Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Candle Factory Girl: Historical Novel by Tania Crosse

Welcome!  Historical novels set in England are a weakness of mine.  I enjoy reading about life in Great Britain especially those books set between 1900 and 1960.  Tania Crosse is the author of A Place to Call Home, Nobody's Girl, Lily's Journey, Hope at Holly Cottage, Teardrops in the Moon, Wheels of Grace. and her latest The Candle Factory Girl.

The Candle Factory Girl is the newest novel by Tania Crosse.  The story opens in Battersea in June 1931.  Hillie Hardwick is seventeen years old and works in the candle packing department of Price’s Soap and Candle Factory.  Hillie is an intelligent young woman, but her father would not let her continue with her schooling.  Harold Hardwick is a brute and a bully who makes life miserable for his wife and five children.  He is particularly abuse towards his wife, Nell and Hillie (physical and mental abuse).  Hillie is even forced to turn her paycheck over to him each week.  The one bright spot in Hillie’s life is her friend, Gert Parker and her extended family.  The Parker family and their home is a refuge filled with love, comfort and kindness.  One day Jimmy Baxter, who works in deliveries, starts flirting with Hillie.  They begin spending time together behind her father’s back.  When Harold becomes violent with Hillie, Jimmy offers her a way out.  Will Hillie regret her decision?  What does the future hold for Hillie?

The Candle Factory Girl has nice writing and a slower pacing which suits the book.  It did take me a couple of chapters to get into the story.  Once I drawn into Hillie’s story, I was hooked.   While Hillie was the main focus of the book, we also get the stories of her friends Gert, Jessica, Belinda. I thought Tania Crosse captured the era, locale and lifestyle.  Her portrayal of the working class was realistic.  People lived paycheck to paycheck in shabby dwellings with little pay and little food.  However, there were bright spots in their lives with their friends, family, the local park, free concerts, etc.  Hillie was a strong, smart female character.  I enjoyed her friendships and the closeness she shared with her siblings.  All the characters are genuine and believable.  They had real problems, heartache and struggles.  I could picture the scenes in my head while reading The Candle Factory Girl.   The story has a feel-good ending and all the storylines were nicely wrapped up.  The book does contain British slang that was true to the 1930s and there is some foul language along with the abuse.  The Candle Factory Girl is my favorite book by Tania Crosse.  The Candle Factory is available on Amazon, GooglePlay Store, Kobo, and iBooks.

I appreciate you stopping by today.  On Monday I will share my review of Who the Bishop Knows by Vannetta Chapman.  I hope you have a memorable day.  I am off to rake up leaves.  My yard is full of them thanks to the dry weather.  Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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