Cover Image: A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane

A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Dolly is a young adult but has been through several life experiences so is direct and shrewd but also tender hearted.  She operates busy Daydream Gin Palace and must hire several workers which she goes about in an interesting yet understandable way.  When the opportunity opens, she buys another building to renovate for a second gin palace.  The place reeks of what some say is sewer which is worrying.  But it is something worse than sewer.  Jack is responsible for the second palace and adds his own touches in his own way.  He is also young but has the right experience.  His mother factors into the story as do several other characters, many of which are acquainted with poverty.
Was this review helpful?
Where have Lindsey’s books been and why have I never heard of them before? I am always on the lookout for new authors as I adore historical family sagas and this did not disappoint. My only regret was not having read the previous book. Thankyou for a wonderful read and will most definitely be buying more.
Was this review helpful?
A Winter Baby For Gin Barrel Lane by Lindsey Hutchinson is a historical fiction novel set in Birmingham in 1864. The book is part of a saga but can absolutely be read as a stand alone (which is what I did).
Dolly Perkins runs and co-owns the Daydream Gin Palace, a gin bar. Jack Larkin, Dollys best friend, works with his mother in the Crown Saloon across the road. Dolly wants to expand her empire and buys a new pub and puts Jack in charge. Unfortunately whilst renovating the new pub a body is found in the wall. And if that isn't enough, Ezra Morton a fellow pub and brewery owner isn't happy with Dolly expanding her business empire.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable, feel good read. I love all of the characters, especially Dolly, and instantly warmed to them. Dolly is a fierce heroine who absolutely deserves the gin palace empire. The storyline is moderately paced and well told, with no filler or unnecessary minor storylines. I really liked the scene setting and sense of community throughout the novel. The characters all felt like they had their fitting ending ... but there is definitely room for more in the series. There is lots of humour, love, family and community and some sadness too.
Was this review helpful?
This was a gripping book that I really enjoyed. There were plenty of interesting characters which made the plot easy to understand and engage. Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
As I've said before, sagas aren't normally my go to book genre but I always pledge to read more after reading one or two. They just have something that bit different about them that makes me want to read more. Maybe it's the fact that you feel like you're learning while you're reading that really attracts me...

I loved that I was able to learn new things about the past from this book without ever feeling that I was doing something other than reading. The book and the story just felt so natural and fluent that it was easy to get pulled across into Gin Barrel Lane and feel like you were in the palaces, listening to the music and the chatter of happy customers. The whole concept of runners was new to me and I felt like this therefore introduced me to a completely different side of Birmingham.

Dolly is such an amazing character and her heart is in the perfect place, you can't help but want the best for her as you know that she'd do the same for others. Even if you do feel like giving her a bit of a friendly push in the beginning... She seems like such an amazing boss and the nicest person to work for, treating her staff with the dignity and respect that they deserve (and more).

Part of me really didn't want this book to end because I enjoyed it that much, it really did transport me away and I'd love to be able to have a night in the Emporium or the Daydream - even if the gin they were serving is a little different to what we may find in the pubs now...

Now to find and read more of Lindsey's work!
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this book. Living in Birmingham it was interesting and easy for me to visualise the places being described. The story is easy to read and you become engaged and concerned about the characters within. Will Dolly and Jack survive with the rumours being spread? Not a book I would usually pick up, but I'm glad I did. A must for those who like a family saga book as there are so many more from this author 😊

Thanks to @rararesources @lhutchauthor @bookandtonic and @boldwood for gifting me this book to read and review 🥰
Was this review helpful?
What an interesting book.

At first, I thought Dolly was too free with the way she was spending money but that is fiction.

I like Dolly beautiful heart and Jack, what a character.

The plot was okay with the right amount of suspense and action.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are mine.
Was this review helpful?
A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane is a delightful and inspiring novel that will make everyone smile. Lindsey Hutchinson does a fantastic job with the story by giving us characters to root for.

Dolly co-owns a gin palace where she works hard, earning her the respect of most in the city of Birmingham. Jack is her long-time friend turned husband, and they work together to build a small empire. When a criminal tries to take Jack and Dolly down, they fight back. With the help of their customers, employees, and friends, they make it look easy. It takes more than idle threats to scare off Dolly. While Dolly and Jack grow closer, their success skyrockets. And, the Moreland thug weakens. It goes to show that evil never wins.

Dolly is a spitfire, and so are the housekeepers and cooks she hires for the gin palaces she runs. I love seeing strong female characters, especially in a historical context. Because life wasn’t easy for women, and definitely not single women in the 19th century. Jack is a loveable goofball. He never lets his ego get in the way of what Dolly wants. They work well together, and Jack is completely devoted to Dolly.

I loved the urchins. The dirty, hungry, little ragamuffins touched my heart in a way that makes me wish my kiddos were young again. The kids run errands for anyone, but their elaborate spy network gives them the heads up on all the gossip. Aggie and her mysterious ways of knowing everything made me laugh and want to hug her tiny spies.

Though, I do have a few problems with this book. Apparently, it is the second book in a series, but I had no idea. It wasn’t until I happened upon an online review by another reader that I found that out. So, that does explain the overwhelming information dump at the beginning. Though, I think it would still be overwhelming even if I had known this was a sequel.

Another problem I had is with the title. I don’t understand it at all. I mean, there is a harsh winter, but the baby comes in the middle of the summer, well after the winter storm. So, the title baffles me a bit. Maybe someone else can explain the thought behind the title.

Yet, even with those issues, I still adored this book. The characters make me happy. The story is so inspirational and full of love from every direction. I am glad that this book came my way. I am happy to award A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Alley 4 out of 5 stars. Anyone who loves a bit of historical drama with tinges of love everlasting will enjoy this novel. I recommend it to all those readers who love strong women, history, and orphans.
Was this review helpful?
I would recommend reading The Children of Gin Barrel Lane to gain a better understanding of the characters and events...
A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane is a detailed well thought out story that is easy to follow and pulls the reader into the story from the first page!
I like how Hutchinson has used a great amount of research into the Victorian Era to transport the reader into the lives the of lower working classes as Hutchinson explores the relationships of working families in the industrial state of Birmingham in the year 1864...
The character development of A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane is good. The characters are Interesting and realistic. The reader is reunited with old characters and introduced to some new favourite character was Dolly! She is well liked and respected by those around her and doesn't let her crippled leg affect her life or dreams, as we she her strive to achieve what she wants!
I would recommend reading A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane to lovers of Women's Fiction with a historical twist as well as family sagas, it is a emotionally engaging story with a dash of mystery, poverty, love and friendship. We see how the entire community comes together in support!
Was this review helpful?
Gin is strong commodity in the nineteenth century as it offers a fleeting escape from a rough world which is high in poverty and unemployment. Twenty-one year old, Dolly Perkins runs her very successful Gin Palace on Gin Barrel Lane in Birmingham and despite her relative youth she is well on her way to becoming a very successful business woman, so much so, she wants to increase her little empire by purchasing a struggling pub in a run down area in order to turn it into another gin palace success. 

Dolly is a good employer and demands loyalty and respect from her employees and in return she makes sure they are well paid. With the help from Jack Hawkins, her newly appointed manager, Dolly sets about restoring an old pub into a new venture, the Emporium of Dreams, but in doing so she runs the wrath of the unscrupulous, Ezra Moreton, who seems to want to bring Dolly's empire tumbling down.

What follows is a well written historical saga which follows on from the first book in the series which introduced us to the characters. However, don't worry, if you haven't read the first book, as its easy to pick up the story as the author adds enough back information. There's a lovely warm hearted feel to the story and even though Dolly's path to success is far from easy, she does so with stoicism and well intentioned enthusiasm for everything she does. The history of the time sits well and the author brings to life the hardship of those who are living in hard times but amongst the sadness there is also humour and the strong ethic of working hard for want you want. Dolly is a prime example of how sheer hard work and determination can pay off in the long run.

I can easily see this lovely, warm-hearted series continuing, as there is still so much more for Dolly Perkins to achieve in future stories.
Was this review helpful?
I have been a fan of Lindsey’s work for a while now.  I haven’t caught up with everything that she has written but I am getting there.  I read the synopsis for ‘A Winter Baby For Gin Barrel Lane’ and it certainly sounded like the sort of book I have come to expect from Lindsey – superb emotional but also heart warming historical fiction.  Well ‘ A Winter Baby For Gin Barrel Lane’ ticked all those boxes and then some.    I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘A Winter Baby For Gin Barrel Lane’ but more about that in a bit.
It didn’t take me long at all to get into ‘A Winter Baby For Gin Barrel Lane’.  In fact as soon as I saw Lindsey’s name on the cover, I was hooked.  As soon as I started to read, I knew that I would not be able to put the book down for any length of time.  I picked the book up only intending to read a couple of chapters to make a start but I became so wrapped up in the story that I read more like a dozen chapters in one go.  My Kindle wasn’t glued to my hand but it might as well have been because it travelled everywhere with me.  I managed to read this book in the space of a single day, which goes to show how much I enjoyed reading ‘A Winter Baby For Gin Barrel Lane’.  I found ‘A Winter Baby For Gin Barrel Lane’ to be a gripping read, which kept my attention throughout and which kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.  
‘A Winter Baby For Gin Barrel Lane’ is superbly written but then that is true of all of Lindsey’s books that I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing.  Lindsey certainly knows how to grab the reader’s attention and draw the reader into what proves to be a compelling read.  For me, the story hit the ground running and maintained a gentle pace throughout.  I love the way in which Lindsey describes the Victorian era so vividly and realistically that I feel like I have literally been transported back to that era myself.  I felt as though I was part of the story myself and that’s thanks to Lindsey’s very vivid and realistic storytelling.  The  story was emotional and I felt myself going through all of the emotions that the characters were going through, but ultimately this book is a heart warming tale about family, love and friendship
In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘A Winter Baby For Gin Barrel Lane’ and I would recommend it to other readers.  I will certainly be reading more of Lindsey’s work in the future.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.
Was this review helpful?
This was my first time reading anything by Lindsey Hutchinson.  I loved the cover and soon discovered I loved the book.  I was pleased to discover that she has quite a few more books that I can lose myself in.

I love anything based in England and historical in nature.  A Winter Baby For Gin Barrel Lane was perfect.  I grew to love the characters.  They were brought to life by Ms. Hutchinson's words. 

Dolly and Jack were blessed.  They shared their blessings with others. They treated everyone with respect and kindness.  They were not judgemental by someone's appearance.  They went out of their way to help their community.

A great book.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book.  It was a great storyline with excellent characters.  I would highly recommend this book as it was a great read.
Was this review helpful?
Dolly may have had a rough start in life, but she certainly made great strides in her early adult years! Having successful people who raised her through her challenges, Dolly made sure to take advantage of all she’s learned and her gin palaces prosperity!

Jack is the one who brought Dolly home all those years ago and his parents took in. He knows how to run a gin palace after living in the environment his entire childhood. Dolly asks Jack to manage her new gin palace across town. He does a bang up job and even considers turning a large room into a restaurant.

The new palace has an awful smell coming from one room. Jack and Dolly have a local contractor figure out where it’s coming from, who finds a deceased woman hidden in the walls. No one knows anything, not even where the original owner went after selling the property before the bully in town found out. The story of the deceased being found becomes popular news and everyone comes to hear about it, including to dine in the restaurant and be in the same building. What an attraction it’s caused!

I will admit I am very envious of Dolly! She might have her difficulties in life, but look at her life now! She’s an extremely hard worker, everyone knows her and respects her, even at just 21! There’s no stopping her in her endeavors! I admire her drive and work ethic and will need to start channeling my inner Dolly when it comes to working hard!

Thank you to Boldwood Books, NettGalley, and Rachel’s Random Resources for access to A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane by Lindsey Hutchinson. I give this book 5 out of 5 tiaras aand wish the story would keep going! I’ve fallen in love with the people at all these gin palaces and wish I could open my own and it be so successful!
Was this review helpful?
Book Review “A Winter Baby For Gin Barrel Lane” by Lindsey Hutchinson
ISBN 9781838894030

A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane


Dolly Perkins and Jack Larkin have grown up in the notorious gin palaces of Birmingham.
It’s a world of happiness and friendship, but also violence and poverty. Now that Dolly runs the Daydream Gin Palace on Gin Barrel Lane she can finally control her own destiny, but sometimes fate still plays its hand.

Keen to expand her empire, Dolly and Jack take on a new pub, but they are in for a shock when a foul smell in one of the bedrooms turns out to come from a body hidden in the wall.

As the police hunt for their suspect, rumours abound, spread by the local urchins – happy to be used as runners for a little bit of food and a coin or two.

But rumours can be dangerous, and as one of the worst winters on record covers everything in snow, Dolly and Jack have to fight for the lives they have made for themselves, and for the urchins that they have come to think of as family.  Will the arrival of a new baby on Gin Barrel Lane bring the promise of new hope, or will the long-awaited thaw uncover new secrets and new tragedies…

The Queen of Black Country sagas is back on Gin Barrel Lane with a rip-roaring, heart-warming, page-turning story of family, friendship and beating the odds. Perfect for fans of Val Wood and Lyn Andrews.



Wow is my first thought to say about this glorious Novel. I loved everything about A winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane. From the characterisation of the main protagonist Dolly which is absolutely superb, to the love she finds with Jack after seeing him as a close friend for a long time, its only when the thought of losing Jack happens that she sees what her family have always known, that she loves him and he adores her. She is a strong and feisty young woman, living in the impoverished streets of Birmingham in the 1860s. Dolly though wants to improve things for those around her and her loved ones. A business woman who makes decisions, at times rashly but always with the well being of others close to the heart of all her decisions.

This book is very engaging and the style of the writing brings to life incredibly well how hard living in the 1860s was for very many people. The poverty is brought into the plot seamlessly and runs alongside the story of love and friendship that binds the whole plotline together.

This is actually a sequel but it works well as a stand alone book. I had not read the previous book but nothing is lacking because of it. However I will definitely go and read it now and eagerly await the next novel from Lindsey Hutchinson.

Purchase Link –

Author Bio –  

Lindsey Hutchinson is a bestselling saga author whose novels include The Workhouse Children. She was born and raised in Wednesbury, and was always destined to follow in the footsteps of her mother, the multi-million selling Meg Hutchinson. Lindsey’s first title for Boldwood was published in February 2020.

Social Media Links –  



Newsletter Sign Up Link

Bookbub profile

Review can be found
Was this review helpful?
A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane is the sequel to The Children from Gin Barrel Lane by Lindsey Hutchinson. I loved the characters in the first book especially Dolly and Jack. Well not the Ezra Moreton who is like the Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful life. He tries time and time to ruin Dolly as she tries to expand her business. From a young age, this woman has a head for business.  

Dolly is not nearly as smart when it comes to love and neither is Jack. I could forgive them both because in the end they saw what everyone including this reader had seen. Wonderful story with the two of my favorite characters now as adults. You don’t have to read the first book to enjoy this one but I’m betting you will want to know how this group first met forming a family that is thicker than any bloodlines.

An ARC of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley which I voluntarily chose to read and reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
I requested this book as i wanted to try reading a different genre of books. I have read some of dilly courts books before and enjoyed them so when i was given this book to read and review i was delighted! 
I havent read the book before this one and it doesnt matter as this can be read as a stand alone and you can understand the book and its story regardless. Since reading this i will be looking at more historical fiction to read especially more by Lindsey Hutchinson.
Was this review helpful?
I have not read the book that precedes this one, so I can definitely say that A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane works very well as a stand-alone. I do wish I had read the first book, The Children from Gin Barrel Lane because there are things mentioned that I do think I would like to have known more about.

A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane is a gorgeously written historical fiction book set in Birmingham around the 1860s. Dolly runs a gin palace and is looking to expand. Dolly is unmarried and while this does make it an issue for some, on the whole people are more than happy to deal with a woman in business. One man, however, is not. I do think this is where I would have benefited from the first book!

The one this about this story is the sense of community, support and people with long memories. The author has woven a story around a wonderful group of characters who all bring their own special something. Jack with his easy manner, Aggie with her gossip, Nellie, Nancy and Fred for advice and of course many more characters as well. All very easy to remember.

As Dolly decides to open another business, the nose of a certain businessman is definitely put out of joint. This does set a tense tone for the later part of the story, but on the whole, this is about the main characters and their coming and goings. The authors bring in street runners who deliver messages and this does highlight the conditions of these orphans and the lack of support for a whole part of society. The community, though, does tend to look out for its own.

This was a super story to read, it had me frowning one moment, grinning and chuckling the next and I will say there was the odd lump in the throat moments as well. If you are a fan of the saga type novel then I do think this is one for you, and an ideal story to sit down with over a couple of afternoons. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and I would defiantly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
Where has Lindsey Hutchinson been all my life? Ever since a friend recommended her books to me a couple of years ago, I have enjoyed every single one them! They are such a delight to read and incredibly easy to devour. Her novels seamlessly weave tales of poverty along with love and friendship throughout the lower working classes in industrial Birmingham in the similar vein of Catherine Cookson did in the North East.

A WINTER BABY FOR GIN BARREL LANE is the sequel to the endearing "The Children of Gin Barrel Lane" in which we met the characters who return in this delightful installment along with many more who are sure to warm your heart.

Birmingham 1864: Returning to Gin Barrel Lane and Dolly Perkins is now 21 years old. She has come a long way since ten year old Jack Larkin found her huddled in the yard of his mother's gin house almost a decade ago. By 14 Dolly had gone into business with Nellie Larkin and together they purchased and opened the Daydream Palace across the road from Nellie's own Crown Saloon. As the business grows and becomes busier, Dolly must take on new workers to keep the bar open and the customers happy. But business is booming and the Palace is packed from opening till closing time every day.

Now the mortgage for the Palace is almost paid off and Dolly is looking to open another when word reaches her about several establishments going on the market. She views a couple of them but fears the cost of renovating them to above standard wouldn't be financially viable. Then Wilton Burton, son and co-owner of Burton's Brewery from which she and Nellie acquire their gin, tells her of a pub they deliver to up for sale. So Dolly takes Jack to inspect the premises but the surrounding stench is more than they could ask their employees or their customers to bear.

Until word reaches the delightful Aggie, who passes on information in return for free gin, about a pub that is about to go on the market. Regaling Dolly with news of the vast establishment on the corner of Great Barr Street, Dolly takes Jack to inspect the pub known locally as "The Bricky" and put an offer on it. The premises are indeed vast, clean and perfect for their requirements so Dolly and the pub landlord Lucas Freeman agree on a price and shake on it. She heads straight to the bank where she organises a mortgage for her new establishment and then to her solicitor to draw up the papers. However, upon returning the following morning, Lucas informs her that he has been offered above asking price by Ezra Moreton and he would be a fool to turn it down. After much consideration and planning on her solicitor's part, Dolly agrees to the new price and takes possession almost immediately with Lucas disappearing in the night, his passage booked for the Americas and escaping Ezra's wrath.

Dolly and Jack set to work on renovating the pub into a gin palace which they have called Emporium of Dreams. Dolly has retained the two existing barmen and hiring more staff for the kitchen, bar and the door with Jack to be the new live in manager. But from one of the bedrooms upstairs comes an awful smell which Lucas told them was the sewer, having complained to the council on numerous occasions to no avail. But their builder Eli Hodges informed them of the opposite...that there was no what was causing that ghastly smell? As work begins on locating its source, no one is prepared for what they will find behind those walls.

When Ezra arrives one morning, his goons in tow, he is shocked to discover Dolly and Jack on the premises he believes he owns. But he is in for an even greater shock when he learns that Dolly is the new owner when he thought he had yet again outsmarted her. Humiliated once again by the woman, Ezra hightails it back to his Brewery where he takes his ever-growing frustrations out on his staff. And when word reaches him down the track that Dolly is looking to expand her business even further with the acquisition of not one but another two pubs, Ezra means to outsmart her once and for all by swooping in and purchasing them from under her.

But then winter arrives in full force with heavy snowfall that cuts off roads so the carts and cabbies and even draymen delivering brewery supplies cannot get through. And Ezra makes a foolish decision that could see his empire unravel. Is he canny enough to rise above the odds and claw his way back whilst making Dolly pay?

Meanwhile love is on the horizon for Dolly. Enjoying the regular company of Wilton Burton, she suspects she may be falling in love with him. But is he all that he appears? Jack certainly doesn't trust him and glares daggers at him every time he sees him in Dolly's company. And when the two are together, Jack is filled with an anger and jealousy that causes him to make a rash decision leaving Dolly high and dry as well as devastated.

Along with the return of Nellie, Nancy, Fred, Aggie, Dolly and Jack, we also meet new friends in Sadie, Alice, Bess, Gwen, Danny, Frank and Joey. Of course there are the reappearances of Dolly's solicitor Mr Sharpe and their builder Eli Hodges as well as the unwelcome one in Ezra Moreton. Life is tough for the working class but they aren't afraid of hard work. Even Dolly's crippled leg doesn't stop her from achieving her dreams. By the story's end, Dolly has expanded her business even more with the addition of a Brewery and a children's home that I wonder where life will take her next. Though she doesn't suffer fools, she is a kind and gentle soul who cares for her those who have become her family.

As with most stories of this type, there are a few tears as well as laughs to be had, though I did shed many a tear over one particular much-loved character and again at the end. A WINTER BABY FOR GIN BARREL LANE is a wonderfully engaging story that is an addictive read from beginning to end. And even when I turned the last page I was left wanting more. As the original children of Gin Barrel Lane, where will life take Dolly and Jack next?

I hope there is a third installment to this wonderful story as there is so much more to come for those on Gin Barrel Lane.

This heartwarming tale of family, friendship and beating the odds is perfect for fans of historical fiction sagas like Catherine Cookson.

I would like to thank #LindseyHutchinson, #Netgalley, #RachelsRandomResources and #BoldwoodBooks for an ARC of #AWinterBabyForGinBarrelLane in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This is  the second book in the Gin Barrel Lane series and is set in Birmingham in the late 1800's
Another brilliant book by Lindsey Hutchinson
If you love Historical family sagas you will love this book.
It's full of fabulous characters and the author draws you in to the life and trials of what your reading. 
I devoured this book in a very short time and couldn't put it down.
Thanks to#NetGalley for the advance copy in return for an honest review
Was this review helpful?