Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're joining Rachel's Random Resources for another fabulous tour featuring a work of Fiction that fits into the Family Saga niche rather well, but it best be accompanied by a few other monikers too, such as Historical, Women's, and a wee bit of Romance. It's a story that moves in its own time, and will move you, if you'll let it, to heights of joy, bottomless fears, and so many things in between. Ladies and gents, may I draw your attention to today's ebook of choice and blog tour guest...
The Girl from the Workhouse
About the book...
Even in the darkest of times, she never gave up hope
Staffordshire, 1911. Ginnie Jones’s childhood is spent in the shadow of the famous Potteries, living with her mother, father and older sister Mabel. But with Father’s eyesight failing, money is in short supply, and too often the family find their bellies aching with hunger. With no hope in sight, Ginnie is sent to Haddon Workhouse.
Separated from everything she has known, Ginnie has to grow up fast, earning her keep by looking after the other children with no families of their own. When she meets Clara and Sam, she hopes that she has made friends for life… until tragedy strikes, snatching away her newfound happiness.
Leaving Haddon three years later, Ginnie finds work as a mouldrunner at the Potteries, but never stops thinking about her friends in the workhouse – especially Sam, now a caring, handsome young man. When Sam and Ginnie are reunited, their bond is as strong as ever – until Sam is sent to fight in WW1. Faced with uncertainty, can Ginnie find the joy that she’s never had? Or will her heart be broken once again?
An emotional, uplifting and nostalgic family saga that will make you smile, while tugging on your heart-strings. Fans of Sheila Newbury, Kitty Neale and Sheila Riley will love this beautiful read.
Honestly, I was on a deadline when I was reading this and I just couldn't make myself read any faster. I was totally immersed in the time period, lost in the lives of the characters the author brought to life before my eyes, and there for every up, down, and in between with my heart in my hand. When Ginnie and her mum and da first go to the workhouse, I was shattered. How could they let Mabel go stay with the Aunty, but NOT Ginnie? Was there truly not enough room for such a little girl? Then when the visits didn't come from the outside, and sometimes not even within the "estates" walls, I felt the trembling of my shattered heart going dormant...and yet unable to stop hoping that something would change for the better. Then, as life often does, things DID change...
Clara became a dear heart that ended up parting ways from Ginnie way too soon. Sam started as her most innocent of loves and grew over time to be truly "the one" that may or may not ever actually have to chance to be something more to each other outside the walls of Haddon House, and yet it didn't stop them from dreaming, from holding on to each other's hearts with all their might. Even when times separated them, they still managed to keep the other as a tender possibility for a future they dared to imagine. Mary was an unexpected connection, but one that was no less genuine than the rest. She provided a mother/sister figure in time for Ginnie, as well as the other girls, while sharing not a drop of blood. Constance was another unexpected friend in the making, and just goes to show you that your class does not determine the size of your heart. Of course, we also have Ginnie's blood relation family, but the funny thing is...I hold more fondly to those she chose to be in her circle, per se, than to those that we granted the right biologically.
Through the voices of these characters (and more!), the author winds her story around your person and snares your heart. You can't help but hope for something more for Ginnie, Sam, and the others, while still holding tight to the richness of what they do have, albeit not countable in silver or gold. The historical events they are living through certainly color their lives, but in spite of the harshness, they become truer versions of themselves, reaching for a tomorrow that they certainly know isn't promised, yet can't help but try for. Though filled with much darkness and despair, there is also hope and love...and that my friends is certainly worth reading for.
About the author...
Lynn Johnson was born in the Staffordshire Potteries and went to school in Burslem, where the novel is set. She left school with no qualifications and got a job as a dental nurse (and lasted a day), a nursery assistant, and a library assistant before her ambition grew and she enrolled at the Elms Technical College, Stoke-on-Trent and obtained six O’levels. She obtained a Diploma in Management Studies and a BA Hons in Humanities with Literature from the Open University while working full-time.
Most of her working life was spent in Local Government in England and Scotland, and ultimately became a Human Resources Manager with a large county council.
She started to write after taking early retirement and moving to the north of Scotland with her husband where she did relief work in the famous Orkney Library and Archives, and voluntary work with Orkney’s Learning Link. Voluntary work with Cats Protection resulted in them sharing their home with six cats.
She joined Stromness Writing Group and, three months after moving to Orkney, wrote a short story which would become the Prologue to The Girl From the Workhouse.
Special thanks to Rachel at Rachel's Random Resources for the chance to bring this tour to you as well as the ebook for review. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, this tour, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is available now, so click on over to your favorite online retailer to snag your copy today! Be sure to check out the rest of the tour for more bookish fun.
Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!