11 Jan Review – Kicking Off by Eve Ainsworth
We really enjoyed Kicking Off. The story follows Hettie as she starts work at the Dick, Kerr and Company factory to fill munitions shells, aged just 15. With her brother Freddie off at war and her dad working on the docks or down the pub, Hettie doesn’t have time to ‘muck about’. She is expected to help her mother and not draw attention to herself. She is intrigued by the older women who challenge the men at the factory to a football game and despite her father’s hostility, she plays in the game. I grew up in Manchester and the language feels authentic Lancashire – ‘any road up’ is the voice of my grandma. You care about these women and change is in the air. They prove that they can beat men at their own game and be respected for it. There is hope for the future.