Daily Review: The Beauty Shop by Suzy Henderson
September 4, 2017
Based on a true story, “The Beauty Shop” is a moving tale of love, compassion, and determination against a backdrop of wartime tragedy.
War changes everyone, inside and out. The remarkable true story of the Guinea Pig Club.
England, 1942. After three years of WWII, Britain is showing the scars. But in this darkest of days, three lives intertwine, changing their destinies and those of many more.
Dr Archibald McIndoe, a New Zealand plastic surgeon with unorthodox methods, is on a mission to treat and rehabilitate badly burned airmen – their bodies and souls. With the camaraderie and support of the Guinea Pig Club, his boys battle to overcome disfigurement, pain, and prejudice to learn to live again.
John ‘Mac’ Mackenzie of the US Air Force is aware of the odds. He has one chance in five of surviving the war. Flying bombing missions through hell and back, he’s fighting more than the Luftwaffe. Fear and doubt stalk him on the ground and in the air, and he’s torn between his duty and his conscience.
Shy, decent and sensible Stella Charlton’s future seems certain until war breaks out. As a new recruit to the WAAF, she meets an American pilot on New Year’s Eve. After just one dance, she falls head over heels for the handsome airman. But when he survives a crash, she realises her own battle has only just begun.
Based on a true story, The Beauty Shop is a moving tale of love, compassion, and determination against a backdrop of wartime tragedy.
By Maria Catalina Egan
Love conquers all in this masterfully written WWII story. The characters grip the readers and guide them in an emotional and physical journey.
There is so much to praise in this book. The historical accuracy, the clever weaving of fact and fiction, the depth of the characters.
The storyline is gripping and it holds the reader throughout. I fell in love with Mac and Stella as much as I felt close to their friends.
Archie the plastic surgeon, based on a real man has so much to teach us all. I loved this book.
By Anna B
This was an engaging story, set against the background of WW II. American pilot Mac meets English Stella and knows immediately that she’s the one. Stella, however, has stuff to sort out, and then there are all the complications arising from the war itself – after all, flying a bomber comes with all sorts of risk, notably that of falling out of the sky or crashing and burning.
Ms Henderson has obviously done her research, manifested in vivid descriptions of Mac’s various flying missions. One can almost smell the overheated metal, the blood and fear, hear these young men scream in defiance and terror. Good characterization, a well-developed plot and great descriptive writing combine to make this an enjoyable read!
By Loves Reading
This is a story of two parts. A romance between Stella and Mac intertwined with the turmoil of war and the innocent lives it touches, runs alongside the remarkable story of a man determined to rebuild the bodies, and the lives, of burned airmen.
Inevitably the two storylines meet with devastating effect.
I loved the detail in the book from everyday life during wartime to the intricacies of how faces were rebuilt. It goes without saying that the airman had a tough time, but there were other tragedies in the book that wrenched at the heart and brought home just how cruel war can be.
The tension in the air was just as gripping as the romance on the ground. A highly recommended read.
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