Friday, 26 August 2011

The Chainmakers by Helen Spring - A Review by Judith Arnopp

If you want to be totally absorbed into the past, experience the joys, sorrows and hardships of the late 19th - early 20th century then this is the book for you. I bought the kindle edition on Thursday lunchtime and completely lost the next 24 hours while I read it.
The Chainmakers is an experience rather than just a 'read', you follow Anna on her life journey, from childhood, through the pangs of first love, through marriage and childbirth to late middle age. Her story takes you across the Atlantic from England to New York and shows you the difficulties that ordinary, law abiding people suffered, both in the manufacturing towns of the UK and under prohibition and mob law in the U.S.A.
Ms Spring's competent narrative sweeps the reader effortlessly from the filth of the 19th century factory floor to the elegant drawing rooms of New York. Her characters sing, the settings are masterfully drawn and the plot intriging. I can not imagine why this is not on the best seller list. Very highly recommended.

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