The Sugar Girls by Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi

Reviewed by Jayne S (Library Staff)

Since I am a big fan of the book and subsequent BBC series, Call the Midwife, I jumped at the chance to read another true account of working class life in London. This book begins in 1944, when the Germans were still raining bombs on the city.

It follows the lives of four young women, girls actually, who start their careers after finishing school at age fourteen. Tate & Lyle was a sugar processing factory, bagging sugar and canning syrup from the raw sugar cane shipped in from British Jamaica.

The women worked hard and played hard. The plant was more of a community than just a paycheck. They gained lasting friendships and sometimes love as the young men returned from war.

I enjoyed this book and am happy that their life stories were preserved. I recommend this book.
Available through the Bridges Library System

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