’A Simple Wish’ is the latest historical fiction book by Rosie Goodwin.
Ruby Carter works hard in her parents’ bakery. Whilst life isn’t easy, she’s happy enough – her gentle mother protects young Ruby from her cruel father and loves her unconditionally. So, when her mother falls seriously ill, Ruby is heartbroken. Then, from her deathbed, her mother reveals that Ruby was adopted. Stricken by grief and alone with the violent man she called her father, Ruby feels she has no choice but to flee. At just fifteen, homeless and alone she is relieved when a kindly stranger named Mrs Bamber takes pity on poor Ruby and welcomes her into her home. But soon, Ruby learns Mrs Bamber is not as generous as she first seemed – she forces Ruby into a life of crime as a jewel thief in Birmingham’s jewellery quarter. With nothing to her name and nowhere to go Ruby has no choice but to go along with it, despite the guilt and shame she feels. But Ruby is determined that she will atone for what she’s done, and be reunited with her birth parents. Ruby’s only wish is to find her family.
I’m not the biggest fan of historical fiction but this is the second book that I’ve read in by Rosie in one sitting so maybe my opinions are changing.
15-year-old Ruby who after her mother has died discovered that she’s adopted. After being attacked by her father, she flees the family home and begins a journey of her own, finding her place in life as well as looking for her birth mother. This journey is a chaotic one where Ruby has to battle her morals before being sent to live with a family and being the house maid to a young spoilt woman who’s jealous of Ruby’s pretty looks, kind nature and natural flair at creating distinctive jewellery. Miranda’s jealousy towards Ruby ends up with Ruby being sent to a new workplace where she’s able to hone her skill as well as relax and not worry about being attacked or being accused of being a thief.
I loved this story and was able to comfortably sink in it and get lost in the 1800’s world, a world filled with rags to riches tales with impressive jewels. Ruby is a lovely character that is instantly likable and as a reader, you really want her to be happy and finally belong somewhere. Throughout the story, she’s faced with many horrendous challenges and each time she comes back stronger and more determined that ever. The supporting characters make for warm reading as they all look out and support each other in busy houses with horrible mistresses and it makes for wonderful reading as we see the lives unfold.
This is the second book in Rosie’s ‘Precious Stones’ books and it’s a wonderfully uplifting and warm story. Beautifully written against the background of fancy London and rural Birmingham and filled with handsome men and glamorous women, ‘A Simple Wish’ is a poignant and emotional story about a young woman’s determination to find her place in life against all odds.
You can buy ‘A Simple Wish’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.