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on Aug. 01, 2012 :
I found this a real page-turner. The trials and tribulations of the main character Bridget brought on a whole raft of emotions (I was close to tears at one point) and I was so glad that it ended exactly the way I thought it deserved to. Some of the historical details, such as the incredibly-lowly status of women in the nineteenth century, I found quite sobering. Being a Black Country lass myself I was enthralled by the descriptions of old Wednesbury and Walsall, the canals and the pits. Good stuff!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Sep. 12, 2011 :
Not my usual genre but an enjoyable read none the less.
The story of Bridget follows history as it happens and is descriptive and detailed enough to paint the surroundings and happenings as she experiences them.
The telling of the tale occasionally seems to separate a little too much between the doing and thinking but this is a minor criticism and does not distract from the flow of the book. Indeed in places it is quite appropriate, such as the long journeys where such separation is fitting as the distinction between long travels and hard work to the rare quiet moments when minds could turn inward.
The story in the Black Country gains momentum and it is here where the author and reader really get stuck into the tale. This may be due to a greater experience of the locale or just that the story is apace compared to the previous travelling.
A good debut novel, well worth a read!
(reviewed long after purchase)