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I was more than lucky to bag such a bargain as the product I will now review, from one of the many sales that my local library holds.
Even the lady librarian was a little green when she saw my purchase, even going as far as to say she would have bought it if she realised it was on the sale table......tough!
The book I will now review is "Calico road" by Anna Jacobs.
As the front cover of the book suggests this is the last "riveting saga" from this author, of course this may be true for the author using this name, but has released various titles under a few different pseudonyms, one of them being Shannah Jay, anyway I digress!
This author is a Lancashire lass and can only assume that she writes about "her people" as she has done in this book.
This book centres around a small amount of "main" characters, starting off with their own lives and individual stories, culminating in the afore mentioned characters being thrown together in the worst of situations.
The book starts with Meg, a 15 year old girl from a large family, the second eldest child of her widowed and very vicious mother, who is so bitter and twisted uses her children as a means to make money, she sends them all out to work and then takes all their wages.
One day Meg is propositioned by a local widower, and after agreeing to give up the "demon drink" she agrees to walk out with him, this is where her story begins.
She moves away, finally escaping from her mothers grip, marries, then a tragedy befalls her family, how will she recover?
Toby has lived with his mother in Weavers lane, since she arrived under a cloud when he was barely a year old, he watched her struggle with poverty then finally with ill health, never complaining, just trying to protect and help her son until her untimely death a year before this book was set.
Always knowing that he was a bastard, he always felt compelled to work harder than any others and in so doing was more than respected by his piers.
After receiving a letter from the wealthy and notoriously vicious mill owner John Greenhalghes, he finally discovers his true identity and the fact he has a step brother.
On his death bed John leaves a dilapidated pub, situated in the small town of Calico, to his bastard son Toby. Will he make a go of it or will the close knit community of Calico drive him away?
John Greenhalghes son Jethro has a large pair of shoes to fill after his fathers death, constantly compared to his terrible father he is determined to treat his staff at the mills he now owns much better than his father did. He is however constantly tormented by the fact he has a stepbrother, that unfortunately has the same face as him, even with him safely ensconced away in Calico, he still feels tormented. What will he do to remedy the relationship between himself and Toby, or will events sort out that little problem for him?
I know it may seem that I have gave the basic storyline away, but I have not even scratched the surface, story wise!
The characters are wonderfully developed characters, and completely believable in every aspect, when they feel joy you feel joy and when the inevitable sad parts come along you can feel every desperate move the character takes, there is a particularly devastating storyline which involves abuse within a marriage of convenience, I swear I almost shouted out at times, becoming so engrossed in every aspect of the book.
The scene setting aspect of the story is once again a joy to read, the descriptive text the author uses, actually places you in the bleak moors, wandering amongst the purple heather, feeling the desolation and despair of the character, then in the next chapter you find yourself in the sumptuous house of a mill owner, surrounded with the finest things and dressed in the best silks money can buy!
This book had me spell bound from the first page, through to the last, which I find a rare joy as some books tend to take a few pages to "get going!", this book threw me into a story I had to see through to the bitter end..... As quickly as possible! Which was no mean feat, the book is 405 pages long and even with this fact it took me only two days to complete!
As I mentioned before I purchased this book second hand from my local library for the sum of 20p, I know real bargain!!
For comparison I have just checked on Amazon for the price of the hardcover version of this book, (which is the book I have got), and was amazed to find it on sale for £19.99 new, bloody hell, no wonder the librarian was so annoyed!
There are of course a range of second hand books available from the afore mentioned site, most start from around £4.99, presumably these are the paperback versions.
I would highly recommend this book, it is a truly wonderful read. The only problem I had was that it ended, and I am presently looking into purchasing one of her other titles.... Shouldn't be to difficult there are 44 to pick from!
For more information visit - www.amazon.co.uk alternatively visit - www.annajacobs.com
This should give you an overview of this title and all the others she has written!
Thanks for reading x