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Saturday, June 10, 2023

The Bereaved by Julia Park Tracey

1859 was a bleak time if you were a woman with no money and responsibilities. Widowed very young, with four children Martha's life was tough but when her father in law who was their guardian died and left Martha and her young family to the guardianship of the lecherous lawyer Montgomery, Martha knew she had to run away. New York City was another world - poverty, the incessant noise, the animosity of neighbours, the environment were foreign but they all gritted their teeth and tried to survive. When things began to threaten their lives Martha took the bold step of handing first her eldest two to the Friends of Society and then the youngest two. She did not realise that she was legally giving them up. The story of heartbreak with plenty of determination to get her children back against immense odds is beautifully told. Martha never gave up hope for a reconciliation and she was successful with the exception of Homer who did not know his biological mother at all. At the end of the story there was a chapter giving details of how the children's lives evolved after they reconciled including Homer who had links with the author of this story. This added a great human touch to the story and it was good to see how far they all came to lead happy settled lives. Thank you to Sibbyline Press for sending this to me, courtesy of Netgalley.


  1. I get most of my books from NetGalley these days. I love reading the ARCs and seeing which books are to be published.

  2. I can't imagine what it must have been like for a woman of this time.