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Download The Sugar Girls: Tales of Hardship, Love and Happiness in Tate & Lyle's East End Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Sugar Girls: Tales of Hardship, Love and Happiness in Tate & Lyles East End (Unabridged), by Duncan Barrett
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (122 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Duncan Barrett Narrator: Penny McDonald Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Tales of Hardship, Love and Happiness in Tate & Lyle's East End Factories. On an autumn day in 1944, Ethel Alleyne walked the short distance from her house to Tate & Lyle's refinery on the shining curve of the Thames. Looking up at the giant gates, Ethel felt like she had been preparing for this moment all her life. She smoothed down her frizzy hair, scraped a bit of dirt off the corner of her shoe and strode through. She was quite unprepared for the sight that met her eyes ...'In the years leading up to and after the Second World War thousands of women left school at fourteen to work in the bustling factories of London's East End.

Despite long hours, hard and often hazardous work, factory life afforded exciting opportunities for independence, friendship and romance. Of all the factories that lined the docks, it was at Tate and Lyle's where you could earn the most generous wages and enjoy the best social life, and it was here where The Sugar Girls worked. Through the Blitz and on through the years of rationing The Sugar Girls kept Britain sweet. The work was back-breakingly hard, but Tate & Lyle was more than just a factory, it was a community, a calling, a place of love and support and an uproarious, tribal part of the East End. From young Ethel to love-worn Lillian, irrepressible Gladys to Miss Smith who tries to keep a workforce of flirtatious young men and women on the straight and narrow, this is an evocative, moving story of hunger, hardship and happiness. Tales of adversity, resilience and youthful high spirits are woven together to provide a moving insight into a lost way of life, as well as a timeless testament to the experience of being young and female.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Emily Ryder | 12/13/2013

    " "A bit disappointing, some interesting and humourous bits but a lack of description and character meant the girls became indistinguishable and the book was a harder read as a result. A pleasant enough account but wouldn't recommend or read it again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by John Welch | 6/5/2013

    " Although this was an interesting piece of social history, I found that it didn't quite work for me. I found the writing style a touch pedestrian, and the book didn't quite have that spark that makes good social history stand out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jean Walker | 4/10/2013

    " Far better than I thought it would be. Excellent use of oral history to create what feels like a merging of memoirs and a novel. I laughed and cried (although to be fair, I was a bit hormonal). Would love to see this made into a tv series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Louise Wessman | 4/6/2013

    " Entertaining - interesting glimpse into the past working lives of young women "

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About the Author
Author Duncan Barrett

Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi are the bestselling authors of The Sugar Girls, which chronicled the stories of young women working in Tate and Lyle’s factory in the East End of London. Duncan studied English at Cambridge and is a writer and editor, specializing in biography and memoir. As a journalist, Nuala has written for the London Times, Guardian, Independent, Express, BBC, CNN, and numerous Time Out guides.