Wednesday, 13 March 2019

#BlogTour Belle of the Back Streets by Glenda Young

Today it's my turn on the BlogTour Belle of the Back Streets by Glenda Young. It's historical fiction with a strong sense of family and community.

About the Author
Glenda Young credits her local library in the village of Ryhope, where she grew up, for giving her a love of books. She still lives close by in Sunderland and often gets her ideas for her stories on long bike rides along the coast. A life-long fan of Coronation Street, she runs two fan websites for which she sometimes interviews the cast of the show.

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Buy Belle of the Back Streets

About the book
‘Any rag and bone!’
Everyone recognises the cry of Meg Sutcliffe as she plies her trade along the back streets of Ryhope. She learnt the ropes from her dad when he returned from the War. But when tragedy struck, Meg had no choice but to continue alone, with only her trusty dog Spot and beloved horse Stella for company. Now the meagre money she earns is the only thing that stands between her family’s safety and predatory rent collector Hawk Jackson...

Many say it’s no job for a woman - especially a beauty like Meg who’s noticed everywhere she goes. When she catches the eye of charming Clarky it looks like she might have found a protector and a chance of happiness. But is Clarky really what he seems? And could Adam, Meg’s loyal childhood friend, be the one who really deserves her heart?

Meg and her younger brother have had no choice but to become the breadwinners in their family. Meg is forced to enter a ruthless world of bargaining and thievery. Trying to recognise who is friend or foe isn't exactly easy when you're young and lack experience. On top of that it doesn't help that Meg is a pretty lass, the kind of pretty that attracts the right sort of men and the wrong ones too.

Meg makes an unusual choice for her life considering the era she lives in. She decides to not choose the safe option and luckily for her she doesn't get too much flack because of it. She wants to be wanted for herself and not because it's the right thing to do.

It's written with a flair of Cookson, with a focus on supportive neighbours and feeling of small communities. Where family isn't necessarily defined by blood, but rather by a sense of kinship due to being in the same grim situation. The working class support system and loyalty, because there is no other person looking out for them, so they automatically do it for each other.

It's a dramatic read at times and yet simultaneously also a cosy read, with just enough danger and heartbreak to keep the pages turning, but not too much lest it become too dire a read. The strength of the premise is the way the author shows us that there is always a solution, a way forward, despite how desperate the situation may seem. It's a retreat from harsh reality.

It's historical fiction with a strong sense of family and community.

Buy Belle of the Back Streets at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Headline; Paperback pub date 7th March 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

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