The Hazelbourne Ladies Motorcycle and Flying Club by Helen Simonson


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. Instead, she’s sent as a lady’s companion to an old family friend who is convalescing at a seaside hotel where she is swept up in the social whirl of Hazelbourne-on-Sea and its colourful 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). 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.

In a timeless comedy of manners, with sharp humour, biting wit and a warm heart, Simonson captures the mood of a generation facing the seismic changes brought on by war.

‘I loved this book! The glorious characters and evocative setting, as well as the portrayal of the era, are all beautifully balanced with a plot that had me so invested I didn’t want it to end.’ Amanda Hampson, bestselling author of The Tea Ladies