Monday 19 December 2022

The Tuppenny Child - Glenda Young

'She's not worth more than tuppence, that child!'

Those are the words that haunt Sadie Linthorpe. She is the talk of Ryhope when she arrives there, aged seventeen, alone, seeking work and a home in the pit village. But Sadie is keeping a secret - she is searching for her baby girl who was taken from her at birth a year ago and cruelly sold by the child's grandmother.

All that Sadie knows about the family who took her daughter is that they live in Ryhope. And the only thing she knows about her daughter is that when the baby was born, she had a birthmark on one shoulder that resembled a tiny ladybird. But as Sadie's quest begins, a visitor from her past appears - one who could jeopardise the life she's beginning to build and ruin her chances of finding her beloved child for ever...

What did I think?

I've made no secret of the fact that I absolutely love Glenda Young's sagas and I first discovered them at book three, Pearl of Pit Lane, so I made sure to add the first two books to my collection.  The beauty of Glenda Young's books is that they're not a series and you can read them in any order, although you do often get cameo appearances by characters from previous books and it's like waving to old friends when they get mentioned.

The Tuppenny Child is set in Ryhope, a small mining village in Sunderland, but it's further down the coast in Hartlepool where we meet our heroine, Sadie.  Sadie is a hard worker and all her earnings are handed over to her landlady for her bed and board and my heart went out to her at being stuck in such a vicious circle.  When Sadie finds herself pregnant by the landlady's son, her landlady sees her chance for a few extra pennies and sells the baby behind Sadie's back.  This is when we see the true strength of Sadie as she vows to get her daughter back and follows her to Ryhope.  

I know Ryhope well but even if I didn't, Glenda Young's wonderfully descriptive writing creates all the sights and sounds of the bustling pit village.  The characters are larger than life and I loved the pub landladies who each run one of the many pubs in the village.  The strength of women, despite their many challenges, is shown beautifully and there is a keen sense of community that warms the heart.

Heartwarming doesn't even come close to describing The Tuppenny Child as it's also heartbreaking yet completely uplifting and incredibly entertaining.  It's a book I will definitely read again and I absolutely loved it.  Very highly recommended.

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