Lately, I have been reading books by Rosie Goodwin. You know when you feel like a reading a really good story that flows along nicely and is easy to understand? Well, this author’s novels are just the ticket! She creates great characters and interesting plots, and if the story is a period piece, she has always researched her subjects very well. She talks about what life was like in the 1850s and onward, and many of the stories are set in Nuneaton in England (“?”, i hear you shrug…), with which she is familiar.
For me, a great author creates interest for their readers within the first few pages, and Rosie Goodwin does this very well. I began reading one of her books on a recommendation, and I absolutely loved it. I have now read another four, knowing each time that I won’t be disappointed. Her descriptions of places are very atmospheric and you feel as if you’re right there in the moment. She uses old courthouses as settings for some of the poor families she includes in her stories and stately homes for the richer ones. The history is spot-on, and her descriptions are vivid.
The first book of hers that I read was called ‘A Mother’s Shame’. The year is 1857, and a young girl arrives at a mental asylum as a worker. She cares for an unmarried mother who has been banished there by her rich family. The story involves these two girls developing an unlikely friendship and their journey to the other side of the world. This really is a great story with compelling characters.
The second book was called ‘Whispers’. It involves a modern family moving into an old house with lots of history. The main character, Jess, discovers a servant’s journal in an attic room, and the past is brought to life as she reads of Martha, a worker at the house. It is a little bit of a ghost story, but not at all scary. This is another great novel.
And my third one is called ‘The Ribbon Weaver’. One winter’s night, a baby is discovered who grows up to be a very influential woman, who then discovers where she came from and her heritage. The book tells of her life as she is brought up by her supposed grandmother, and her subsequent rise as a fashion designer.
I am now halfway through my fourth ‘Rosie Goodwin’, and it is turning out to be an equally satisfying read. I recommend this author if you enjoy history, love stories, frocks, kindly spooks, and great characters!