A Respectable Woman

Susanna Bavin

After losing her family in the Great War, Nell is grateful to marry Stan Hibbert, believing she can recapture a sense of family with him. But five years on, she is just another back-street housewife, making every penny do the work of tuppence and performing miracles with scrag-end. When she discovers that Stan is leading a double-life, she runs awa
Date Published :
July 2018
Publisher :
Allison and Busby
Language:
English
No associated books available.

Overview
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After losing her family in the Great War, Nell is grateful to marry Stan Hibbert, believing she can recapture a sense of family with him. But five years on, she is just another back-street housewife, making every penny do the work of tuppence and performing miracles with scrag-end. When she discovers that Stan is leading a double-life, she runs away to make a fresh start.

Two years later, in 1924, Nell has carved out a fulfilling new life for herself and her young children in Manchester, where her neighbors believe she is a respectable widow and a talented machinist. But the past is hard to run from, and Nell must fight to protect the life she has made for herself and her children.

About The Author
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Susanna Bavin is originally from Manchester and her writing is strongly inspired by her Mancunian roots. She now lives in Llandudno in North Wales and is a keen member of the RNA. The Deserter’s Daughter is her first novel.

REVIEWS
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"England in the early 1920s. Nell meets a veteran of the Great War, marries him, has a child, and discovers that her husband, Stan, isn’t the man she thought he was. She leaves him, taking their son with her, and, telling people she is a widow, works hard to build a new life in a new place. But eventually Stan reappears, demanding custody of their son (and also of the second child, with whom Nell was pregnant when she left him), tearing apart Nell’s new life. Feeling in many ways like something Jeffrey Archer might have written, complete with a jaw-dropping twist near the end, this is a well-crafted novel with a strong, compassionate lead character and a splendid sense of time and place (the author peppers the dialogue with words like “sommat,” “owt,” and “nowt,” giving the book the flavor of its Manchester setting). A grippingly creepy thriller."

- Booklist

"Escaping one’s past is at the heart of this endearing historical romance from Bavin (The Deserter’s Daughter), set in a small English town after World War II. An unexpected visit from a district nurse inadvertently exposes the ugly secret Nell Hibbert’s husband has been hiding through most of their marriage: a second wife, who’s just had his baby. Angered by her husband’s betrayal, pregnant Nell runs away from Annerby with her beloved young son, Alf, in tow. Two years later, “widowed” Nell and Alf have a new life in Chorlton, Manchester, aided by friends such as window cleaner Jim Franks, but a random act of kindness on Nell’s part subsequently exposes her past and threatens her family’s future. Bavin’s character-driven narrative, peppered with colloquial dialogue, rings with authenticity. Although Jim’s secret profession as a lawyer is somewhat fortuitous and the plotting is predictable, the sweet attraction between him and Nell give the story heart, while Bavin’s finely sculpted cast of secondary characters, most of whom are struggling with postwar poverty, give the story true substance. The focus on historical and emotional authenticity will leave readers heartily satisfied."

- Publishers Weekly