The Girl Who Dared to Dream

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Pub Date 13 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 13 Oct 2022

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Description

The captivating new novel from Diney Costeloe, bestselling author of The Throwaway Children and The Girl With No Name.

London, 1912.

It is two years before the outbreak of World War 1, and the Oakley family are typical of their time. Andrew has been clerk at a City solicitors for twenty years. Alice, his wife, keeps the home fires burning. Their sons plan on becoming skilled apprentices. And Mabel, their daughter, says she would rather die than go into domestic service like her cousin. She is going to go to train as a secretary.

Andrew Oakley little imagines, as he sets off for work one February morning, that their lives are about to change in the most dramatic and tragic fashion. In one fateful instant the family dreams are crushed. And Mabel will have to swallow her pride to take that position as in-between maid after all. It is every bit as unpleasant as she expected. But help is going to come from a quite unexpected direction and bring her dreams to life again.

Brilliant storytelling, wonderful characters, here is everything we have come to love about a Diney Costeloe novel.

Praise for The Girl Who Dared to Dream:
'Fans of historical fiction will love how Costeloe paints pre-war London... You won't be able to put it down!' Chat Passions
'Diney Costeloe delivers an inspiring, heart-rending read with a wonderfully strong female protagonist.' Woman's Own
'A fascinating insight into the lives of women at the turn of the century.' Yours
'Beautifully crafted... Diney Costeloe has written over 20 novels, and this is one of her best.' Historical Novel Society
'A brilliantly written, tender and compelling page-turner – I LOVED it!' Faith Hogan

Praise for Diney Costeloe:
'Truly captivating.' Woman & Home
'A treat from the very first page. I could not put it down!' Historical Novel Society
'Historical fiction heaven... Anyone who feels that women's hist fict is a simplified genre sub-set would definitely need a rethink after this.' The Bookbag

The captivating new novel from Diney Costeloe, bestselling author of The Throwaway Children and The Girl With No Name.

London, 1912.

It is two years before the outbreak of World War 1, and the Oakley...


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ISBN 9781801109789
PRICE £7.99 (GBP)
PAGES 448

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Average rating from 39 members


Featured Reviews

Very honored to receive a chance to review this book. Full review to follow here and on blog. So interesting to read a historical themed book that focuses on pre ww1 life, I can’t wait to read about the diverse cast of characters and to especially read Mabel’s journey.


The captivating new novel from Diney Costeloe, bestselling author of The Throwaway Children and The Girl With No Name.

London, 1912.

It is two years before the outbreak of World War 1, and the Oakley family are typical of their time. Andrew has been clerk at a City solicitors for twenty years. Alice, his wife, keeps the home fires burning. Their sons plan on becoming skilled apprentices. And Mabel, their daughter, says she would rather die than go into domestic service like her cousin. She is going to go to train as a secretary.

Andrew Oakley little imagines, as he sets off for work one February morning, that their lives are about to change in the most dramatic and tragic fashion. In one fateful instant the family dreams are crushed. And Mabel will have to swallow her pride to take that position as in-between maid after all. It is every bit as unpleasant as she expected. But help is going to come from a quite unexpected direction and bring her dreams to life again.

Brilliant storytelling, wonderful characters, here is everything we have come to love about a Diney Costeloe novel.

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This book was sent to me by Netgalley for review…thanks to the publisher for an electronic copy. Starting anew…family and friends…historical fiction…this author is talented at weaving a cannot put down story…enjoy…it does move slowly at times but is a great book…

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Mabel has dreams of going to school to become a secretary in London a few years before WWI breaks out. Due to an accident that impacts her father’s ability to provide for his family, she instead must take a service job in order to contribute to her family’s income. Avoiding the advances of her employer’s son, the ire of the more senior service workers, and the worry of her parents and the new life they are leading, Mabel tries her best to accept her circumstances for what they are. Then she is accused of a crime and her luck turns.

Mabel’s family has a series of misfortunes during the course of the book. Readers who have faced a streak of unfortunate challenges will sympathize with what they are going through just to provide a meal and home for the family. Educations and apprenticeships are sacrificed because during the 1910s this cost families money that Mabel’s family simply didn’t have as a result of losing the decent income her father had before his accident.

Mabel is a young woman who doesn’t give up on herself or her dreams. I found not only her spiritual strength, but mental and emotional strength enlightening. When you look at the obstacles that ere thrown at her in a short time, you truly appreciate the strong female character that she is. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for the advanced copy. Opinions expressed are my own.

#netgalley #arc #dineycosteloe #thegirlwhodaredtodream #ariafiction #ariesfictionbooks

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I was delighted to get the opportunity to review The Girl Who Dared To Dream as I love Disney Costeloe book and I was not disappointed! I adored this book and I read it over the course of one day!

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It was interesting to see how the author brought all the characters together. Thank you to NetGalkey and the publisher for the early read.

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Firstly I would like to thank netgalley and Aria&Aries,and the author Diney Costello for a copy of this book to read.

I've read two of this authors books and really enjoyed them,Another fantastic read hooked from the start.Mabel dream is to become a secretary,Her father ended up in an accident and no longer work,she and her brothers had no choice but to bring in an income to help her mother.Mabel had to do a job she never wanted to do and go into service,Then she was accused of a crime she didn't commit.This book was engaging and about hardships giving up your dreams to help your family survive..a fantastic historical read...highly recommend..

This book will be reviewed on goodreads and Amazon UK.

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1912: Mabel Oakley is fourteen years old, she's an excellent student, and her teacher Miss. Chapman thinks she should continue her education and possibly go to high school. Mabel has two brothers, Edward who's about to start his carpenters apprenticeship and Stephen is still at primary school.

Andrew has a soft spot for his daughter, he works as a clerk at a solicitor’s office and the family gets by. His wife Alice handles the housekeeping, by tightening their belts, they should be able to afford for Mabel to stay at school for one more year.

When tragedy strikes, Alice tries her best, unfortunately Mable has to leave school and her cousin Lizzie knows of a vacant position. Lady McFarlane needs a maid, and Mable starts working as a live in domestic servant. Mable hates her job, she misses her family, the hours are long, with no free time, and she doesn’t trust her employer’s son.

Mabel confides in her friend Mr. Clarke how miserable she is, he promises her things will get better, and it’s not forever. Mabel's plight unfortunately was a common one at the time, most girls finished school early, had low paying jobs and handed their wages over to their families.

I received a copy of The Girl Who Dared to Dream by Diney Costeloe from NetGalley and Aria & Aries in exchange for an honest review. Ms. Costeloe has an informative and moving writing style, and you’re given a realistic impression of life in Edwardian England and through the point of view of a fourteen year old girl. Mabel is a plucky and bright young lady, she faces challenges head on, and doesn't give up in wanting more out of life and continuing to help her family. Five stars from me, I highly recommend this book and the others in Diney Costeloe’s vast catalogue of historical fiction.

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The Girl Who Dared to Dream was a brilliant read. I’ve read this authors previous books and loved them. This one was no exception . I was drawn straight into this book right from the very beginning. This is a book I highly recommend to fans of historical fiction novels.

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The Girl who Dared to Dream is a sweet story of its smart, brave and stron characters. I enjoyed the lead character's determination and perseverance towards her future.

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Just finished reading this and will add this author to my list. The book centres around a family whose circumstances change when their dad is involved in a accident meaning that he won't be able to work ever again. Money is tight and Mabel their daughter has no choice but to go into domestic service to help. Unbeknown to her parents she has befriended an old man who owns a printing business and when things go wrong she seeks his advice when things go very wrong for her.
The story shows the hardships endured by the family and how they overcome them. I really enjoyed this book and will look for more from this author.

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I've read alot of book's by this author and this is yet another fantastic read, a story of hardship and friendship. I loved the characters and will miss Mable and her family.

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This is the first book by this author that I've read and I can't believe it's taken me so long to discover her. I read this in one day. From page one I was hooked.
Mabel is fourteen years old and wants to stay on at school for another year. She loves learning and wants a better life than a girl normally had in those days. Tragedy strikes and she has to give up her dreams and go into service. She hates it. The conditions are tough. Long, hard days with hardly any time off and having to constantly dodge the son of the house, which was the norm at the time I believe. An incident in the house where she works ends with the loss of her job. There are some nasty people in the house and I was delighted when one got their comeuppance.
Mabel is a flawed character and this only makes her more real. She has a lovely, caring family but she can be a bit of a brat at times. There is a great cast of characters and the book flows along at a nice pace. I do hope this is a series as I would like to see how she and her family progress in life especially with World War I on the horizon.

Thanks to Netgalley and Aria & Aries for an early copy of this book to read.

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I am a huge fan of this author, I have read everything she has written.
It’s 1912 and Mabel Oakley wants to make her own future. Unfortunately when her dad becomes disabled her life takes a turn she didn’t expect.
I love everything about this authors writing, great characters, great story, and I will forever read anything she writes!

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Absolutely loved this read couldn't put it down, loved reading about the determination of Mabel and how she didn't want to end up in service despite what was expected of her.
An unfortunate accident involving her precious dada makes Mabel have to rethink her plans for her future, but a loving friend has special plans for the feisty Mabel.
Lovely cast of characters and a brilliant storyline, with a few twists thrown in foe good measure, highly reccomend this book

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I have read most of the authors previous books and enjoyed them. This book is set in London, 1912. I liked the strong female protagonist who didn't let a change in family circumstances ruin her thoughts of forging more for herself than going into service, working on a factory or getting married. I imagine that girls like her in this era would have it nigh on impossible to achieve more. Very will written with a strong storyline. I would love to know what her plans for the print shop are. Maybe there will be a sequel?

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A Lovely Book to read with a great story that goes so well with the characters and fans of this author will also love the book.5*

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After seeing this author’s books in bookshops for years, I’m thankful for the opportunity to finally read one. I’m shocked it’s taken me this long and disappointed at missing out on such great historical fiction.

At the center of this book is Mabel Oakley and her plan for her future. Readers will be in awe at her tenacity and empathize with her sacrifice. Hardship forces Mabel to shelve her dreams to support her family. This feisty girl learns to navigate a future she hadn’t planned.

Many of us have walked, are walking, or will at some point, walk through seasons of uncertainty, unmet dreams and feel unfulfilled. Seeing a character grow, live and prosper after her life takes an unexpected twist, is encouraging.

Costeloe’s wonderful characters and her engaging plot kept me interested. Her theme about help coming from the most unlikely of people was well presented. It was reaffirming to read about a strong female character who blossomed despite her circumstances.

I was gifted this advance copy by Aria and Aries and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

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Excellent book i really enjoy Diney's books and style of writing this us a good story with a few twists.

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A truly special novel that I would highly recommend. I always thoroughly enjoy Diney’s novels and this one displayed all her excellent writing skills. Mabel, a young girl has to change her plans after her father is involved in an accident, but she shows real strength and determination to try and improve her lot.

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It’s 1912 two years before the war, fourteen-year-old Mabel Oakley is a good student and dreams to go to Secondary school to learn to become a secretary. She wants to better herself and not leave school and go into service as a maid like some of her peers. But life doesn’t always go as you want it to. When her father has an accident that leaves him paralysed. So, without no money coming in she takes a job as a in between maid. But it is short lived when she is accused of stealing and is sacked from her job.
Thank you NetGalley and Aria for a copy of the girl who dared to dream. This is the second novel from the author I have read, and I really enjoyed this novel of one women’s strength and determination to make something of herself in the times of hardship and where women were destined just to go into service. Be seen and not heard. This is a heart-warming story of one family struggles, and I loved the character of Mabel. How strong she was. She was head of the times of a woman being trying to independent in a world full of men. 5 stars from me.

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I had read a couple of this author’s previous books and thoroughly enjoyed them. I was excited to see that she has a new book.

This is a cozy family tale set in London pre WW 1. Our lead character is Mabel, a 15 year old girl who has high aspirations for herself. She does not want to go into “service” as most girls her age do. Mabel wants to continue in school and get a “proper” job. Tragedy strikes the family and Mabel cannot fulfill her plans. We follow her life as she is obliged to work as a servant for a wealthy family.

I've always enjoyed historical novels and period stories. The way of life over hundred years ago is very interesting. The author's description of Mabel's struggles at a job tugs at the reader's heart. A bit of a mystery develops discrediting Mabel's reputation.

This has been a great story to lose myself in. Mabel's character shows amazing strength and determination for someone of her age. She experiences hardship but has the gumption and tenacity to rise above it all. She is headstrong but she is ethical. She is outspoken. She loves her family (mother, disabled father and 2 younger brothers) and wants to play a responsible role in that family.

I think this book would appeal to fans of Rosamund Pilcher. The writing style is similar, smooth flowing and easily draws the reader in. I appreciate a good story. These days, when the world is in so much turmoil, it feels good to lose myself in a good story.

Mabel is The Girl Who Dared to Dream and she achieved her Dream. Mabel is a young lady who is way ahead of her time!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an Advance Readers Copy.

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Mabel, a young girl of fifteen, is doing very well in school and is having a great time. Her teacher would like to consult with her parents because she thinks that Mabel should take the exam so that she can go on to secondary education. Mabel likes this idea because she doesn't like to become a live-in maid after school, just like her niece. Unfortunately, the letter will never be written because Mabel, completely against her will, has to drop out of school to contribute to the family income after her father's accident.

Her eldest brother also quits his intended place as an apprentice with the carpenter and goes to work in the market so that he immediately earns money and does not cost money. So, there is no other option for Mabel than to become a live-in maid, that way she doesn't cost any money at home and she earns a small salary with which she can contribute at home. The only bright spot for Mabel is that she becomes a maid in the same house where her niece works and therefore has a familiar face around her. As she imagined, she doesn't like the job, but she does make the best of it.

Not too pleasant things happen in the house where Mabel works and because she doesn’t mince words and she certainly does not let herself be walked over it is getting back on her. Unfortunately, she has to pay for this and it does not make live easier for her nor her family. Fortunately, help comes from an unexpected source and Mabel manages to get everything back on track, but unfortunately it is not a 'and they lived happily ever after'. No, regrettably there is still some setback, do they know how to overcome that?

Diney knows very well how to describe what life was like in a working-class family during that time, but also how all the staff in a wealthy household worked and got treated. I really enjoyed the book

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Very well-drawn characters. Their emotions, their restlessness was all playing in front of me. Everything was flawless about the book, including the title. A rich, vibrant romance that's a feast for all the senses!

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Things were already tough for Mabel's family but they just got worse. This novel, set beginning in 1912, is a sadly realistic portrayal of the life of many young women of the period- unable to stay in school and the target of inappropriate behavior. She's a determined person though and she keeps herself strong in the face of a great deal of adversity. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A good read.

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I’ve read several of Disney Costeloe’s books, and like the others, this was a good, easy read. Mabel’s life started out hard, and changed in a way she couldn’t imagine, but with strength and determination she succeeded in life.

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Set in 1912 London in an era when women were not treated as equals in a man's world, The Girl Who Dared to Dream is a gorgeous book about one young woman who not only persevered through trials and dreamed big but adapted to new dreams. This book has it all...compelling history, family drama, heartache, villains, upstairs/downstairs life, relationships and hope. The story and writing are beautiful and engaging and I found myself utterly immersed in another world, enjoying it in one sitting.

Fifteen-year-old Mabel is the apple of her father Andrew's eye. He encourages her pursuit of becoming a woman of her own means as a secretary. However, one day life dramatically changes for the Oakley family which necessitates serious adjustments. Financial hardship forces swift action so Mabel secures a job, settling for something she hates for a pittance with little freedom. Her honour comes into question but she refuses to give up. Her beloved older friend Mr. Clarke, a printer, and teacher are mentors and their kindnesses are endearing. As Mabel's life goes on we are privy to her heart in times of sorrow and moments of joy.

My favourite relationship is that between dear Mr. Clarke and Mabel. Class distinction portrayals are fascinating and I really cared about the characters and rooted for Mabel.

If you are new to Historical Fiction, this is a wonderful introduction. If you are already a fan of the genre, this is unmissable.

My sincere thank you to Aria & Aries and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this wonderful, wonderful book.

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I really enjoyed this book - well written and with a great story line. Set in 1912, the Oakley family are doing quite well as Andrew works for a local solicitor, his sons are preparing for apprenticeships and his daughter Mabel dreams of going to secondary school and becoming a secretary.

However, events conspire to dash all these dreams, and Mabel finds herself going into service. However she clings to her dream, making friends with a local printer who encourages her to go to night classes to learn typing and keep the dream alive.

Its a great story, very believable and of its time, when education for women was considered to be a waste as they should be getting married and allowing their husbands to support them.

Thank you to NetGalley and Aria & Aries for allowing me access to the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This is the new novel by Diney Costeloe and is set 2 years before the onset of World War 1. It is based around the oakley family and is full of wonderful characters both lovely and not so nice . The book is based around the character of Mabel, a young girl who ends up in service but has lots of dreams and inspirations.
It's a really lovely book and I definitely recommend it.

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It was 1912 when Mabel Oakley's father was seriously injured in an accident, and she had to put to one side her dreams of secondary school and training to be a secretary. Her family needed her help, along with her brother Eddie, who gave up his apprenticeship, and Stephen, who did odd jobs on the weekend and after school. Their mother Alice did sewing from home and between them they kept the wolf from the door. Mabel was determined never to work in service like her cousin Lizzie was doing...

But needs must and before long Mabel was working at the big house as a tweeny and although she hated it, she worked hard, relishing her half days and weekends off, which they rarely allowed. When trouble struck at the house, Mabel was dismissed and without a reference. She was shattered as she knew - as did her family - that she'd done nothing wrong. What could she do to help support her family now?

The Girl Who Dared to Dream by Diney Costeloe is a wonderful, heartfelt story about the poor and their struggles, and the determination of one young woman to not rely on anyone else but her own strength. I thoroughly admired Mabel and the rest of her family, determinedly working through what fate had dealt them, to remain together as one strong unit. Highly recommended.

With thanks to NetGalley, Ana Carter and Head of Zeus (Aria) for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

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