“The Highland Girls At War” by Helen Yendall – Book Review


Thoroughly enjoyable as an entertaining historical story, this novel also introduced me to The Women’s Timber Corps. I had of course known about the ‘Land Girls’, but this is the first time I’ve learned about the lumberjills (as opposed to lumberjacks)Set in the forests of Scotland during 1942, the story featured several of the lumberjills from all different walks of life, and various social classes, single, married, and widowed. All young, in their twenties, they were taught the gruellingly arduous job of felling trees with axes and bucksaws. Some of the lower class girls were not strangers to hard physical labour, but one of the protagonists of the story, Lady Persephone (Seffy), the daughter of a British Earl, has never had to work for anything. Spoiled by her father’s money and social status, she is rudely awakened by her new career. She is disliked by the other girls, so feels she must prove herself – both to the other girls and to her parents. Scottish born Grace has previously worked on her mother’s croft, so she is the most physically strong of the bunch. Irene‘s husband is serving in the war, so she hopes her new position will help to quell her loneliness and fear for him.

As they learn their dangerous new trade, the girls encounter some Canadian Lumberjacks from The Canadian Forestry Corps, who provide both jacks and jills with some much needed distraction from the war, and from their bone weary daily labours.

This gripping story transports the reader to the forests of Scotland where the work is hard, the sap is sticky, the midges bite, and young hearts are tested in many ways.

Highly recommended to those who appreciate a romantic story with lots of history thrown in. A heart-warming, heart-breaking, and entertaining saga about female friendship, hope, courage, and the cruelties of war.

This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from HQ Digital/HarperCollins UK via Rachel’s Random Resources and NetGalley.

ISBN: 9780008523121 – ASIN: ‎ B0B8GQZXKC – 386 pages


Helen Yendall has had dozens of short stories and a serial published in women’s magazines over the past twenty years and now writes female-focused WW2 novels. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

She studied English and German at Leeds University and has worked in a variety of roles: for a literary festival, a university, a camping club, a children’s charity and in marketing and export sales. But her favourite job is the one she still has: teaching creative writing to adults.

Although a proud Brummie by birth, Helen now lives in the North Cotswolds with her husband and cocker spaniel, Bonnie. When she’s not teaching or writing, she likes reading, swimming, tennis and walking in the beautiful countryside where she lives.

Connect with Helen Yendall via Twitter; or Her Blog.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Blog Tour, Book Reviews, Historical fiction, NetGalley, Rachel's Random Resources, war stories, Women's fiction and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to “The Highland Girls At War” by Helen Yendall – Book Review

  1. Sheri Dye says:

    Great review!
    Not sure this one is for me but it does sound like a fantastic story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, this sounds amazing! Both of my grandfathers were in the timber industry, so it always grabs my interest when I find a book about it. I especially love that it features women.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi. Good review, Lynne. Just a suggestion: If you were to point out the Maple Leaf error to the author, she’d probably be appreciative and make the correction in her book. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds good Lynne, glad you enjoyed it!

    Liked by 1 person

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