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Coming Home to Roseford Villas by Fay Keenan #Review

  Today we return to the series by Fay Keenan set in the Somerset village of Roseford. Coming Home to Roseford Villas was published by Boldwood Books on 12th April.   Aurora Henderson and Leo McKendrick were love’s young dream when they first dated as teenagers. But like many a first love, parents, life, and distance got in the way, and the couple lost touch. Now, twenty years later, Aurora – Rory to her friends – needs a break. Burnt out from her teaching career and longing to write a novel, Rory heads to the idyllic village of Roseford for a summer of writing and relaxation. Leo needs a change too. Ex-pat life in Australia has come to a sticky end so the opportunity to run his family’s B&B, Roseford Villas, for the summer is too good to turn down. Neither Rory nor Leo believe in fate, but when Leo opens the door to his latest guest, he might just have to reconsider. And when a sultry summer fills with nostalgia and memories and six weeks flies by too fast, love’s young

A Mother's Shame by Rosie Clarke #Review


Today we are back in the late 1920's for a standalone historical novel by Rosie Clarke, A Mother's Shame. It was published by Boldwood Books on July 7th.

East End of London

Maggie Bailey has not had an easy childhood. Her father, Michael, always too easy with his fists after spending the family’s rent money down the pub.

Just sixteen, in love and blinded by promises, Maggie sees marriage to handsome Jack as her great escape. However, she soon finds herself abandoned with a beautiful baby when Jack disappears. Maggie is forced to seek a new life away from the East End of London and finds herself a job at a hotel in Eastbourne.

Here she must learn to fend for herself and also accept a shocking discovery that she was fostered as a babe and nothing is known of her real parents.

Her employer, Aunt Beth, is kind and her life improves – but Maggie makes one mistake after another and, eventually, they lead to a terrible tragedy that will bring her to the point of no return.

Will Maggie ever find true happiness and discover the secret of her birth?


My Thoughts

 This standalone story is starts in the East End pf London in 1925, when you meet its central character, Maggie Bailey. She has a difficult life, living in a family where her father is a violent drunk who dominates her mother at the expense of his children.  Times are certainly hard but you soon see Maggie's determination to work hard and to make a better future for herself and her little brother, Robin. Maggie has always felt that there is something behind her family's attitude towards her, which can be sharp and as the story progresses, you begin to find out why she has always felt a little different.  The bonds of family are strong, despite the poverty, and Maggie always feels the tug of family ties.

    You realise from the beginning that something catastrophic has happened and throughout the book, Maggie seems to be confiding in a mysterious figure. You see both sides of humanity in this story, those who are kind and those who can be cruel and at times, rough justice is meted out. As Maggie's story develops, more characters are added who all p[lay a part in her future. You are always aware of the injustice shown towards women at the time and will Maggie to step out from under a man's thumb. The story certainly evokes the gritty side of life for some in the late 1920's and the deprivations and unrest which led up to the General Strike. Above all, you see life from the point of view of the mothers who have to try to work, keep house and raise their children. Marriage gives them respectability but can come at a price. Maggie is a young girl when you first meet her but by the end of the story, she has matured and sorted out her own priorities. Although it is a standalone story, I could see a follow up, full of possibilities.

In short: period detail and engrossing characters

About the Author

Rosie Clarke is a #1 bestselling saga writer whose most recent books include The Mulberry Lane series. She has written over 100 novels under different pseudonyms and is a RNA Award winner. She lives in Cambridgeshire.

You can follow Rosie here: 

Book link: Amazon UK
Thanks to Rosie Clarke, Boldwood Books and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources  for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

Follow the rest of the tour!