Today on the blog I have Lindsey Hutchinson with her book The Wives Revenge. I have a wee sneak peak to tantalise your taste buds and leave you eager to find out what happens.
Lindsey lives in Shropshire with her husband and dog, loves to read and has recently discovered photography. She is the daughter of million-copy bestselling author Meg Hutchinson.
Facebook: Lindsey Hutchinson
The Wives Revenge ~ Sneak Peek Extract
On 20th June 1887 all children had been given a day off school in order to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, celebrating the fiftieth year of her accession to the throne.
Primrose Berry from up the street, the girl Violet Clancy hated with a vengeance, had come to play in Violet’s yard and had cornered the cat from next door in the backyard. The yard was a dumping ground for anything Violet’s mother, Kath, couldn’t find a home for but now Primrose was using it as her own arena. Primrose had the cat by the scruff of the neck and Violet knew its suffering was imminent. Picking up a small stick that lay nearby, Primrose stabbed it into the cat’s eye. With an ungodly screech, the cat took off with the stick poking from its eye socket.
Violet’s mother appeared on the back doorstep shouting, ‘What’s going on out here?’
Giving Violet a quick vindictive smile and before Violet could speak Primrose burst into tears and sobbed, ‘Violet hurt the cat!’
‘Bloody hell, Violet, what you done now?’ Kath Sligo was interrupted by a banging on the front door. Kath turned to answer the door. Primrose had a vindictive glint in her eye as she looked at the shocked girl in front of her.
Violet heard the neighbour’s voice, ‘Your bloody daughter has maimed my cat! I’ll have the coppers on you; you see if I don’t!’
The front door slammed and Kath reappeared on the back step. ‘Primrose, you get yourself off home now, wench.’
With an evil grin, Primrose tossed her golden ponytail in Violet’s direction, her blue eyes flashing a warning as she left via the side gate. Violet’s heart sank knowing she would be getting the blame for the beastly thing Primrose had done.
Kath was on her daughter before the gate had closed, grabbing her dark plaits and dragging her into the house. ‘Why? What makes you do such awful things?’ Kath threw Violet into a chair and stood over her daughter, with her arms crossed across her chest.
‘I didn’t do it, Mum!’ Violet wailed as she felt the slap sting her cheek.
‘Get to bed,’ Kath puffed, ‘and wait ‘til your father gets home!’
Defiance swelled in her as Violet slammed the door. ‘He’s not my father!’ she yelled back, taking the stairs two at a time. Lying on her bed, Violet resolved to run away if that man ever came into her room again.
Time passed as Violet lay on her bed in the tiny two-up, two-down house. Every couple of houses which lined both sides of Hobbins Street had an entry which led to a side gate at the back. The rows of houses all looked the same in the small town of Wednesbury, a layer of grime from the foundries and factories coating them all. The pall of smoke lay heavy in the air, giving the town a look and feel of being constantly in the shade. The houses had two rooms upstairs and a tiny living room and kitchen on the ground floor. Some had managed to put a lean-to scullery on the end of the kitchen. The lavatory was housed in a small brick building at the end of the yard.
Laying there on her bed, the aroma of cooking reached Violet’s nose. Her stomach growled but she knew there’d be no tea for her that night.
Violet waited, knowing he would be home soon. The man her mother had married not too long after her birth father had been killed in a cave-in at the Monway Colliery. Her dad, Harry Clancy, a gentle soul who would help anyone; his soft voice never raised in anger. He taught her from his books, history, geography – all the countries of the world; all the seas and rivers. He shared stories of mythical beasts in wondrous lands.
Violet remembered the warm summer nights sitting on the back doorstep with her father pointing out the stars. The Plough, he would tell her, and, look, there Orion’s Belt. She recalled, when she was small, the time they played cowboys and Indians and her father had used her mum’s rouge to paint his face. Violet smiled as she also remembered the scolding he’d received from her mother for wasting good cosmetics.
Violet’s thoughts wandered freely down memory lane as a picture of her father formed in her mind. Harry was always smiling. No matter the trials and tribulations he had to face, the ever-present grin never diminished. Coming home from the coal pit covered from head to toe in coal dust, he would smile as he saw his little girl. White teeth shone from his blackened face and he would chatter away to his daughter while Kath heated pans of water for his wash down. Her dad, who she missed dreadfully. Silent tears ran down her cheeks as she wished him back with her once more.
A gritty tale of triumph over hardship, and justice for the downtrodden. Lindsey Hutchinson returns with another Black Country saga perfect for fans of Josephine Cox.
Violet Clancy can take no more of her violent stepfather’s attentions, so when he meets a tragic end she feels justice has been done. Looking around the bleak and pitiless Black Country town of Wednesbury, she realises that there are many other wrongs that she could help to put right.
Joining a coterie of women who call themselves The Wednesbury Wives, Violet and her friends soon set about winning justice for the abused and trying to make life a little easier for those for whom grinding poverty is every day.
But even in the hardest lives, some light must shine, and before long the wives find laughter and romance in their close-knit town. But will their friendships survive when some of their good deeds are brought into doubt, and some of their methods are called into question? And is justice always worth it, no matter what the price?
Huge thanks to Aria Fiction and Lindsey Hutchinson for being on my blog today.
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