I'm not sure which name I should use(!), but thank you for your kind words. You have written a wonderful book and wanted to share with all my blog-visitors who much I enjoyed it and how special it is.

Beverley - It's a gorgeous book, isn't it? I'm glad you like the review. I know what a prolific reviewer you are, my friend xx

Kate - Naming the characters after real people was such a wonderful thing to do, wasn't it? Typical of Maggie/Mary's warm relationship with her readers. Thanks for commenting.
Lovely review, and touched that you named the three heroines after late loved ones of your facebook fans (of which I am one). xx
This is so beautiful I too enjoyed this beautiful read thank you susanna
How can I thank you for this touching and insightful review - it touched my heart to have a fellow author read my book and to be moved enough by it to blog about it. It doesn't get much better than that. Take care, and all the luck in the world with your own work, Much love, Mary xxx