A Sister's Struggle by Mary Gibson Review

A Sister's Struggle
By Mary Gibson
Release Date: February 7th, 2019
Head of Zeus
Source: ARC provided by the publisher


A young girl struggles to keep body and soul together in 1930s London, while her proud but spendthrift widowed father refuses to accept charity.

London, 1935.
Ruby is always hungry, but she will go without if it means her young brothers can eat. 1930s Bermondsey might be called the larder of London, with its pie, pickle and jam factories, but for the poor working classes, starvation is often only a heartbeat away. When Ruby’s neighbour suggests she ought to go to the Methodist Mission for free food, Ruby knows her father will be furious, but that she has no other option.

It is a decision that will change the course of her life forever, split her family and in the end lead her to face a terrible choice between duty and a great love.

*ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review*

A Sister’s struggle is a heart-wrenching tale of a young woman's struggle to raise her brothers, follow her faith, beliefs and try and keep food in the house, all while her father did shady deals on the side.

But A Sister’s Struggle is not set in modern day, this is set in the troubling times between the first and the Second World War when there was a rise in anti-Semitism and specifically the black shirts in the poorer areas of London. When a woman's reputation could be destroyed with no evidence, based on one selfish man's lies, which is exactly what has happened to our lead character Ruby’s life. But Ruby is stronger and fights for what is right and just, even if that means kicking her father out, for an unforgivable lie!

A Sister’s Struggle is a truly beautiful book, extremely well written and it gives you a glimpse into real London in the 1930s and the people that struggled, and really brought light to me just how tough it was, more than my grandmother telling me about that time.

I give A Sister’s Struggle 5 stars! It’s an eye-opening book, and if you love Call the Midwife, you will LOVE this book.




Mary Gibson was born and brought up in Bermondsey, south east London. After a thirty year career in publishing, she took the opportunity of early retirement to write a book of her own. Her d├ębut novel, Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts, was inspired by the lives and times of her grandparents in World War One Bermondsey. It went on to become a top ten Kindle bestseller and was selected for World Book Night 2015.