From this Day Forward

Written by Beryl Matthews
Review by Kate Pettigrew

London, 1880. Jane Roberts’ no-good husband runs off with another woman and leaves her in the slums in poverty. She resolves to divorce the man she ran away with 16 years ago and build a new life for herself and her children, Helen, Charlie and Joe. They must do what they can to make money to pay the rent and feed themselves. But it is a struggle. They are helped by neighbour Granny Dora Jarvis, whom Joe has befriended. But there is more to Granny Dora than meets the eye, and she is not the only one keeping secrets. Jane turns to lawyer Ian Preston to help her with her divorce, but there is much to her background that she has kept hidden. Will she reveal who she is, and where she really comes from, to all those close to her to get the divorce she so badly wants?

Beryl Matthews’ family saga is an easy read. It describes the family’s journey in their bid to better themselves with lots of almost unbelievable luck along the way. Jane and her children come across as almost too good to be true, and her quest for a divorce seems anachronistic, but if you want escapism and a feel-good story, this is the book for you.