Book Reviews

The Book Shelf: The Lovely Lane Series by Nadine Dorries

19th January 2018

It is 1953 and five very different girls are arriving at the nurses’ home in Lovely Lane, Liverpool, to start their training at St Angelus Hospital.

Dana has escaped from her family farm on the west coast of Ireland. Victoria is running away from a debt-ridden aristocratic background. Beth is an army brat and throws her lot in with bitchy Celia Forsyth. And Pammy has come from quite the wrong side of the tracks in Liverpool.

The world in which they now find themselves is complicated and hierarchical, with rules that must be obeyed. Everyone has their place at St Angelus and woe betide anyone who strays from it.

But when an unknown girl is admitted, after a botched late abortion in a backstreet kitchen, a tragedy begins to unfold which will rock the world of St Angelus to its foundations.

About the Lovely Lane Series

The Lovely Lane Series is written by Mid-Bedfordshire MP Nadine Dorries.  She is also the author of the best selling Four Streets Trilogy and Ruby Flynn. 

Dana, Victoria, Beth and Pammy face the life of student nurses at St Angelus together.  They are four unlikely friends but their bond is unbreakable.  Throughout their years as student nurses the four face things they would never have thought possible.  Each of the four books focuses on a different community around the Liverpool Docks.  The four books are an epic read.

What did I think?

I love a good work of historical fiction.  Post-war Britain is one of my favourite periods; the stories are usually uplifting, success in the face of adversity.  The Lovely Lane Series didn’t disappoint.  I both laughed and cried; the stories of the four girls really was a rollercoaster.

I read all four books within 5 days and those five days were spent getting to know Dana, Victoria, Beth, Pammy and all the staff at St Angelus; I forged relationships in my mind with them.  I lived their stories, their triumphs and their low moments.  It was a great experience. 

Nadine Dorries really brings the characters to life on the page.  Her style is special… at the end of the day you have to be a talented writer to write from many different view points seamlessly and in a way that doesn’t confuse the reader.  Moving from one character’s story to the next was comfortable and easy.  (Although, that doesn’t mean to say that I necessarily wanted to move at that time.)

Nadine’s Matron of St Angelus was my absolute favourite character out of the whole series.  I thoroughly enjoyed the character’s evolution.  And what started as a vague wariness of her turned into respect and admiration. 

The Lovely Lane series plots are intricate and detailed with real characters around to pull them off.  From the botched abortion in The Angels of Lovely Lane; to a devastating loss in The Children of Lovely Lane; and on to a near death in The Mothers of Lovely Lane; and finally the truly heartbreaking loss of one of the hospital’s own in Christmas Angels.  Every book has a number of stories that intricately weave in and out of one another.

The community in which the series is based may appear a little wistful in that everyone helps everyone else, however, dockside communities really were true communities who lived in close proximity with little more than the necessities.  In that situation if you didn’t help your neighbour no-one would.

The only think I really didn’t like about the Lovely Lane series was the fact that I came to the end.  I don’t know if Nadine is planning on writing anymore about Lovely Lane and St Angelus but if she does, I would quite like to be first in line.

I love the Lovely Lane Series and now have Nadine’s other books sat in my ‘Want to Read’ Shelf.

All four books are available in a variety of formats from Amazon including Paperback and Kindle. If you click on the images below to purchase the books I will receive a few pennies from Amazon.  ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Reply
    Joanne Mcdaid
    4th March 2018 at 3:22 pm

    I have been looking for a new genre of books to read and thanks to your detailed review Beth I think I have found it with these. I’m not a fan of detective murder books and normally read non fiction but these have pickled my attention and will look up where to buy today. Your reviews are very detailed and well written and great to take you down a path of books not normally would be read. I’m. Looking forward to ordering these

    • Reply
      6th March 2018 at 8:52 pm

      Oooh, I really recommend them. You can buy them from Amazon. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you do enjoy them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    The Book Shelf - In January I read... - Beth in a Box
    1st February 2018 at 10:01 am

    […] Books […]

  • Reply
    Zena's Suitcase
    25th January 2018 at 2:25 pm

    The characters in this book sounds really interesting. I can see why you read through it so quickly

  • Reply
    Mudpie Fridays
    24th January 2018 at 9:30 pm

    This sounds like a great read, it wonderful when you find a new series that you get stuck into. Hopefully she will bring out some more with the same characters.

  • Reply
    23rd January 2018 at 4:24 pm

    Sounds like a great series! There’s nothing better than getting engrossed in a good book (or a few!).

  • Reply
    22nd January 2018 at 7:31 pm

    4 books in five days is impressive! I’ve never read a Nadine Dorries book, I’ll have to keep a look out for them.

  • Reply
    Rhian Westbury
    22nd January 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Wow they must have been good if you read through the books so quickly, it would have taken me a few months to get through that many x

  • Reply
    Melanie williams
    22nd January 2018 at 3:10 pm

    I love historical fiction too. I was after a new read so will be giving this a whirl for sure x

  • Reply
    Amy - All about a Mummy
    22nd January 2018 at 9:58 am

    Wow! That is some speedy reading! Sounds like a great series.

  • Reply
    21st January 2018 at 5:40 pm

    These look really good! I used to be such a bookworm and Iโ€™ve slacked since having my girls so I may have to order these! Thank you x

  • Reply
    21st January 2018 at 4:53 pm

    These look like a very interesting read. That’s amazing that you read them all in 5 days! I enjoy postwar Britain stories so I think I’d enjoy these ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    21st January 2018 at 4:36 pm

    I am a massive fan of period placed fiction i havent read this book but as soon as i finish this comment i be off to amazon to purchase it x

  • Reply
    Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons
    21st January 2018 at 2:56 pm

    I love a good series to get stuck into – and to read all 4 books in 5 days it sounds like this is a great one to draw you in. I’ve heard of Nadine Dorries but had no idea she was a writer too – it sounds like she’s a good one too!

  • Reply
    Laura Dove
    21st January 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Oh I have read the first of these and had no idea they were a series! I really enjoyed it so I will look the other three up now!

  • Reply
    21st January 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Wow you read all four books in five days they must be good then!

  • Reply
    20th January 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Ah these look like great books! I love reading, and really need new books so I’ll definitely be investing!

  • Reply
    20th January 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Iโ€™ll definetly be checking these out! I too do love a good historial novels so I think these will be a piece of me. Especially if thereโ€™s more than one, will keep me busy for ages!

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