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 Excellent Debut!
I’m quite astonished this is a debut novel; it has all the signs of coming from a far more experienced author.
Ginnie Jones is born into poverty; when her father loses his job things get much worse and she, along with her parents, enter the workhouse. Despite Ginnie’s fears, she does make friends there, but when fate steps in to rob her of their precious friendships, Ginnie has to depend on herself to survive. When she leaves the workhouse, life is still a struggle . . .
This is an excellent read, telling Ginnie’s story before, during and after her time in the workhouse. This is the first book I’ve come across with details of the potteries, and I found the details of the work there to be quite fascinating. Including information of the Great War, the workhouse system, the daily fight against poverty and touching on the suffragette’s battle for women’s votes, there is so much going on that I just flew through it! The characters came alive on the page, and it’s a fully rounded story; even better, the author is working on the second novel and I look forward to that! A fabulous read which I’m very happy to give 4.5*.
My thanks to the publisher for my copy and to Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot in this tour; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.
Tags: historical fiction
- Format: ebook
- Size: 359 pages
- Publisher: Hera
- Publication Date: 18 February 2020
- Links: Goodreads
- Google Play
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 dentalnurse (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.