New Beginnings for the Surplus Girls


Manchester 1923
Jess Mason is determined to make her own way in the world. When she is appointed as manager of Holly Lodge, a home for old soldiers, she must convince the owner that she can run things just as well as any man - if not better.
To everyone around him, Tom Watson seems a cheerful and sociable man, but he has secretly vowed to go through life alone. However, when he takes on the renovation of Holly Lodge and meets Jess, the walls he has built around himself start to crumble.
As the opening of the new home proves to be less than straightforward, Jess must fight tooth and nail to hold on to her new role. And with her affections for Tom growing stronger by the day, she can't help but wonder if there is room in her life for both love and the career she's always dreamt of.

Isn't this a gorgeous cover? So springlike. I love it and I hope you do too.


Here are the Amazon links:










Here is the audiobook cover:


Review of New Beginnnings:


"Each and every detail sings from the page, which is why you feel you are actually there, sitting on the slightly worn sofas of Wilton Road in a suitably genteel manner, chatting to old friends and new... This is the story that pulls all the strands of the Hesketh sisters’ stories together into a really satisfying ending... A fabulous read." (Frost Magazine)
"...a loving and heartwarming read as relationships are tested... This has to be my favourite of the series. I love strong, determined Jess who will fight for what she wants." (Beverley Ann Hopper)
"The writing, especially the dialogue, is lively and enjoyable... Heron is very good at seizing on the real problems that people, especially women, faced at the time, and writes persuasively of the effects of discrimination." (Northern Reader book blog)

Book Group Questions


1. Jess sees herself as a career woman, not a surplus girl. How does this affect her life and the choices she makes?

2. How does Jess appear to others in the story?

3. How does Tom appear to others? In what ways does this differ from his thoughts about himself?

4. What are the dynamics of the relationship between Jess and her father? What difference does Mrs Nolan make?

5. What are Vivienne’s strengths and weaknesses?

6. Does Prudence need Patience? Why/not?

7. If you have read all four books, discuss character development across the series. Who has changed the most? Learned the most? Become more likeable?

8. Is what becomes of the house in Wilton Close at the end satisfying to you as a reader? Why/not?

9. In what ways is the theme of ‘friendship’ explored in the story?

10. Characters from the previous books appear near the end. Do you enjoy catching up with old characters?

11. If you have read all four books, which heroine did you like best – Belinda, Molly, Nancy or Jess? Why? And which hero – Gabriel, Aaron, Zachary or Tom?