It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Hat Girl from Silver Street by Lindsey Hutchinson.
About the Author
Lindsey Hutchinson is a bestselling saga author whose novels include The Workhouse Children. She was born and raised in Wednesbury, and was always destined to follow in the footsteps of her mother, the multi-million selling Meg Hutchinson. Sign up to her newsletter here
About the book
Life is tough for Ella Bancroft. After her father, Thomas, is wheelchair-bound by an accident at the tube works, the responsibility for keeping a roof over their head falls to Ella. Ella’s mother died when she was ten, and her sister Sally lives with her no-good, work-shy husband Eddy, so is no help at all. If she and her father are to keep the bailiffs from the door, then Ella must earn a living.
But Ella is resourceful as well as creative, and soon discovers she has a gift for millinery. Setting up shop in the front room of their two-up, two-down home in Silver Street, Walsall, Ella and Thomas work hard to establish a thriving business. Before long, the fashionable ladies of the Black Country are lining up to wear one of Ella’s beautiful creations, and finally Ella dares to hope for a life with love, friendship and family.
Meeting the man she longs to marry should be a turning point for Ella, but life’s twists and turns can be cruel. As the winter grows colder, events seem to conspire to test Ella’s spirit. And by the time spring is approaching, will the hat girl of Silver Street triumph, or will Ella have to admit defeat as all her dreams are tested.
Ella works for a pittance, barely enough to feed herself and her father. Her boss thinks nothing of punishing her financially for every tiny mistake she makes, which is probably why she is making so many lately.
Her father is at the core of her future plans, when she discovers she has a knack for millinery. Her discovery is the beginning of a fierce rivalry and a new path that leads her to someone who seems to offer the kind of future she has always wanted, but life is cruel and never very fair.
Kudos for the unexpected ending, which on one hand strays away from the norm of the genre and also leaves the door open for a continuation. The author gives the reader the determination and perseverance of survival and also the barriers between certain groups in society. The poor and the wealthy and never the twain shall meet, then again sometimes they do and now and again love gets in the way.
It’s a story full of hope and strength, as life and society seems determined to undermine and swallow up the less fortunate and smile upon the more fortunate – a systemic lack of equality where strength and the ability to not give up at the first hurdle is synonymous with survival.