Book review: A Mother's Grace by Rosie Goodwin
Master storyteller Rosie Goodwin returns with the latest compelling tale in her popular Days Of The Week family saga series which features emotional, action-packed dramas and has won the hearts of readers everywhere.
A former social worker and foster mother, Goodwin has written over 20 beautiful sagas, and was awarded the rights to follow three of the late, great Tyneside writer Catherine Cookson’s trilogies with her own sequels.
However, the countryside around Nuneaton in Warwickshire has always been the inspiration for Goodwin’s own tales of hardship and hope, and here we follow the trials and tribulations of a pious girl from Nuneaton who finds religious inspiration on the beautiful coast of Wales.
In Nuneaton in the closing years of the 19th century, Grace Kettle knows nothing but love from her mother Madeline and their warm, caring and reliable housekeeper Mrs Batley, but her bullying and cold-hearted father, Judge Jacob Kettle, casts a long shadow over their lives.
As Grace grows into a gentle and devoutly religious young woman, the atmosphere at home becomes darker and more threatening, and her mother, increasingly frail and suffering from a serious heart condition, sends her daughter to stay with her Aunt Gertie in the coastal town of Pwllheli in Wales.
There she meets the Penlynns, a family which has long earned its living from the sea, and for the first time, Grace learns what it is to enjoy freedom by the sea and among the beautiful Welsh valleys and pastures.
But Grace is drawn to the convent on the clifftop and the life of the nuns who work there, and makes the enormous decision to join the Catholic faith and devote herself to God’s service as a nun.
However, her faith is tested to the limit when, as a young postulant, she meets and falls in love with the dashing priest Father Luke Hughes. Grace and Luke make a scandalous choice but soon she knows it’s a choice that may well lead to a lifetime of seeking forgiveness.
Cast out, Grace turns for solace and security to her childhood friend, Dylan Penlynn in Wales, but Dylan is not the man she had thought and soon she is forced to flee his clutches and try to find the happiness that has so far eluded her…
Goodwin is at always her best when writing about the realities of life for women 100 years ago, the joys of friendship, and the strength that comes from close family relationships.
Packed with Goodwin’s warmth, wisdom and insight, this rollercoaster story of betrayal, forbidden love, temptation and redemption is the perfect Mother’s Day gift for all fans of romance and drama.
(Zaffre, hardback, £12.99)