Fiction Ed’s Book Review


Her Mother's Daughter by Evie Grace

The Victorian saga is a timeless genre – if that’s not a bit of a contradiction! – and writers like Dilly Court and Rosie Goodwin have made it their own. To their ranks we can add Evie Grace, with her new Maids of Kent trilogy. First in the series was Half A Sixpence, in which heroine Catherine Rook fell in love, then found herself a destitute single mother. Now comes Her Mother’s Daughter, with the story taking up that daughter’s life.

Agnes Ivy might have been born into rags but she has been adopted into the bosom of the Berry-Clay family and their comfortable life at Windmarsh Court. Her papa adores her, though her mother is distant, and even more so when her own son is born. How will these changes affect Agnes?

The story is developed with emotion and a terrific attention to period detail to truly reflect the constraints and limitations of life for a young girl of the time.

It’s not sugar-coated, and in this Evie has been compared to the great Catherine Cookson – quite a recommendation.

Like most reviewers, I’m impatient now to read the third book in this gripping series. Whose life will it follow?

This is only the second book in this trilogy, the second only by Evie Grace, but the assured writing betrays the writer’s experience, for she is also Cathy Woodman, author of the Talyton St George series. It’s quite a skill to switch styles like this, and I ask Evie/Cathy about it in a mini interview featured in Special 151, on sale Jan 3. Evie has also written a short story exclusively for The People’s Friend, and you can read her “A Pinch Of Salt” in that same special.

Her Mother’s Daughter by Evie Grace is out on January 11 in Arrow paperback.

Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.

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