It’s not often I choose historical fiction. However of the ones I have read from time to time I always seem to really enjoy them. I recently won a copy of Lynne Francis’s latest novel Sarah’s Story in a giveaway by the publisher Avon on Twitter. It was the cover that appealed to me with the picture of the canal boat on the front. I’m always drawn to canals where I enjoy a bike ride in the summer and a holiday on the inland waterways in a boat is definitely on my bucket list.
After I won the book and on looking it up I found it to be the third and final story in a trilogy. I always like to start at the beginning so I got a copy of the first book which is this one – Ella’s Journey from our local e-library.
About the Book
A family in need. A country on the brink of war.
Ella is trying to put the past behind her… but the past won’t always stay hidden.
The truth is, Ella is hiding from a scandal. A scandal that drove her family out of their beloved Lane End Cottage in the tiny Yorkshire village they had lived in all their lives. A scandal that her sister Alice was blamed for.
But Alice is no longer here. So it’s up to Ella to pick up the pieces and do the best she can for the family she loves so dearly.
Ella’s luck finally changes when she gains work at Grange House, a gentleman’s residence on the outskirts of York. But can she keep her position there? Or will she follow in her elder sister’s footsteps?
What I Thought
The book begins in 1896 and surrounds Ella, a young girl who works in Service for a businessman and his family in York. After a short spell working in a local mill and after the death of her older sister Alice, she needs her job to support her Mother and her other siblings, two sisters and a brother, plus her niece Beth – the daughter of her now dead sister.
The story covers the life of Ella from young girl until the end of the book when she reaches her 40th year. It touches on the first world war and the loss of loved ones. Many of the men never returned from war but those that did, didn’t fair well and suffered what would now be known as Post Traumatic Stress syndrome.
Sometimes I did think the book dragged on a little but none of the detail was irrelevant and these feelings were quite brief. For the most part I really enjoyed the book. Ella worked at Grange House for around 20 years so understandably the other servants became as much a family to Ella as if they were related. As time moved on and especially after the war the divide between ‘upstairs’ and ‘downstairs’ became much smaller with mutual caring and trust between the servants and their employers.
As other reviewers have said you end up really caring what happens to the characters and I felt quite sad when I knew I was getting towards the end. You get quite attached to all the characters because the book covers such a long period of time. There are another two books in the series and I can’t wait to read the next one which covers Alice, Ella’s older sister. I am sure that will be an equally interesting story as we know very little about her except that she left a young daughter behind when she died.
♥ Happy Reading ♥
Available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle