Friday, 10 November 2017

Ella's Journey by Lynne Francis

Ella is trying to put the past behind her, but the past won’t always stay hidden.

The truth is, Ella is hiding from a scandal. A scandal that drove her family out of their beloved Lane End Cottage in the tiny Yorkshire village they had lived in all their lives. A scandal that her sister Alice was blamed for.

But Alice is no longer here. So it’s up to Ella to pick up the pieces and do the best she can for the family she loves so dearly.

Ella’s luck finally changes when she gains work in service at Grange House, a gentleman’s residence on the outskirts of York. But can Ella keep her position there? Or will she follow in her elder sister’s footsteps…

I love a good trilogy, it means I can revisit the characters in a book I have grown to love. Ella's Journey,a debut novel by Lynne Francis is part of a trilogy called The Mill Valley Girls and I'm looking forward to the second book.

Set in Yorkshire just before,during and after the First World War this book is a story of love,injustice,class, but most of all it's about families. 
Leaving her mother and siblings behind in their small Yorkshire village  Ella has to take up a position in a big house on the outskirts of York. Ella's family is poor,living in a small cottage and relying on money sent back to them from Ella. 

She can't believe the grandeur of the big house as she is shown the rooms she will clean and lay fires in. I almost felt I was there myself while reading the description of the house. I could feel Ella's sadness at missing her family and being thrust into a strange environment. She settles in but fears that the scandal her sister was implicated in back home may be found out by her employers.

War comes along and changes things. Male servants  leave to fight, females join the land army or leave to work in munition factories for better pay. The rich families are having to learn that they can't have it all their own way any more as class barriers are broken down.
I really enjoyed this story. It did take a few chapters for me to settle into it but after that I couldn't put it down. Quite a surprising ending rounded it off for me.
 A really great first novel by Lynne Francis and I'm looking forward to book two in the trilogy. 

In Kindle ...99p..... and paperback

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