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Please, mail us with any questions. Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. We are not responsible for delays due to customs. Secure options with multiple payment gateways logo. For the first hundred or so pages Riah traipses around the The Black Velvet Gown reads almost like two different books as it appears to be separated into parts. For the first hundred or so pages Riah traipses around the countryside with her four children in tow trying to find work.
After a long journey she manages to take up the role of a housekeeper at Moor House. However the master is a strange, mysterious fellow, a past tutor that has now focused all his energies on drinking and becoming a recluse. Just as the story had begun to read like an alternate version of Jane Eyre, Catherine Cookson threw in one of her infamous twists. Master Miller is no romantic lead, that's one thing for sure , nor is he a Mr Rochester in disguise.
He is revealed to be dark and twisted, and far beyond repair. Due to unfortunate circumstances Riah finds herself bound to Moor House and Master Miller despite her strong desire to leave. As a reader I actually found her reason for staying frustrating, and without giving too much away, I know that if it were me in that position no man such as Mr Miller could keep myself nor my children under his roof.
We then fast forward to Biddy who has grown into a determined, well spoken and intelligent young lady. Unfortunately her ability to recite Shelley's poetry doesn't go down too well amongst the gentry when she joins a wealthy household as their lowly laundry maid. Her intellect irks her superiors and she suffers because of it.
Thankfully though there is one upper-class man who takes a shine to her passion for language and literature, and in him she finds the strength to allow her true self to show without shame. After having read The Black Velvet Gown I think the basis for a great book is there however Cookson didn't quite reach the mark. As an author I believe she becomes a little too focused on being original and therefore has her characters play out some questionable life choices.
I noticed the same thing when I read The Dwelling Place. She seems obsessed with tricky relationships, the typical boy meets girl but something stands in their way of happiness kind of saga. Either way I did enjoy this book but obviously not enough for I've only given it 3 stars. This is one of Ms Cookson's lengthier and better known works. The central character is a housemaid in a big country manor who has, unusually, been taught to read.
At this time only senior staff like the butler and housekeeper are expected to be literate so it comes as something of a shock when the girl is able to sign her name in thanks for a Christmas gift from her employers.
Literate understaff are not desirable - they might read private correspondence, diaries, business papers. The wealthy th This is one of Ms Cookson's lengthier and better known works. The wealthy think that what to them is an asset, becomes a liability in the servants. The tale continues from there and shows a few different sides of life in the northern counties. I found this a fine historical romance with drama, well-researched settings and relatable characters. I really liked this story for its depiction of life in England during the s and for the differences in the class system.
It taught me that the upper classes believed that God made the poor the way they were in order to serve the upper class. It was inconceivable for those in the lower order to learn to read and write. I really like strong willed, intelligent Biddy and I always had a thing for Laurence. I originally read this book in my early teens and was my first introduction to Catherine C I really liked this story for its depiction of life in England during the s and for the differences in the class system.
I originally read this book in my early teens and was my first introduction to Catherine Cookson. I'm surprised after all these years I haven't read any more of her work and this book won't be my last. Another good book by this author. Also made into a TV series. This is the story of a mother and her daughter, often at odds with each other, facing the need to challenge and fight the prejudices of the 's in the north of England. Now a widow, Riah Millican must look for employment, preferably something that would provide her with a home.
The chance to become a housekeeper didn't work out, but it led to Moor House and a scholarly recluse obsessed with that very book learning th Another good book by this author. The chance to become a housekeeper didn't work out, but it led to Moor House and a scholarly recluse obsessed with that very book learning that could open so many doors and yet create so many problems - especially with her daughter, Biddy, who was not only bright, but wilful too Reading a Catherine Cooksoon book you know just what you are getting and this book is no exception.
It tells the story of Rhia who recently widowed has to leave her miner's cottage with her four children and try and build a new life. Times are tough and jobs hard to find so she has no choice in doing very long hard hours for little money.
The big story is the attitude to the family's ability to read and write which is seen by many as getting above their station. How they get round this is both sad Reading a Catherine Cooksoon book you know just what you are getting and this book is no exception. How they get round this is both sad and inspiring. I think this is the first Catherine Cookson story I have read. Something about the bookcovers I know it's bad. It's mainly about the relationship between a mother and daughter, where they feel their responsibilities lie, and how it completes their relationship.
I enjoyed and could relate to the changes in their relationship as their circumstances changed. When my Nan suggested that I read this I was a little doubtful that it would entertain me, so it was a pleasant surprise that it did and to the point where I wanted to keep reading.
I really loved the character of Biddy and when I go back to my Nan I won't be so doubtful of her other Catherine Cookson recommendations. May 18, Lili rated it liked it Shelves: I read all of Catherine Cookson's books some years ago and enjoyed them immensley. I recently re-read all of them and find that on a second look I found them all so very predictable, and was rather disappointed. However I'm sure that it is my tastes that have changed not the calibre of her story telling.
Sep 06, Joyce rated it liked it. Interesting, but with a strange, sad twist. I always enjoy reading about "ye olde england" because I love learning about the lives of different social classes in those days, and wondering how my ancestors lived. Sep 21, Karen rated it really liked it Recommended to Karen by: Thanks SA for telling me about this author. I really enjoyed this book.
There were no surprises but it twas a very pleasant historical romance. I liked her writing style and character development.
I was hard pressed to really get into it at first. I did really enjoy this book, but I found the end a bit lacking. It seems to wrap up too quickly for how intricate and complex the plot was wound up. I would like this book better if there was a sequel because it really needs one.
The ending just wasn't good enough for the rest of the book. Aug 15, Marcene rated it liked it. I saw a movie based off a novel she wrote and wanted to read one of her novels. The book takes place in the 's in England. It tells of the sacrifice and strength a lower class mother has after her husband passes away.
Jan 20, Kelly Sturmey rated it it was amazing. Jul 02, Sabra rated it it was amazing. I have read almost all of Catherine Cooksons books. I have read them more than once. I enjoy her writing very much! Jun 09, Jayna rated it it was ok. A little too thorn-bird-ish for my taste, but it was okay for a historical romance. Jun 10, Coco Cat rated it it was amazing.
My 1st Catherine Cookson book. I found it very interesting. Aug 24, Christine rated it really liked it. This is my first by Catherine Cookson, but won't be my last. I feared it would be too romancy, but it was a well-researched, interesting story of life in England in the s.
Jan 20, Jen rated it it was amazing. It is a book about the injustices served to different classes of people and the way educating plays a role in the mix.
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