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Before I had my two boys I used to read a lot and I became a fan of Joan Jonker's books. I particular liked her series which followed the lives of best friends Mollie and Nellie. Recently I decided I would make more of an effort to read as I really enjoy it. It took me a bit to work out where I was in the Molly and Nellie saga but I managed it. Sunshine of your smile was the next book to read. And when I begun reading it, it felt like I had never stopped reading. I feel straight back into the lives of these two friends.
For those of you who haven't read any of Joan Jonker's Mollie and Nellie series I'll try and give you a quick insight if I can. Mollie Bennet and Nellie McDonough have been friends for more than 20 years. They both have hard working husbands and a family. They live in the same street and are liked by all their neighbours. The story is set in the 1940's to 1950's and follows the two ladies lives and their families too. Molly has a husband called Jack and 3 daughters, Jill, Doreen and Ruthie and a son Tommy. And Nellie has a husband called George two sons called Steve and Paul and a daughter Lily. When I read these books I feel as I am there and you can relate to the pair very easily.
So far Joan Jonker has wriiten 9 books in the Mollie and Nellie series. The books are as follows:
Stay in your own back yard
Last tram to Lime Street
Sweet Rosie O'Grady
Down our Street
After the dance is over
The sunshine of your smile
Three little words
I'll be your sweetheart
You stole my heart away
In this book Sunshine of your smile you catch up with the pair when all Mollies children are married except Ruthie, Doreen has a son called Bobbie, Jill is expecting and Ruthie is starting work. As for Nellie her son Steve is married to Jill who is expecting their first child, Lily is getting married to Archie and Paul is dating Phoebe. So as always it is all go for the two women.
There is quite a bit going on in this book as the author takes you through the everyday events of the families. There are many humorous moments throughout the story with Mollie and Nellie playing off one another. I especially enjoyed the bit at Christmas time when Nellie dresses as Betty Boo. Nellie is a large lady unlike her slim friend Molly but this doesn't stop Nellie. Joan Jonker describes the scenes with perfection and helps you imagine what it would be like to be there. Throughout the book there are many moments when I found myself laughing out loud.
The two ladies may have fun but they are very thoughtful as well. They like to help the less fortunate out too. In this particular book they attempt to reunite Doreen's husband Phil with his mum who is dying and help a young lad out who has to work to help his mum survive after his dad died in a terrible accident. It does make you think about what you do to help but times have changed and people don't pull together as much. I think this is why I like to read these books as I feel a part of it.
The two main events of the year for the families are the birth of Jill and Steve's baby and Lily getting married to Phil. These have a near miss of over lapping each other! But as always things turn out just perfectly.
This isn't the type of book with lots of action and suspense so if that's the type of book your after this wouldn't be it. It's perfect to sit down with a few cups of tea and fall into the world that once was. Where things are much more simpler. It is light hearted and full of laughs so you I couldn't see why you wouldn't like it.
You can get this book for £6.49 from Amazon and I would say it was well worth it. If you don't mind second hand books you can pick it up for £2.75 including postage. I really enjoyed picking up this book after not reading for so long.
Published: 7th April 2003