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Tall, thin and handsome, well educated and extremely suave…well actually this is pure fantasy, just like his writing. In fact he’s short, fat, ugly and an educational failure (in his own words).
Having spent his entire working life as an engineer to the textile trade, he decided to write about some of the characters he had met and their problems. Actually, the personal bit is fantasy again; in fact, it’s all somewhere in between.
Any reference to any person dead or not living is purely coincidental.
Stephen is an entertaining fellow and a popular member of the Holmfirth Writers' Group where he often has the other members in hysterics with his funny stories and has one such piece in the Group's second anthology Pennine Reflections. He was also a member of the Huddersfield Author's Circle and his short stories can be heard on Two Valleys Radio.
on Oct. 28, 2013 :
Willie Arkenthwaite is employed as dye house worker in Murgatroyd’s Mill. Like most folks, when Christmas has come & gone, Willie sees nothing but debt. He’s stuck with a live-in Mother-in-Law who contributes nothing but opinions. Listening to her drone on is enough to drive Willie mad. Add in the rest of his immediate family & his feathered friends, pigeons, & he has quite a bit to take care of economically.
During his escapes to the pub, his mental light bulb goes off. A Christmas Savings Club may just be the answer to his money woes. However, Willie’s neither banker nor even an adequate mathematician. In fact, he’s never organized anything at all. Relying on friend, Arthur, they embark on their quest to be self-sufficient by next Christmas.
A diverse bunch joins Willie in his new adventure. Readers will meet Willie’s friends, co-workers, & of course the boss of Murgatroyd’s Mill. They’re all together in this adorable Yorkshire village. Can Willie attend financial security? Either way, it’s a roller coaster of humor & light-hearted drama.
Stephen Bailey has written a quaint tale. Willie could be just about anyone in England or here in America. Many people have fantasized about how they were going to put presents under the tree. Willie, at least, tries. It may not be the most brilliant of plans, but he gets an A for effort. All of the characters seem to genuinely mean well in helping out. His mother-in-law needs a dose of reality, but she could be another novel all to herself. Actually, Will reminds me a bit of Archie Bunker with an Edith-like wife who tries, but is too mild-mannered to make any difference in the family dynamic.
All in all, it’s a good, solid 4 star read appearing just in time for the Holidays.
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(reviewed within a month of purchase)