After reading “Widow Woman” by Sara Fraser, I decided to do a little research into the events that were recorded in this historical novel. To my delight, there are many on-line resources to research this time period in English history and the upheaval that machines were making for the working class who owed their livelihood to the business owners.
In this novel, we follow Tildy, a poor widow as she tries to make a living for herself and her seven year old son. Back from exile in Botany Bay Australia is Daniel Lambert who is trying to overcome his past. Daniel and Tildy decide to make a life together along with Davy and Daniel’s Aunt Esther. He comes back to England to take up his life as a gentleman, but promptly succumbs to the lure of gambling and loses his home and land. Tildy and Daniel become involved in the needle-making machines that are appearing as a result of the industrial revolution of the 1800’s. The violence and chaos of this time in history as a cottage industry evolves into mechanization forms the plot of this novel. I enjoyed reading about this troubling time because Ms. Fraser’s knowledge of this period was evident in her story. She may have changed the spelling of some of the main characters, but some of these were actually names that were prominent in the needle-making industry of that time. My only complaint with the writing was the fact that the dialogue was written so as to reflect the language of the time. It was a detriment to my ongoing reading of the book. I had to stop too many times to fathom what was actually said.
I received a Kindle copy of this book from NetGalley.com in return for my honest review.