Sarah’s Story: An emotional family saga that you won’t be able to put down (The Mill Valley Girls)

Written by Lynne Francis
Review by Marilyn Sherlock

This is a heart-warming story of a young girl, set in the Manchester area. Sarah meets Joe Bancroft when she is in her late teens and falls in love with him. They marry, and she is soon the mother of a baby girl. Joe works on the narrow boats on the canal while Sarah lives with her grandmother, her mother and two sisters having moved to Manchester. The story follows Sarah’s life in the village of Northwaite where her grandmother is the local herbalist.

The book is well-written, and it is easy to empathise with the characters. However, apart from the dates, set between 1874 and 1890, there is nothing to define it as an historical novel. It is set against no historical events nor does it feature any historical figures, and I can see no reason at all for it being cast in this particular genre. It would fit better as a romance. It does refer to the Lancashire cotton mills from time to time, but it could be set any time anywhere. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it as a tale of the ups and downs of the life of one family.