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When I started this sequel, I was confused at with some of the events as I seemed to remember they had taken place in the first book "A Jarrow Lass". But after a while I realised they were the same events being told from Kate’s perspective. Once I gleaned that it made sense. This book is Kate’s story, just as the first was Rose’s, and it was refreshing to read her fanciful ideas and romantic notions after her mother’s life was hardened by her marriage to John McMullen. I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book where Kate went to care for her Aunt Lizzie in Lamesley on the Ravensworth Estate, and then gaining employment first at the Dower House, then the castle to the Inn. She was young, idealistic and most of all, blossoming into a young woman and falling in love. But, under a cloud of shame of tragic circumstances Kate returns home to pay penance for her sins in more ways than one for the next 16 years. ..living once more under the roof of her abusive and belligerent step father McMullen. It’s this half of the book I found heartbreaking, watching Kate die a little every day worn away by spite and hate, never to be free again. The part I think I found saddest was the death of her mother, as we watched Rose blossom as she was courted by William in the first book and the birth of her daughters, only to see her become haggard and aged. There is a light at the end of the tunnel for the impoverished Kate at the end of the book – one I’d seen coming before it did, but after some heartbreaking news is delivered to her. In all, it is a great book, compelling and enjoyable. ..though one does tire of Mary’s contrary attitude and selfishness, and the girls cat fights. ..even if John finds them entertaining. I shall begin the final instalment to the trilogy tomorrow. Check it out!
Review ‘This is the sequel to The Jarrow Lass; and A Child of Jarrow is just as compelling.’ Sunderland Echo. ‘The Jarrow Lass was inspired by Catherine Cookson’s grandmother. This follows into the next generation, with Cookson’s mother and the childhood of the great novelist herself. It is a winner.’ The Bookseller. ‘Brings early 20th century Jarrow vividly to life. A smashing read.’ Lancashire Evening Post –This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
A Child of Jarrow Hardcover – Import, 2002 by Janet MacLeod Trotter (Author) Review
A Child of Jarrow, the second book in the Jarrow Trilogy, tells the story of famous author Catherine Cookson’s mother, Kate, and the shame she must face from her family and neighbors when she returns home pregnant and unmarried. As you read the account of what Kate had to endure, you experience the pain and suffering right along with her. You even understand her plunge into alcoholism to cope with the ridicule she faces from an unforgiving mother and step-father. When you finish reading this book, you will be thinking of Kate and her circumstances as if she is a dear friend whom you’d like to help. You will quickly want to read the last book of the trilogy to see how she and her daughter, Catherine, manage to survive the prejudices they suffer throughout their lives. Janet Macleod Trotter is a wonderful storyteller! -Read Reviews-
Don’t expect a "feel good book" because this trilogy is not that way. It is written well, but is based on the life of Catherine Cookson (Author) and her life was hard. It doesn’t sugar coat anything. I read for a certain "feel" and because her writings in this series are depressing to me, I won’t read this author again. However, it was hard to put these books down because they are interesting, how be-it depressing. Nothing good seems to develop for long, then back to extreme hard times.