1908 England must have been a very tough time for females. Subservient to either husbands or fathers, governed by outlandish ideas of knowing your place in society and not trying to rise above it which was obviously a cardinal sin is not easy when you know you are capable of doing better and are more intelligent than most of the men around you.
Mary was a clerk at the local council office but she was never going to get promoted even though her boss considered her a treasure. The boys who were inane and silly kept on getting promoted till finally she took matters into her own hands and found a job. Convincing her father that it was a respectable job was one matter but also trying not to annoy the family that they were connected to and who were the big wigs in the town they lived was harder to manage.
Mary's life went from hard to harder to downright unfair and crushing. That she was able to come out of it with her head held high, and to maintain her happy spirit showed courage and considerable determination. With very little support from family, she finds support from an unlikely outsider who sees herself in the young woman and is determined to help her sort out her life.
It was a hard read for someone living in present times to even accept the total unfairness of what was dealt out to women at the time. A well written story with rounded characters and a very good story line set in Manchester.
Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Allison & Busby.