Bourbon Creams and Tattered Dreams (The Factory Girls) by Mary Gibson

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Bourbon Creams and Tattered Dreams (The Factory Girls) by Mary Gibson

Category: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: A glamorous young filmstar comes down to earth with a bump when her partner turns violent and she has to return to her humble factory-girl roots.
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 464 Date: January 2017
Publisher: Head of Zeus
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781784973339

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Where did it all go wrong? Only a short time ago, Matty Gilbie was a star of the silver screen with a glittering future predicted for her. As the 'Cockney Canary', her melodic singing voice and stunning good looks had ensured that her first foray into movies was a runaway success. Unfortunately that success came with a price: Matty's business partner Frank Rossi frittered away their money and turned violent and controlling. Bruised and battered from a particularly vicious beating from Frank, Matty secretly makes her escape back to her home in Bermondsey, and the comfort of family and friends. Frank is not one to be crossed, however, and vows to do whatever it takes to win Matty back. Can she ever be truly free?

Bourbon Creams and Tattered Dreams is the latest instalment of Gibson's popular Bermondsey series and continues the story of a character whom we met in the first book, the headstrong Matty Gilbie. It soon becomes clear that our heroine has made some poor decisions in her life and her dreams of fame and fortune in America have turned sour. She returns to Bermondsey a different person, broken and scarred by her experiences at the hands of Frank Rossi. Friends and family soon rally round and she finds a measure of stability in her new job at the biscuit factory, but her previous life continues to cast a constant shadow over her.

Gibson has done a wonderful job mixing the old and new elements in this story. On the one hand, we have the familiar Bermondsey characters from the previous books, like Nellie, Sam and Wide-Oh. The food-production factories still dominate the landscape, creating atmosphere and an unforgettable setting, as the mingling scents of custard, jam, perfume, pickles and biscuits fill the air and transport the reader. In the midst of all this familiarity however, Gibson makes a slight departure from her usual 'family drama' style and adds shades of danger, glamour and adventure as Matty seeks to evade her dangerous pursuers. The cat and mouse game weaves a thread throughout the narrative, culminating in an explosive finale which will have readers frantically turning the pages to see what happens.

My only criticism was that the narrative seemed to lose its way at times and there were points where the pacing was slow. I feel that the story would have had a greater impact in a shorter format, without so much padding. However, I enjoyed the book and thought it tied in well with the rest of the series, adding an extra dimension to the character that we have already come to care about. Many thanks to the publishers for my review copy.

The book works perfectly well as a standalone novel, but for some more background on the Gilbie Family and Matty's beginnings, we recommend Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts.

Buy Bourbon Creams and Tattered Dreams (The Factory Girls) by Mary Gibson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bourbon Creams and Tattered Dreams (The Factory Girls) by Mary Gibson at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Bourbon Creams and Tattered Dreams (The Factory Girls) by Mary Gibson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bourbon Creams and Tattered Dreams (The Factory Girls) by Mary Gibson at Amazon.com.


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