‘The Girl With The Silver Bangle’ is the latest book by Linda Finlay.
London, 1910. A cruel twist of fate means Daisy must give up the job she loves painting for a theatre company and move to Devon. Only the silver bangle she wears on her wrist brings comfort, reminding her of a young man who once promised her his heart. In Devon, life is very different. Lodging with her uncle at his busy tavern, Daisy must scrub and serve for her keep. And when her uncle catches her sketching, he is furious and forbids her to draw. But a chance meeting with two travelling artists offers Daisy a different path, and steeling her courage, Daisy runs away with them to Lamorna, Cornwall, home to a famous group of bohemian artistsâ€¦
Set in 1911, the story is seen from the aspiring artist Daisy, whoâ€™s world turns upside down when her father when standing up for a woman loses his job as well as the family home. Without an income, the family of three move to a slum area, to the top floor where Daisyâ€™s mum is unable to leave due to her bad leg. Daisy becomes the main breadwinner in the family, as she gets a promotion in her job. Sheâ€™s no longer just a runner but a set artist and this gives her an extra few bob as well as confidence to hone her skill. Moving up in the world, with a boyfriend thatâ€™s asked for her hand in marriage, life is going well for Daisy until a tram accident kills her father and seriously injures her mother, leaving Daisy with no other option but to move in with her creepy uncle, a man she doesnâ€™t know.
Her uncles offers her a roof in his ale house but Daisy hates it, from the leering stares from the men, to the bullying behaviour from Polly, her uncleâ€™s help who hates everyone and everything. The only solace is that her mother will get better and she will marry Harry, but he never responds to her letters and Daisy worries that he no longer loves her and finds herself clutching to the silver bangle that he made for her proving his love.
Trapped in an unknown town with a handsy uncle and with no money to her name, she finds help with Claude and Grace who rescue her and give her the confidence to hone her art and not to give up on love or life.
Iâ€™m not the biggest fan of historical fiction, but I must admit that I was easily absorbed in this story of friendship and love. Set in a time when the Suffragettes were becoming known and women were finding their voices, this book paints a vivid and harsh picture of the hardship that women were exposed to. I loved Daisy, she was a bright and determined young woman who had her life paved out for her, only for it to be cruelly taken away and how she adapts to change with the help from her new friends.
A story of hardship and determination against the backdrop of the rural countryside, â€˜The Girl With The Silver Bangleâ€™ is a romantic and atmospheric story that sweeps the reader away with it vivid descriptions and dialogue and a leading lady that never gives up.
You can buy ‘The Girl With The Silver Bangle’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.