The Mersey Mistress by Sheila Riley
1910 LIVERPOOL DOCKS.
Ruby Swift is a hard-working, straight-talking woman of substance who does not suffer fools gladly,
But when tragedy strikes on a bitter Christmas Eve, Ruby and her beloved Archie take matters into their own hands when a trusted employee’s house is mysteriously engulfed by flames and lives are lost.
Orphaned by the fire, Ruby welcomes heartbroken sixteen-year-old Anna Cassidy, into her home and family but circumstances conspire against them and she is unable to save Anna’s twelve-year-old brother Sam Cassidy, who is sent by the Church to Canada as a Homeboy.
Can Ruby help mend a broken heart and can these two children ever be reunited or is there another higher game in play?
Mersey Mistress takes you on a journey to another time, another place. From the banks of the River Mersey to the frozen waters of the Canadian Saint Laurence River.
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It has been a while since I read a saga and I must tell you that I am more than thrilled to have read this amazing book from Sheila Riley. This is my first book from this author and I must say this is one of the most well written sagas I’ve read.
I’m going to be honest and I hate sagas typically! I can remember reading and then watching one in particular when I was younger that just put me off them. Over the years I have given one or two a go and liked them alright. The Mersey Mistress puts all the ones before to shame.
Rowena Ashland her her lover set out on their own when Rowena is banished from her family home when it is discovered that she is pregnant for Archie. That is simply not done in 1892. However banishment isn’t enough, her father forbids her to marry Archie.
Now, I would say at this point who cares what he forbids because you already broke the big rule of no sex before marriage. Yet they don’t marry, instead they set up house and prepare for the birth of their child.
Her father and brother in law steal Rowena’s newborn daughter so that Giles (the brother in law) and her sister can raise the child as their own. Can I just say I hate Rowena’s father?
But unbeknownst to them, her father and her barren younger sister’s husband conspired to steal away Rowena and Archie’s little girl when she was barely ten days old for May and Giles to raise as their own, leaving Rowena distraught. She vowed to never forgive her father…or Giles Harrington.
If all of that doesn’t seem like enough years later Ruby (as Rowena goes by now) takes in Emma Cassidy to work for her. One day when Emma doesn’t show up but her daughter Anna does Ruby knows there is something wrong. When more trouble arrives for young Anna, Ruby knows she has to help.
There is so much more that happens in this book but I feel like saying anything more would be giving stuff away. This book made me feel so many things. I cried when Rowena’s baby is taken, when everything that goes on with Anna seems like too much. However I celebrated their good times as well. This is a book that will leave you all the feels but mostly with awed by the words and imagination that this author has accomplished.