Monday 8 November 2021

BLOG TOUR: The Miner's Lass - Glenda Young

'You're a Dinsdale lass, Ruby. Nothing and no one keeps us lot down.'

A life of poverty in a cramped pit cottage is all that seventeen-year-old Ruby Dinsdale has known. Even with her father and younger brother working at the coal mine, money is tight. Her mother Mary is skilled at stretching what little they have, but the small contribution Ruby makes from her job at the local pub makes all the difference. So when Ruby is sacked, and Mary becomes pregnant again, the family's challenges are greater than ever.

When charming miner Gordon begins to court Ruby it seems as though happiness is on the horizon, until she uncovers a deeper betrayal than she could ever have imagined.

But although the Dinsdales are materially poor, they are rich in love, friendship and determination - all qualities that they will draw on to get them through whatever lies ahead.

What did I think?

If you’re thinking you don’t read sagas, then think again; you’ve not read Glenda Young’s sagas!  The Miner's Lass is Glenda's sixth saga and it is absolutely brilliant.  As soon as I opened the book I was transported to Ryhope in 1919 and I simply couldn't put it down.

The Dinsdale family rely on every penny that comes into their small cottage so when Ruby finds herself out of work she needs to find a new job fast.  Ruby's brother Michael will be old enough to go down the mine with his dad when he turns 14 and oh how my heart broke for him; it's almost unimaginable today to think of children working underground in such awful and dangerous conditions.  The whole community revolved around the pit and this was portrayed beautifully in The Miner's Lass.

Life is rarely considered easy but it was definitely a much harder life 100 years ago.  Families didn't have much money to live on but everyone helped each other out and they found joy in the little things.  Mental health is so important these days so it was interesting to read about the local asylum and how men used to drop off their troublesome women at the door.  It's shocking when you think about it as many people should have never been sent there.

So, whilst The Miner's Lass is a wonderful story of family, friendship and community there's so much more to experience in this outstanding novel.  It's packed full of drama and challenges for the characters and it gives us a glimpse of what life was like in an early 20th century coal mining community.  The characters are portrayed so vividly that they virtually leap out from the page as we experience every trial and tribulation with them.

Written with warmth, drama and a bit of humour, The Miner's Lass is hugely entertaining from start to finish.  Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down and I read it in one sitting.  I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it and it's an easy 5 stars.

I received an ARC from the publisher to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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