The Mothers of Lovely Lane by Nadine Dorries
Welcome to my stop on this blog tour! I have an excerpt of the captivating book for you to lose yourself in and discover more about The Mothers of Lovely Lane. Enjoy it!
Excerpt - The Mothers of Lovely Lane
Elsie had a spring in her step as she made her way to the greasy spoon for the domestics’ morning coffee break. Even though Matron hadn’t allowed her to listen in on the conversation with Dr Gaskell, she had still picked up some crucial snippets. She was met by the warmth from the cookers and the smell from the huge urns of milky coffee as she opened the café door. Seeing that there was no one at the food counter, she made her way over to it.
‘How is anyone supposed to eat that bacon?’ she asked the young girl who was serving. ‘That’s a tin of bacon fat you’ve got there – where’s the meat?’
The young girl looked at Elsie with a resigned dismay that told her she had answered that question many times that morn- ing already. ‘Shall I put a rasher on your barm cake for you?’ she asked.
‘A rasher? You can’t call that a rasher. I suppose you’ll have to, but I’m only paying half price. Bacon meat is not the same price as bacon fat – go and tell the cook that. She has the fattest kids on Vince Street and we all know where the bacon’s heading, don’t we?’
The girl gave Elsie an imperceptible nod. Her mother and Elsie played bingo together. Embarrassed, she shed about in the tin of bacon fat, speared a couple of slices with a fork, laid them on a barm cake and passed the plate over to Elsie, who made to take her purse out of her apron. The girl looked around, checked that no one was watching and shook her head.
Elsie understood. ‘Thanks, queen,’ she said as she winked. ‘You’re a lovely girl. I’ll tell your mam what a good’un you are.’
She let her unopened purse slip back into her apron pocket, then turned her head to glance around the vast room of scrubbed tables and wooden chairs. She was trying to locate Biddy, Madge, Betty Hutch and Branna – her usual cohort of domestics. But Hattie Lloyd, Dessie Horton’s next- door neighbour, was sitting on a table near the counter and spotted her rst. Elsie almost jumped as Hattie shouted out her name.
‘Did you just pay for that bacon barm, Elsie? Didn’t notice you open your purse.’
‘Of course I did, you silly cow. What business is it of yours anyway? Your eyes are nearly as big as your mouth, what a pity they don’t see too well.’
Elsie saw the raised hand of Biddy Kennedy and without waiting for a reply threaded her way through the tables to where her friends were sitting.
She slammed her plate down on the table as she pulled back her chair.
‘I’ve got your coffee already,’ said Biddy. ‘I saw you coming in. What’s wrong with your face now, Elsie?’
‘Bloody Hattie Lloyd, that’s what. She just accused me of not paying for me bacon barm.’
‘And did you?’ Biddy picked up her cup and blew on the scalding coffee, sending milky froth scudding into the air.
‘No, I didn’t. I complained about the lack of bacon. If I pay for a bacon barm, I want bacon on it. She’s over-made-up and over-opinionated, that one. God, she gets my goat. How dare she accuse me of not paying.’
Noleen Delaney is one of an army of night cleaners at St Angelus Hospital. Son Bryan has a good job as one of the hospital’s porters’ boys, but Finn has done something unheard-of and passed his Eleven Plus exam. How on earth will they pay for his books, his grammar school uniform and shoes?
Bronia Ryan has battled depression since her husband died. Even in that poor neighbourhood her house is a byword for chaotic squalor. And now one son is in prison. Her youngest, Lorcan, wants no part of a life of crime, but how can he ever escape? Or protect his mother from her vicious eldest son?
As usual, St Angelus is at the heart of things. Life and death, love and loss, jealousies, rivalries and betrayals are woven into a rich tapestry – the latest instalment in Nadine’s great series about poverty, sacrifice and community spirit in post-war Liverpool and the early days of the NHS.
Nadine Dorries grew up in a working-class family in Liverpool and spent a great deal of time in Mayo with her Irish grandmother.
She trained as a nurse and has been the MP for Mid-Bedfordshire since 2005. She has three daughters.
A huge thank you to Head of Zeus for inviting on the BlogTour!
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