Wednesday, March 07, 2018
Ashes on the Moor
First sentence: Through a thick fog of grief, Evangeline Blake suffered the blow of each clang of the distant funeral bells.
Premise/plot: When the novel opens, Evangeline Blake, our heroine, has lost everything--almost. She has lost a father, a mother, and two brothers. Lucy, her younger sister, is her sole immediate family. That day Evangeline makes a promise that they'll be together--stay together--no matter what. But within a day or two, at most, that promise proves empty. Lucy, so she's told, is to live with her grandfather. Evangeline, however, is to become a teacher in a mill town. It is what is best for everyone. Oh, and Evangeline is not to tell anyone about how she's related to them or her grandfather.
Evangeline finds herself in a desperate situation for sure. She's young, unskilled and untrained in teaching, same goes in housekeeping and cooking. She's HUNGRY and cold. She finds herself in need of so much, and she finds so much of what she needs in her neighbor, Dermot McCormick. He's relatively new to town; he's Irish; he's a single father raising an autistic son; he's compassionate. Did I mention this is set in Yorkshire in Victorian times?!
My thoughts: I loved this one. I LOVED IT from the first page to the last. It was a satisfying historical romance. I loved the teaching aspect of it. How she is changed just as much by her students as they are changed by her. I loved the focus on the Yorkshire language, and how she tried to write down stories for them in their own language so that they could learn to read in a natural environment. I loved how she is transformed by her new home, new surroundings, new situations. In some ways, this one reminds me of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South.
© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews