Edith Coleman’s two illegitimate children (Daniel and Martha) spent their childhood working like slaves alongside their mother in the family laundry business in South Bank, a small town near Middlesbrough in the North Riding of Yorkshire. They were regularly beaten and starved but their mother never found the courage to stand up for her children against her parents, Grandad Joshua and Granny Lillian. It was only when Daniel was eight years old that he was finally allowed to go to school to make the best use of his intelligence and Martha followed him a couple of years later.
Daniel’s birth was as the result of a night-time fling in a back alley, but Martha was the result of Edith’s rape by her own father and so she inherited a double portion of her father/grandfather’s wicked character. Both of Edith’s children survived this childhood with the ambition to better themselves and Daniel started a carting business while Martha renovates furniture in the second-hand shop Daniel founded.
In ‘Martha’s Secrets’, Daniel and Martha are now both grown up and the dreaded grandparents have died, leaving the small family to finally begin living a reasonable life. Edith has married a man she had long adored from afar, gaining a step-daughter and a home of her own. Daniel and Martha still live in York Street but the laundry is no longer used. Life should now be happy for them all, but World War I has begun and Daniel fears being conscripted into the Army. He has acquired a ‘son’ in the foundling Georgie who is so grateful for his new home away from the workhouse that he would do anything to protect Daniel, even if that means denouncing Daniel’s sister for her wicked ways. But Daniel and Edith don’t want to see the character flaws in Martha, until blackmail, theft and murder rear their ugly heads and the blame can only be laid at Martha’s door.
Can Georgie and his new ally, Dolly, prove their suspicions about Martha? And will Martha consent to changing her character and lifestyle to fit in with her family or will she follow her own road to perdition?
I will admit that I have a few books by this author on my “to be read” list but I haven’t got round to reading them as yet, so when I was asked if I wanted to take part in the blog tour for Martha’s Secrets the author’s latest release I definitely wanted to give it a go, especially as I have seen some excellent review for the book!
Well having read it now I can honestly say that I thought Martha’s Secrets was an excellent story, well planned out and I loved the writing style. It had well developed characters that carried the story forward and an additive plot for me. It is a longer book that I have been reading so it took me a little while to get through but it was a pleasure to read. Excellent settings and I loved the books descriptive nature.
4.5 stars rounded up to 5 stars for Goodreads and Amazon – a very well written story and can’t wait to read more by this author now, I have really been missing out!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I only went to school to learn to read.
At age 6, I decided I COULD read and promptly left, by the school gate, the same gate which my mother marched me back through 10 minutes later.
So I had to spend the next 12 years at school, learning lots of different things, none of which lived up to the excitement of reading.
Wanting to be a writer was a natural progression, because there is nothing as exciting as inventing the story yourself.
But it’s taken over 50 years before I dared to present my stories for other people to read. So, here they are! I’ll just creep behind the sofa.
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