15 April 2021
#3 The Ironbridge Saga
My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book
Hettie Jones has grown up in Ironbridge. She has never known her father and, since her mother's death, has been brought up by the Malone family, who treat her as one of their own. She works as a pit girl at the local coal mine, alongside her childhood playfellow, Evan - although lately, their friendship seems to be blossoming into something more.
But when Queenie King takes a fancy to her, Hettie's life is transformed. Trained first as a lady's maid, and then hurtled into a world of luxury and gentility, she finds her new position difficult to reconcile with her past life. And with Queenie's daughter-in-law scheming against her, Hettie's situation becomes dire.
Can Hettie really use her new position for good, and will she find a way to bridge the divide between rich and poor?
📖 My Thoughts..
Reading The Orphan of Ironbridge has been something of a bittersweet experience as I knew that this book series was going to come to an end and I would miss the characters who have come, so completely, to life over the course of the trilogy. This book focuses on Hettie Jones on whose young shoulders rests the responsibly for carrying much of the story, and what a treat it has been to follow this determined young woman who, never beaten by the inauspicious start to her life, is more than ready to meet the challenges which undoubtedly come her way.
I have enjoyed being back in Ironbridge again as Hettie goes about her work as a pit bank girl, breathtakingly hard work, which she does with a fierce stoicism, and strong sense of self worth. Everything is so beautifully described that you get a strong sense of the camaraderie, and yes, sometimes of the petty squabbles which exist between the women, but there's also laughter, loyalty and friendship.
Those who have followed this lovely trilogy from the start will know that no story has ever been complete without matriarchal Queenie King doing what she does best, which is, meddling in other people's affairs. I'm delighted to say that, thanks to some wonderful writing, Queenie really comes up trumps, and there's a lovely twist in the tale, which made me smile with acknowledgement of a destiny well achieved.
I'm so pleased that this talented author made her trip to the Shropshire town of Ironbridge which was the inspiration behind her decision to write this excellent trilogy The place, its people and its proud industrial heritage has been allowed fly on the pages of these lovely stories and more than does them justice. So even though there's a sense of the tying up of loose ends in The Orphan of Ironbridge, the author doesn't compromise on giving us her usual flair for authenticity, excitement and excellent storytelling.
The Orphan of Ironbridge can be read as a standalone story but as with all series it is better to start at the beginning.
About the Author
Mollie Walton has always been fascinated by history and on a trip to Shropshire, while gazing down from the iron bridge, found the inspiration for what has become her Ironbridge series of historical sagas.
Twitter @rebeccamascull #TheOrphanofIronbridge