Christmas Awards 2011

Thursday, 24 January 2008

The Love Spoon



This romantic story is set in rural England in the late Victorian era. The Sutton family consisting of her father Tobias, her Mother Lillian, her two sister’s Alice and Violet and her brother Ned, all living in a big old fashioned but comfortable house, with her Father’s workshops in the yard. The central figure is Mary Sutton. Mary is a beautiful, perhaps a little wilful, girl with a talent for singing, dancing and also for calculating her fathers books in his coach building business, her father is very proud of her. She is a happy girl but never feels completely part of her family; she is very different from both of her sisters and her brother.
One day a young man appears at the family home looking for work, he is untidy and travel worn but Mary is strangely attracted to him, although she is only fourteen years old. As time passes Kester Hayes becomes very useful in the family business and Lillian, Mary’s mother is very fond of him and makes him feel almost one of the family, which pleases Mary.
There is an old cottage, belonging to her father, which Kester is allowed to live in and which he repairs and makes into a real home.
One day Mary visits him, to take him honey from their bees, while he is working on the cottage, he gives her a wooden spoon prettily carved, which he has found in a wall of the cottage. Mary sees this as something very special and she realises that she has fallen in love with Kester and believes that he loves her too.
On her way home she has to call at the home of the Widow Goodyear, who was the local midwife, with a pot of honey. She shows the spoon to the widow who tells her that it is a love spoon, carved by some unknown lad for his sweetheart. Mary is overjoyed at learning this, and is now convinced that Kester loves her too.
Mary is chosen as Queen of the May and has a wonderful day. She sings and dances for the crowds who clap her loudly all enjoying her talent. She is happy dancing with several young lads but seeing Kester she begs him to dance with her which he eventually does. After the dancing Mary is so happy that flings her arms around Kester kissing him she tells him that she loves him and asks if he loves her. His reaction surprises and hurts her as he flings away from her saying that she is just a child.
When Mary gets home she is summoned to see her father and mother, her mother did not like the way she had behaved with Kester and asks Tobias to speak to her about it, saying that it made Mary look wanton . What happens in this interview alters Mary’s whole life as she is told that she is not the child of Tobias and Lillian but the result of an affair Tobias had with a singer, who chose the stage over Tobias and her baby daughter. Mary is devastated and feels like running away her whole life seems to be turned upside down and she does not know who she is.
The story has many twists and turns until it reaches the conclusion. Can Mary come to terms with the story she has been told, will Kester fall in love with her or will he return to his own home, will Mary ever find her real mother, and understand who she is? Read this lovely compelling book and enjoy the story as I have.
I award this book 5 red roses. AS

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