This was the third in the quartet and I only realized the significance of the
title towards the end of the book.
Told in two time frames the older story is a hard one to accept. Sarah and her
sister are left destitute after the death of their parents and seek shelter with
their Aunt in Goswell. Estranged from the family, the Aunt gives them a home, but
it is a physically hard, mentally challenging life. When the Aunt tragically dies,
the two girls areagain destitute. sarah accepts marriage as a means of escape, not realising
that her sister Lucy who is simple, is lookeddown by both her husband and his daughter
from a previous marriage.
Fast forward and Ellen's life is turned upside down by the arrival of a step daughter
who is rude, condescending and uncooperative. Rifts both in her marriage and with
her ten year old, previously sunny tempered daughter appear. Finding a death certificate
for Sarah Mills just 22 years of age sets Ellen trying to unravel the mystery and the
The story is revealing in both segments. total helplessness of females if left unprovided
for by careless parenting and their exploitation by husbands who could be hard, bigoted
or just careless of their wives feelings. We then have the blendedfamilies, a phenomena
of present times and the difficulties faced by all in such situations.
The book was a bit hard for me to read as it seemed so unfair, but it typified social
history of the times.
Sent by Bookouture for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.