Writing as Maisie Thomas, Susanna Bavin excels at creating incredibly well researched novels of female friendship during the Second World War, and this book is no exception. When Sally and Betty are thrown together working at the salvage yard in Chorley during the Manchester blitz any chance of them getting along seems remote; after all, Sally cost Betty her previous job. On top of which, her stepmother has used it as an excuse to force her out of her home.

Meanwhile Sally has lost her job too. Working alongside her best friend Deborah, who she’s known since childhood, their relationship crumbles when Sally turns down Deborah’s brother’s proposal. Both Sally and Betty are feeling lost and vulnerable (although Sally has the comfort of being in love with Andrew, even though her parents don’t approve) and this heart-warming story tells of how these young women put their differences aside for the sake of the war effort – and more.

The author’s extensive knowledge of wartime Manchester makes every page rich in historical detail, which is one of this book’s biggest strengths, and makes it immersive and completely believable.