This story of a poor working-class family begins in the squalid setting of Ancoats, Manchester, in 1897. When 11-year-old Kate’s father dies of consumption, the family are catapulted into destitution and the workhouse. Kate is fortunate to go to an industrial school where she learns the skills she will need for a life in service. At 14 she finds a position as a maid in the Lamport-Smythe household where she stays for five years.Kate’s only desire is to unite her family under one roof and return to the loving family life she had known before her father’s death. This she manages to do, but gradually she becomes disillusioned with her mother and her stepfather’s drinking and decides to make her own happiness. This book does have an almost documentary feel of the time, with references to the suffragette movement, the death of the Queen and the First World War - and just how these developments affected the lives of the poor.
- Publishing Details:
- Headline, 2001