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review 2016-02-21 19:20
Bond Street Story
Bond Street Story - Norman Collins

By: Norman Collins 

ISBN: 9781448209972

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Publication Date:  12/31/2015 

Format: e-book

My Rating: 4 Stars

A special thank you to Bloomsbury USA and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Bond Street, really Oxford Street, even so, it was indisputably one of the better stations. Norman Collins delivers BOND STREET STORY, a charming, nostalgic novel of post-war London set in a glamorous department store, Rammell's.

Rammell’s is famous. It has everything. A London department store. You could be clothed, fed, furnished, kept amused, and ultimately buried entirely by Rammell’s. Provided you are in the right income bracket.

Irene Privet, was only seventeen. Still living in the full turmoil of adolescence. Life opened out in front of her down a long corridor of chaos and confusion. She longs for the bright lights of stage.

Readers meet a variety of eccentric characters from Rammell’s—each with their connections, loves, hopes and dreams. From young to old and those in between.

The family From the owners, retired Sir Harry, and his son Eric with his digestive problems, his wife and son Tony -- to the newest salesgirl Irene, daughter of one of the shop-walkers Mr. Privett. Mr. Bloot, the senior shop-walker falls in love and marries. Tony has a fling with the model Marcia and Eric, in straightening this out, assumes Marcia as his responsibility until she pulls a mink bomb -- and it is Sir Harry who, at the end, takes Marcia off everyone's hands.

From life in the fifties— glamour, gossip, romance, intrigue with a cast of charming, and memorable characters. A look at post-war London when life was bustling –from shop girls, typist, cashiers and secretaries who running the show.

Broken down in sections with short chapters:
Book One: Reluctance of a Female Apprentice
Book Two: Love and the Shopwalker
Book Three: private Affairs of a Leading Model
Book four Case of the Missing Budgies
Book Five: Bond Street in Retrospect

A timeless classic lighthearted fictional account, reminding us of the days when at one time or other in our younger years, there was always a job at an upscale department store (which we now call a boutique)--always those in charge. You can feel the buzz and nostalgia—Collins brings the characters to life in a simpler time.

Love the glamorous new cover!

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Bond-Street-Story/cmoa/56ca060e0cf25df9372275e3
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review 2015-04-20 21:59
London Belongs to Me by Norman Collins
London Belongs to Me - Norman Collins
bookshelves: film-only, spring-2015, published-1945, under-500-ratings, britain-england, london, wwii, mystery-thriller, chase-me-chase-me, divination, newtome-author
Recommended for: Laura, Wanda et al
Read from March 31 to April 19, 2015


Description: It is 1938 and the prospect of war hangs over London. At the lodging-house at 10 Dulcimer Street, Mr Josser returns home with the clock he has received as a retirement gift. The other residents include flashy young mechanic Percy Boon, whose foray into stolen cars descends into something much, much worse.


SE11 equates to today's Vauxhall/Kennington/Oval. Alistair Sims was fab, what with his comb over ending in a kiss-curl.
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review 2012-06-16 00:00
London Belongs to Me - Norman Collins I'd just finished reading five novels by Patrick Hamilton (Hangover Square, The Slaves Of Solitude, and the Gorse Trilogy); a biography of Patrick Hamilton (Through a Glass Darkly: The Life of Patrick Hamilton); and a biography of Julian MacLaren-Ross (Fear and Loathing in Fitzrovia: The Bizarre Life of Julian Maclaren-Ross). Reading these books helped me to realise how much I enjoy books about London. Coincidentally Amazon recommended this book to me (and it was a book that I'd not heard of until the recommendation).

Over 700 pages long, London is unquestionably the star of the book. More specifically South London for the inhabitants of a shared house located at 10 Dulcimer Street in Kennington. The book is set in 1939-40 and evokes the era wonderfully. The second world war looms as each of the varied and memorable characters contend with their own lives and preoccupations. Their stories are variously funny, tragic, exciting, interesting, and the interweaving narratives kept me engrossed throughout.

If you enjoy well written stories about London, about Britain in the 1940s, and the vagaries of human nature, then it's hard to imagine you wouldn't enjoy this book. By the end I felt the characters were old friends and I wanted to continue to read about their lives. In a nutshell, I loved it and didn't want it to end.
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