book cover of The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club
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The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club

(2024)
A novel by

 
 
A young woman's life is forever changed in the summer after World War I when she befriends a group of independent, motorcycle-riding women in a seaside town on the English coast

'A ripping tale of friendship, survival and true love
' - CELIA IMRIE

'Witty, amusing and touchingly emotive ' -ROSIE GOODWIN

'A page-turning original story' - KATIE FFORDE

It is the summer of 1919 and Constance Haverhill is without prospects. Now that all the men have returned from the front, she has been asked to give up her cottage and her job at the estate she helped to run during the war. While she looks for a position as a bookkeeper or (horror) a governess, she's sent as a lady's companion to an old family friend who is convalescing at a seaside hotel. Despite having only weeks to find a permanent home, Constance is swept up in the social whirl of Hazelbourne-on-Sea and its colorful inhabitants, most notably, Poppy Wirrall.

Poppy, the daughter of a land-owning baronet, wears trousers, operates a taxi and delivery service to employ local women and runs a ladies' motorcycle club (to which she plans to add flying lessons). She and her friends enthusiastically welcome Constance into their circle. And then there is Harris, Poppy's recalcitrant but handsome brother - a fighter pilot recently wounded in battle - who warms in Constance's presence. But things are more complicated than they seem in this sunny pocket of English high society. As the country prepares to celebrate its hard-won peace, Constance and the women of the club are forced to confront the fact that the freedoms they gained during the war are being revoked.

With sharp humor, biting wit and a warm heart, Simonson captures the mood of a generation facing the seismic changes brought on by war.
The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club is a timeless comedy of manners, refreshing as a summer breeze and bracing as the British seaside.

'A whirlwind of joy from beginning to end, The Hazelbourne Ladies showcases Simonson's best skills: great drama, lively historical detail, and delightful characters who have you hooked from the start' - JENNIFER RYAN

'Written with great humour and compassion, it is an absolute delight' - PIP WILLIAMS

'An absolute joy of a book ... Historical fiction of the highest order' - ANN NAPOLITANO

'Utterly captivating ...Aperfect blend of historical charm, courage, and camaraderie' - JAMIE FORD


Genre: Historical

Praise for this book

"I was utterly transported and gripped by Simonson's perfectly rendered story of insiders and outsiders, rebels and underdogs. I was rooting for these resilient characters from the start." - Carol Rifka Brunt

"I am so in love with the way Helen Simonson writes, how she tells a story. This book is utterly captivating from the first page. With a perfect blend of historical charm, courage, and camaraderie, it takes readers on a riveting journey through a world where the skies are the limit for those brave enough to soar." - Jamie Ford

"With cinematic verve and a keen eye for detail, Helen Simonson captures a vibrant group of unconventional women who defy social norms in their determination to forge their own futures. Beautifully written and brimming with charm, The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club is both a fizzy escape and a moving portrait of a nation on the cusp of change." - Christina Baker Kline

"The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club is an absolute joy of a book. Warm and romantic, it also has so much to say about the lives of women in the years following World War I. This is historical fiction of the highest order - pleasurable and smart." - Ann Napolitano

"Written with humor and compassion, it is a delight." - Pip Williams


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