Wednesday, 7 April 2021

#BlogTour The Mersey Mistress by Sheila Riley

 It's my turn on the BlogTour The Mersey Mistress by Sheila Riley.

About the Author

Sheila Riley wrote four #1 bestselling novels under the pseudonym Annie Groves and is now writing a new saga trilogy for Boldwood under her own name. She has set it around the River Mersey and its docklands near to where she spent her early years. She still lives in Liverpool. Her new trilogy began with The Mersey Orphan in September 2019. Sign up to here for her newsletter sheilarileynewsletter

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About the book

1910 Liverpool Docks.

Ruby Swift is a hard-working, straight-talking woman of substance who does not suffer fools gladly, but when tragedy strikes on a bitter Christmas Eve, Ruby and her beloved Archie take matters into their own hands when a trusted employee’s house is mysteriously engulfed by flames and lives are lost.

Orphaned by the fire, Ruby welcomes heartbroken sixteen-year-old Anna Cassidy, into her home and family but circumstances conspire against them and she is unable to save Anna’s twelve-year-old brother Sam Cassidy, who is sent by the Church to Canada as a Homeboy. 

Can Ruby help mend a broken heart and can these two children ever be reunited or is there another higher game in play? Mersey Mistress takes you on a journey to another time, another place. From the banks of the River Mersey to the frozen waters of the Canadian Saint Laurence River.

Review

It's the story of two women trying to survive the archaic rules of a patriarchal system. Trying to keep their family units together. Ruby is in an open prison made by the constraints of her family. Torn from her child and unable to have her own children she tends to mothers those in need. It makes her feel closer and like a mother again.

Anna has had to endure the loss of her family which makes her all the more determined to find the only family she has left. Tragedy and grief spur her on through the search for her brother. Her own needs take a secondary place when it comes to finding him.

It's historical fiction with a Cookson feel to it. The divide between rich and poor, and the power imbalance between the two is very much at the core of this story. The way women and children are treated like afterthoughts, and in this case the children are nothing more than a nuisance that need to disappear.

The characters and their stories have to navigate traumatic events in history, but of course that's the reality of life during that era. Perseverance and survival instincts combined with strong female characters make for an interesting read. 

Buy The Mersey Mistress at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Boldwood Books; pub date 6 April 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

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