"The Factory Voice"

The Factory Voice by Jeanette Lynes

This is the story of four women, Audrey, Muriel, Ruby and Florence, all of whom work at Fort William Aviation, a military aircraft factory in Ontario. The year is 1941 and women are filling the jobs left vacant by the men who have gone off to war.

These women couldn't be more different in situation and personality. The authour has created fresh, believable characters as unique as any you would find in real life. These are the kind of people who work their way into your head and stay there long after you turn the last page of the book. I'm always impressed when an authour can do that - we've all read lots who can't - especially in a debut novel as this one is.

Audrey is 16 and, well.....zippy. She's eager to grow up and get a job and start living her life. Speaking pretty much every thought that crosses her mind, she blows into the factory like a mini-hurricane and endears herself to almost everyone.

Ruby is a typist and writer of the employee newsletter "The Factory Voice". Ruby has big dreams and can't wait for the day when she can put this drudgery and all these sad little people behind her. She knows she is meant for something better.

Muriel is 36 years old, has overcome polio, earned herself a Masters degree in Aeronautical Engineering and is starting a new job as Chief Engineer at the plant. She's a more complex character than some of the others and is my favorite. I'd like to read more about her.

The fourth woman is Florence. She's been at the factory for five weeks, but remains on probation because she has a German last name. The other workers wear yellow head scarves; those on probation wear red and Florence hates sticking out in the crowd. Awkward and uncomfortable around people, she just wants to be left alone to do her job.

Around these four is told a story that has something for everyone. Drama, romance, intrigue, a little heartbreak and a little victory. I liked this book, even if a couple of characters made me wanna smack'em sometimes. It's a good story - different, interesting, worth reading. And isn't that just a great cover?


Anonymous said...

You can read more about Muriel, just not in fiction. The character of Muriel is based on the real life Elise McGill who was the first woman aeronautical engineer in Canada. This novel seems to base a great deal of the plot and characters on the real-life experiences of women who worked at the Can-Car factory in Fort William during WWII. Looks like an interesting starting point for a novel, thanks for reviewing it.

Dianne M. said...

Thanks so much for the information. I'm going to look Elise McGill up right now and see what I can find. I appreciate your comments.

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