Pride of Lancashire

Written by Anna Jacobs
Review by Sara Wilson

The dirt-poor Prestons have few prospects but many children. Carrie works tirelessly to feed and clothe her siblings, since her father is a drunk and her mother feckless. Eli Beckett is a young man with a great ambition. His uncle’s pub, The Dragon, is little more than a drinking den, but Eli hopes that, with the addition of a music room, it could become a major entertainment venue in the area. There’s just one problem – his uncle’s indecisiveness.

When the Prestons reach their lowest ebb, Eli and his cousin, Joanna, step in with the offer of a job for Carrie – a job that could lift her out of the gutter and into the bright lights of the embryo Music Hall. If only the avariciousness and spite of a certain influential local can be overcome.

Pride of Lancashire is a superior saga set amongst the mill towns of Lancashire in the mid-19th century – an era which saw the birth of the Music Hall and its rapid spread in popularity. This alone makes for an interesting and novel backdrop. Add to this an array of well-rounded characters, a likeable hero and plenty of intrigue, and the result is an appealing read that is bound to satisfy Anna Jacobs’s many fans.