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The Girl With The Silver Bangle By Linda Finlay

The Girl With The Silver Bangle‘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 artists…

Set in 1911, the story is seen from the aspiring artist Daisy, who’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 Daisy’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. She’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 that’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 doesn’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 uncle’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.

I’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, ‘The Girl With The Silver Bangle’ 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.

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.