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Unfortunately there are rarely any books written about the Black Country and this book has come as a refreshing change. The book forcuses on one charater and those relationships she forges or stumbles upon throughout her life.
There book evokes the atmosphere of the era and the industrious nature of it's time - in fact in some ways it was a little sad reading about industries and craftmenships that have long left us in the age of mass consumerism and mass production. The book also acts as a very historical tome and would be good as a GCSE/A Level History or English literature read. There are lots of references peppered throughout the book to what was happening at the time in British history. This book is based on real places and areas of the Black Country and alongside the historical references come some interesting facts about the area and how names of places we take for granted today have come about. As a local Black Country girl this made it even more interesting and made me love this book even more. I bought a copy of this book for a friend from London and felt particularly proud to show said friend around the area on which the book is based and the roads and streets mentioned in the book which are still there today. Even the clock tower featured on the front of the book still stands proud in Wednesbury. The book as given me a greater appreciation of the Black Country areas and I see them in a whole new light. I want to go hop picking in Bromyard! The contents of the book itself is inspriing and goes to show the forward thinking nature of people even in those times, but also describes in graphic detail the trials and tribulations of the day, some of which we as a society still suffer ... e.g. the character of Betty Thurston. My only criticism would be the book didn't go deep enough for me, there could have been slightly more detail adding a depth and background detail to the plots, twists and turns, additinally the book ended too soon .... I've been searching for my next installment which I can't wait to read!
All in all an enjoyable book!