Series: Tales of Quarry Bank Mill
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The Mule Spinners’ Daughters: The Runaway from the Altar (Tales of Quarry Bank Mill) by G J Griffiths
“… Sebastian said: But there is an obstacle, a principle of hers that she’s read of in a book by a woman called Mary Wollstonecraft…”“… Women should be wives and companions to their husbands…”Did Wollstonecraft, the mother of Mary Shelley, author of ‘Frankenstein’, fill the farm girl’s head with too many ideas of feminism?When Sally Sefton runs away from Sebastian at the altar on her wedding day there is a desperate chase to find her. Some of her friends think they know why she ran. But only Cathy Priestley thinks she knows where. Her chief bridesmaid suspects Sally may have joined the Christian Israelites. Will they find her before the group sails on a missionary tour abroad? The split causes a bitter dispute between Sebastian and Wesley, her brother. While feelings are running so high there seems to be no hope of reconciliation between the families.Book one in the series, ‘The Quarry Bank Runaways’, tells the much earlier tale of their fathers when they journeyed on foot to Hackney workhouse in London. They were then boy apprentices who had escaped from the Cheshire cotton mill, desperate to find their destitute mothers.Book two, ‘Mules; Masters & Mud’, is about what happened to the apprentices during the Industrial Revolution, when they were qualified cotton mule spinners. Serious events, including the Peterloo Massacre, impinge upon the lives of Thomas Priestley and Joseph Sefton.
Book Review for The Mule Spinners’ Daughters:
The Mule Spinners’ Daughters: The Runaway from the Altar by G J Griffiths is a memorable, touching and captivating historical, family saga and romance novel. It is the third book in G J Griffiths extraordinary “Tales of Quarry Bank Mill” series and follows the lives of Sally and Catherine, and the various family crises that threaten to consume their fragile existence.
Sally comes from a farming family and loves her life, until she is smitten by Sebastian who might have an ulterior motive for marriage, and who is ruled by the demon drink. Cathy finds herself attracted to James, a fellow teacher, but it reluctant to admit to her feelings. Add to this a desertion at the altar, a family member wrongly accused of theft, a runaway, and a self-proclaimed Messiah, and you have a novel that will have you totally engrossed.
The author, G J Griffiths, has woven a remarkable tale that transports the reader to an era where family values are paramount, where respect for one another is priority, where there will never be enough money, but where everyone is grateful for what they have. In addition, faith is foremost and whilst the characters strive for survival there is always a willingness and desire to be God-fearing and virtuous.
At the time of reading I had not read the two previous books, but this did not detract from the story which can definitely be read as a standalone, such is the strength of the characterizations. The expressive writing is strong while the character and plot development is enough to keep the reader turning the pages of this gentle yet compelling family saga. Well done to the author for causing this reader to want to travel to the north of England and seek out these characters and their families. The ‘voice’ of the times is perfect, as are the accents and idiosyncrasies of the family members. You will experience sadness, joy, astonishment, anger, and a myriad of emotions as you read through this enjoyable novel.
Once you have read The Mule Spinners’ Daughters you will undoubtedly want to hurry to read the previous books in the “Tales of Quarry Bank Mill” series and learn more of the history of these exceptional characters. Artisan Book Reviews highly recommends The Mule Spinners’ Daughters: The Runaway from the Altar by G J Griffiths – an engaging, meaningful and unforgettable novel. Book Review for The Mule Spinners’ Daughters by G J Griffiths read and written by Jane Finch for Artisan Book Reviews & Promotion
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