Lily lives with her widowed father who used to be good footballer and has brought his daughter up to love the game, teaching her all the skills of a goalkeeper. leaving school in 1917, Lily goes to work in a munitions factory, lying about her age to get a job. Here, she is delighted to find a women’s football team and soon finds her place as their goalie, joining them in kickabouts at lunchtimes and then playing in a women’s league. As the war comes to an end, the girls find they are no longer needed to do their jobs- and they lose their team. Lily, however, has other ideas.
Rebecca Stevens has a real talent for making historical fiction really come to life for the reader. ‘Lily and the Rockets’ is full of details which make it convincing reading, but it is the fascinating insight the reader gains into the history of women’s football which makes this a very special read. Using a lady called Lily Parr as the inspiration for her own Lily, Rebecca Stevens adds details from her footballing life to the story.
The story is full of strong characters- Lily is a well rounded young girl with hopes and fears, worries and joys like anyone else. I am particularly fond of Lily’s dad whose wise words- Whatever you decide to do, there’ll be people who’ll tell you not to, say it’ll be too hard, you won’t like it, it’s not for the likes of you. they’ll try and stop you, Lily-oh. But you mustn’t let them. Listen to me girl, You Must Not Let Them!’- love and support, even when he is injured, is so wonderful. I am also delighted with how things turn out for Lily at the end!
A wonderful story, drawing on true experience, about camaraderie, love and those who paved the way for women’s football today.
Lily and the Rockets Rebecca Stevens
Chicken House ISBN: 978-1912626120
Rebecca Stevens is also the author of ‘Valentine Joe’, a great favourite of mine, but one which for some inexplicable reason, we have never reviewed!