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Saturday, 22 September 2012

Annie Murray - Water Gypsies

reviewed live on show by Maggie Perkovich 20th Sept 2012 This author has written many books, mostly set in Birmingham. This one starts in 1942 and has the story of families working the canals on the narrowboats, and in particular Maryann Bartholomew who has left life in Birmingham to live with Joel on the Esther Jane. The backbreaking work and constant childbearing brings her to breaking point and as the trauma of her tragic life as a child comes back to haunt her with the appearance of her stepfather whose abuse and ill treatment to her and her siblings looks likely to continue, especially when her husband suffers an accident which lays him up for months or longer. Luckily two girls come to help, wartime volunteers and eager to both help and befriend her in her time of trouble. Unwilling at first to admit them to her world, Maryann comes to depend on their kindness and strength. This is the second book in the series and references to characters in the first "adventure" abound in this edition. Although the information about life on the canal boats is interesting the actual story line I found rather unpleasant and was quite pleased to finish with a resonably happy ending. I am sure however a lot of people would enjoy this book and look forward to more of the same. Maggie Perkovic.

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