Victory for the Bluebird Girls

Written by Rosie Archer
Review by Julie Parker

Gosport, Hampshire, 1944. This is the fourth novel about the all-girl singing trio The Bluebird Girls, first described in a novel by that title. It would be helpful to have read the first books in the series, but not essential. The girls perform to entertain UK and Allied troops before they go to war in France, and a number of their venues are described: Ford Airfield near Arundel, the Edwardian Alhambra Theatre in Brixham, Devon, Priddy’s Armaments Factory in Gosport and London for BBC radio shows. They rub shoulders with other well-known stars of the day, such as George Formby and Jack Warner.

The Bluebirds are Bea, Ivy and Rainey, and their agent, Blackie Wilson, is married to Rainey’s mum, Jo. The girls have different singing voices and their own favourite songs, and they all suffer with problems of the heart. Bea has recently met Bing, a Black U.S. serviceman stationed in England; Rainey lost her husband and baby in the first novel; Ivy, who lives with builder boyfriend, Eddie, and his family, including baby daughter, Gracie, has been unable to have her own child. The novel sets the scene of the girls singing to entertain the troops whilst there are bombing raids and food shortages. Bing and his fellow Americans take part in the doomed Exercise Tiger on Slapton Sands in Devon. There is also a subplot involving Max, a German prisoner of war, who also appeared in the first novel. There is a lot going on, but if you want a light entertaining read that doesn’t throw up too many challenges and has a 1940s wartime flavour, then this is the book for you.