Member Review

The Girl on the Doorstep

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Review by

Helgaleena H, Reviewer

Last updated on 22 Jul 2018

I Recommend This Book


This historical romance is set in the Black Country of the Midlands, during the time of the canal boats.  Many would find it a bit of a snooze to read of the lives of the working poor, but their loves  are as strong as any other. Rosie, our heroine, certainly has guardian angels watching out for her, as her mother has just died and the first person to come upon the weeping five-year-old is a gypsy fortune teller in her vardo, or traveling home.

The Romany value children, and rather than be sent to the workhouse, Rosie clings to her skirts and becomes her daughter. She has been dropped exactly where she can develop her own psychic abilities to the full, and with complete acceptance.   For the rest of her life it is how she will make her living. When she sees the 'pictures' and feels the shiver down her spine, they will not let her rest until she has told them.

For the rest of the book, we hear about a regular soap opera of characters when at last her beloved Marie has died and her vardo  is burnt around her, according to Gypsy custom.  Rosie is taken in by an elderly couple of her clients upon the canal boats, the 'cut-rats'.  Those who work and live upon the canals, or 'cuts', are despised nearly as much as the Gypsies by some of the land dwellers.  Margy and Abner Mitchell's only son left to please his new bride by working upon the railway instead, and his bunk is empty, as are their hearts. They have never seen their twin grandsons at all.  

Of course Rosie is able to tell them enough to rekindle hope for them, but try as she might, she's unable to see her own future!  Yet in the end, she will be entwined into this loving family and the happy ending flows steady as the cuts themselves beneath their unfolding lives.  

I would dearly wish that this author knew and used the Oxford comma. However the regional dialect is quite refreshingly seasoning the narration until it feels crass to notice the lack.  Slow down your expectations for action to a pluvial pace and you will better enjoy this rather long story.

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