#20BooksOfSummer #BookReview A Respectable Woman by Susanna Bavin

And to book 19 of the #20BooksOfSummer.  This had been sitting on my shelves for a while after I’d been sent a signed copy by the lovely Susanna Bavin, and at 477 pages long it was perfect for the long part of my reading challenge! And what a mighty fine story it was too! Loved it!!

ABOUT THE BOOK

After losing her family in the Great War, Nell is grateful to marry Stan Hibbert, believing she can recapture a sense of family with him. But five years on, she is just another back-street housewife, making every penny do the work of tuppence and performing miracles with scrag-end. When she discovers that Stan is leading a double-life, she runs away to make a fresh start.

Two years later, in 1924, Nell has carved out a fulfilling new life for herself and her young children in Manchester, where her neighbors believe she is a respectable widow and a talented machinist. But the past is hard to run from, and Nell must fight to protect the life she has made for herself and her children.

PUBLISHED BY  Allison & Busby

MY REVIEW

I’m a recent convert to the genre of Sagas and if they’re all going to be this good then I’m glad to have finally started reading them! I found this to be such an enthralling read that I had to read it in one sitting and have taken the character of Nell to my heart as she had to put up with so much heartache but still found the strength to pick herself up and carry on.

Nell had faced heartbreak in her past – she lost her family in the Great War so was facing the world alone, until a soldier, Stan, walked into her life and seemingly was her knight in shining armour. She finds married life hard, with long hours working, trying to raise her son too while Stan seemed more interested in the opening hours of the pub. By chance she finds out the truth about Stan and his other family, so she does what is best for her and her son and runs away to Manchester to start over.

Life isn’t much easier up there but she soon finds somewhere to live, a lovely woman called Leonie takes her in and treats her like her own daughter, and Nell works her fingers to the bone as a machinist as she now has 2 children to provide for. All those who know her now think she’s widowed and admire her for her ability to stay so strong. All doesn’t run smoothly though in her new home as Leonies’ son in law doesnt’ seem to like the influence Nell has over his mother in law – being nice to someone seems alien to him and the more you find out about him and how he treats his own family, the more it made my blood boil!!

As she creates a new life for herself, she never shirks the hard work and also turns into a bit of a heroine but that notoriety may soon become her downfall as the press attention brings back her past and to see how women were treated, even in the court system, at that time was appalling and quite an eye opener. With the help of her new friends you always find yourself cheering her on in her battles but always fearful that the attitudes of the time would go against her.

There were some vile characters in this book that were brilliantly described, and the character of Posy was just a delight – the author really captured the children in this so well! Naive in many situations, but wise beyond their years in others and their storylines really added extra depth to this story of triumph over adversity.

★★★★★

#BlogTour The Sewing Room Girl by Susanna Bavin #Giveaway #BookReview @AllisonandBusby #TheSewingRoomGirl

Hugely excited to be the next stop on the Blog Tour for this wonderful book – THE SEWING ROOM GIRL by SUSANNA BAVIN – and my thanks to Lesley at Allison & Busby for the copy of the book and letting me be part of it all!

ABOUT THE BOOK

 The third book from an exciting new voice in historical sagas

 A keen sense of the North West of England in the late nineteenth century, from working-class communities to more well-to-do suburbs, subtle characterisation and gripping plot

 Perfect for fans of Anna Jacobs, Lyn Andrews and Nadine Dorries

✄✄✄

1892. When her beloved father dies, Juliet and her mother, the difficult but vulnerable Agnes, are left to fend for themselves. When Agnes lands a job as a seamstress for a titled family, things appear to be looking up. But just as the pair begin to find their feet, Juliet finds herself defenceless and alone. Without her mother to protect her, Juliet becomes the victim of a traumatic incident and is left to face an impossible dilemma. She flees to Manchester seeking support from her estranged family but comes up against her formidable grandmother, who is determined to bend Juliet to her will. It will take all Juliet’s ingenuity to escape the clutches of her ruthless grandmother and make her own way in life.

PURCHASE LINKS

HIVE.CO.UK  £7.49

AMAZON UK  £8.99

WHSMITH  £6.49

AUTHOR:

Susanna Bavin has variously been a librarian, an infant school teacher, a carer and a cook. She lives in Llandudno in North Wales with her husband and two rescue cats, but her writing is inspired by her Mancunian roots.

susannabavin.co.uk @SusannaBavin


GIVEAWAY

Also delighted to be able to share this giveaway today for you to win a set of books from Susanna Bavin – 3 paperbacks and 1 hardback! A prize well worth winning! Click the link below to add your entry!! GOOD LUCK!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

MY REVIEW 

This is the 3rd book from Susanna Bavin, and my 1st read of one of hers and I’m now excited to go back and read her other titles as I found this to be captivating, heartbreaking  and such a wonderful read following the story of Juliet – and my heart broke for her many times throughout!!  She is one of those characters who has a heart of gold but life seems to have such a downer on her – but she’s full of determination and such a hard worker that you find yourself cheering on every success and happy moment she gets to encounter.

Juliet has a tough life ahead of her, especially after losing her father so she and her mother have to move and fend for themselves.  Agnes finds work as a seamstress for a titled family and Juliet begins to work too, but life doesn’t seem to be getting any easier for them, Juliet especially and she soon finds herself alone, picked on by other girls in the sewing room and working for the most loathsome character.  But she does find an ally in Hal, who is working in the garden and builds up quite the friendship to the displeasure of others, who want to put as much distance as they can between the two.

Whatever Juliet faces, she never crumbles!  And for that she is a total heroine!  She has so much responsibility on her shoulders from the start and  a heart of gold but people who come into her life seem to just treat her like dirt and take advantage of her.  Even members of her own family aren’t the most pleasant characters in the way they treat her, but she finds solace in her work and is remarkably tough and I think the creative side of dress making gives her an escape from the misery she has endured.

Set in the 1890’s, I found this to be such a gratifying read and a main character who is difficult to be forgotten! She endures such horrific actions throughout, but her spirit is never broken and that is something to be admired!

★★★★★