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A Simple Wish By Rosie Goodwin

A Simple Wish’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.

The Winter Promise By Rosie Goodwin

The Winter Promise‘The Winter Promise’ is the latest book by Rosie Goodwin and is the first book in her new ‘Precious Stones’ saga.

When Opal Sharp finds herself and her younger siblings suddenly orphaned and destitute, she thinks things can get no worse. But soon three of them – including Opal – are struck down with the illness that took their father, and her brother Charlie is forced to make an impossible decision. Unable to afford a doctor, he knows the younger children will not survive. So, unbeknownst to Opal, Charlie takes their younger siblings to the workhouse. When she finds out, Opal is heartbroken. Charlie starts taking risks to try to support what’s left of the Sharp family and earn Opal’s forgiveness, but he takes it too far and finds himself in trouble with the law. Soon, he is sent on a convict ship to Australia. As poor Opal is forced to say goodbye to the final member of her family, she makes a promise to reunite them all one day.

When it comes to historical fiction, it’s a genre that I don’t really read a lot off and tend to avoid it if I’m being honest.

But there was something about ‘The Winter Promise’ that stood out to me and I must admit that I really enjoyed reading this story of family, discovery and love. I actually found myself looking forward to returning to reading it when I put it down

The story is seen through of siblings Opal, Charlie and Susie who sadly get separated when they come become ill with the fever. Charlie fearing the first for his little brother and sister bring them to a work house hoping that they will recover whilst Opal herself deals the illness. Once she’s back to health, they return for their younger siblings only to discover that Christopher has died and Susie has been given to a new home. Distraught Opal and Charlie are set determined to get their family back together but ends up being shipped off to Australia after being falsely imprisoned.

The story then flows over the years as the siblings all go about their lives but always there in the background is the thought of finding each other. I loved Opal, she’s a strong independent woman who falls on her feet when she becomes a maid for Mrs King, an outspoken but kind soul who sees beyond the slums that Opal grew up in. Whereas Charlie is determined to make something of his life after the harsh upbringing. Like Opal, Susie is determined and vibrant and scene with either of the sisters made for lovely reading.

The story flowed at a lovely gentle and was beautifully descriptive in parts, whether it was the elegant ballgowns or the surrounding beauty of England and Australia. There are also some sad and poignant moments in the story from the loss of a child and sickness and this makes for tender reading. The author has also a special skill for making horrible characters such as Esther Partridge, the plump woman who was jealous of Opal, Opal’s husband, Henry as well as Agatha, Susie’s nanny. All this characters were horrible and it made for fascinating reading as they all got their comeuppance.

Wonderfully written with a heartwarming story and engaging characters, ‘The Winter Promise’ is story of love and faith and is a delicious introduction to a new author and is perfect for people who enjoy sinking into riveting sagas.

You can buy ‘The Winter Promise’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.