Christmas Awards 2011

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Step By Step

Step by Step by June Francis
Publisher - Allison & Busby

Hannah Kirk and Alice Moran are best friends, growing up in the backstreets of Edwardian Chester. Their family lives are rather different in that Hannah comes from a seemingly loving family, whilst Alice, who lives with her mother and mute step-brother, Kenny, lives in fear of her violent father, Mal. Unfortunately, one summer day, their lives are changed forever when Alice’s mother, Florrie, dies in childbirth. Hannah’s mother, Susannah, offers to "dress" the body, but when she, Alice and Kenny, arrive at the Morans’ home, Mal Moran is already there, desecrating his dead wife’s body. Susannah angrily confronts Mal, who does not welcome her interference. He hits her in the face, causing her to fall to the bottom of the stairs, where she lays unconscious. Realising the trouble he is in, Mal grabs both children and flees the City, leaving Susannah for dead. Susannah survives the attack, but is so traumatised that Hannah is now forced to become the carer for her father, brothers and sisters. As if she isn’t burdened enough, she also has to contend with the unwanted and improper advances of her older brother, Bert. Will Hannah and Alice ever see each other again? Will either of them find happiness or are they both destined to continue to suffer at the hands of abusive men? Read on and you will not be disappointed.
This is an excellent story, which kept me gripped to the very end. It does not spare the reader’s sensitivity and surely reflects the downtrodden lives of women before the First World War. I award this book four roses/ PS

No comments: