From the cover:
Abandoned by her father and neglected by her self-centered mother, Sheila McGee can't wait to escape the drudgery of her mill village life in Northern Ireland. Beautiful and quick witted, she wins the 1941 Linen Queen competition and the prize money that goes with it finally gives her the opportunity she's been dreaming of. However, before she has a chance to escape, the Belfast blitz brings World War II to her doorstep, and her earlier resolve is eroded by her ma's fear of being left alone.
I liked this novel and enjoyed a glimpse into life in Northern Ireland both during the war years and leading up to the war. Sheila is a character who had become a person with little empathy for others after a less than perfect childhood, but I liked the way her character changed throughout the book. A couple of things bothered me though. There were several Irish words that I had no idea what they meant. Craic was one of them. This apparently has many meanings - fun, entertainment, gossip. The other part of the story that I found questionable was the competition money. With both Patricia and her family in a poor situation, I don't think she would have walked out leaving that money in a drawer and I also don't think it would have been there several weeks later, especially as her mother had helped herself to some of Sheila's clothes and was constantly asking about the money. She would have been sure to find it. Apart from that it was a good read.