The novel is set in Great Grimsby and begins in April 1912. I have read and enjoyed Tracy Baines’s novels before and being from Lincolnshire myself, I do love the local area being featured. I am also a fan of historical fiction and sagas set in the United Kingdom in days gone by.
This is the story of newlyweds Letty (20) and Alec Hardy (23) who move from Lowestoft to Grimsby, along with Alec’s mother Dorcas. Letty has to get used to a new home, being a fisherman’s wife and living with her mother-in-law, who is a real piece of work. I was definitely cheering Letty on, in standing up to her! For his first trip, Alec is sailing on the Black Prince to Russia and Iceland and he is due to be away for at least three weeks.
I really enjoyed getting to know Letty and her neighbours and other fishermen’s wives. It’s one of those good, solid, working class communities where the men go out to work (often away) and the women stay at home, looking after the house and the kids and keeping things going until their husbands return. But Letty doesn’t want to do that, she gets a job in a shop and plans to contribute to the household income – pretty modern for 1912!
It’s a very atmospheric book with a really good description of place and time. As well as the interesting working class setting, I enjoyed seeing how Letty makes friends as well as following the difficult relationship between Letty and Dorcas. I also love Norah and Percy at the shop – we’ve all met couples like that. Strong women are usually at the centre of Tracy Baines’s novels and I enjoy reading about them.
Tracy’s writing is really easy to read and I was into the story straight away, caring about Alec and Letty and hoping their marriage would be a long and happy one. There’s enough going on to keep you turning the pages, without it ever becoming too complicated. I really enjoy Tracy’s novels and will definitely be reading more of her work in the future.
The Women of Fisher’s Wharf
Great Grimsby, 1912
After the death of his father and brother, newlywed fisherman Alec Hardy decides to make a fresh start with his young wife Letty and move from Lowestoft to the thriving fishing port of Grimsby in search of a brighter future.
Young Letty is from farming stock and knows nothing of the hard life as a fishermen’s wife but is willing to leave behind her warm hearted and loving family and embrace the challenge.
But where Alec goes, so does his widowed mother, Dorcas and she has yet to come to terms with taking second place in her son’s life. She resents her son’s choice of wife and the two women clash.
With Alec at sea for weeks on end and with her grieving and bitter mother-in-law as her only companion Letty seeks escape among the streets of Fish Dock Wharf.
Can Letty help them break free from the shadows of the past or will she be bound by Dorcas’s insistence that they cling to the old ways?
Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3zjfPtA
Author Bio –
Tracy Baines is the bestselling saga writer of The Variety Girls series, originally published by Ebury, which Boldwood will continue with. She was born and brought up in Cleethorpes and spent her early years in the theatre world which inspired her writing. The first title of her new saga series for Boldwood – set amongst the fisherfolk of Grimsby – will be published in October 2022.
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