Absolutely first class, what a great debut for a new author.
The first couple of chapters told a sad story of life as it undoubtedly was at the time. I found the book rather harrowing to start with but was gripped almost immediately. The story became at turns upbeat and others distressing, as the story of my lives almost certainly are. It had a ring of truth to it. Also it is nice to read about everyday life and people, not the rich and powerful or the beauties to whom astounding but unlikely events happen. It felt real.
I found myself looking forward to my break in the day when I could sit in the garden and read some more.
The book is written very much in the historical times of the central character whose life is followed with such care. The language of the period sounds and feels correct, each character is distinctive without being artificial, the story itself is of great interest and actually feels like a story, not an account of a life. The historical period seems as though it is accurately depicted and was evocative and well depicted without being obtrusive.
Basically, it is a really good read and I can't wait for the next book.
I have been involved in writing since my teens; initially amateur, latterly professional.
Writing for local newspapers taught me to follow the maxim 'make every word count'.
Love of books led me to work in the publishing industry before a change of circumstance enabled me to become a Press Officer