Title: The Mule Spinners' Daughters: The Runaway from the Altar
Author: G. J. Griffiths
About the Author: G. J. Griffiths is a retired science teacher in the UK. He writes children's sci-fi stories and his first novel was Fallen Hero.
Other Books by This Author: Fallen Hero. So What! Stories or Whatever. Ants in Space. They're Recycling Aliens. The Quarry Bank Runaways. Mules; Masters & Mud
Series: Tales of Quarry Bank Mill (Book 3)
Available: Amazon, Kindle
Medium: Kindle on iPhone
No. of Pages:
Original Publishing Year: 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Age Rating: 16+
Positive Review: I was interested in the story from the start. This book had titled chapters and that was appreciated. The phonetic dialogue enhanced my engagement as I could better imagine the characters. I liked the romance, which wasn't overwhelming but still had its drama. There were characters I liked and those whom I didn't, necessary in any good book (it's relatable to only like some and dislike others). I love the character development in this novel. The characters grew together and overcame difficult situations, becoming stronger or more accepting. I was never confused about the storyline. I understood what was going on and could easily follow the flow of the novel. I enjoyed seeing events I originally perceived as unnecessary later contributing to the overall plot. It was interesting to see everything come together towards the end.
Negative Review: I wasn't a huge fan of the writing style. I found myself mentally adding punctuation here and there, although that is just my personal punctuational preference. I did find a mistake where a quotation mark was added when there should have been none. I also noted an error of gender when the feminine "fiancée" was used instead of the masculine "fiancé" in reference to Sebastian. There were times when I was a bit lost trying to keep all the characters and their backstories straight. The focus also changed too quickly and too often between characters. I would have liked a notice, a paragraph space or chapter title, that alerted me of whom the story was to focus on. There were also a few flashbacks in the beginning, the characters' backstories, that confused me for a minute, as there was no separation between the story unfolding and those past moments. I would have liked to see a divide between the present story and flashbacks, such as a paragraph space or change in font. Some few phrases confused me, "typical collection of male humanity," and really just left me thinking, "What?". But this was just the author's writing style, and I suppose it just wasn't for me. I was also confused at times about the plot. There was just so much going on and I didn't know if there were characters I should be focusing on more than others or if I just needed to step back and see where it went. I didn't fully connect or get immersed in the novel.
Overall Review: There was quite the number of characters and I worried in the beginning if I would remember them all. But as the story unfolded and each character's uniqueness was revealed, it became easier to remember who was who and how they were all connected. There was a good amount of kinesthetic imagery but I would have preferred a little more visual for the characters in the beginning. The third-person omniscient narrative style made it difficult to discern who the story was focusing on at times, but I enjoyed being able to read from all perspectives. I do prefer novels that focus on one character at a time, but this was interesting. It's not often I read a book with this POV. The structure of the story was mostly easy to follow. I did like how the story began at the wedding and then went back to before the wedding took place. It gave me an idea of what was to come but left me in suspense as to why and how it came to pass. One issue I had while reading was that there was just so much going on, with all the characters and all their personal stories. But all these winding paths eventually connected and made it worth the read. There were times when I was engaged and times when I was not. Overall, this was a good book, although I don't think I will be re-reading it in the future. It had an interesting plot and good character development. I'm also wondering if the ending implied a fourth book to the series, as the last sentence seemed significant.
“… Sebastian said: But there is an obstacle, a principle of hers that she’s read of in a book by a woman called Mary Wollstonecraft...”
“… Women should be wives and companions to their husbands…”
Did Wollstonecraft, the mother of Mary Shelley, author of ‘Frankenstein’, fill the farm girl’s head with too many ideas of feminism?
When Sally Sefton runs away from Sebastian at the altar on her wedding day there is a desperate chase to find her. Some of her friends think they know why she ran. But only Cathy Priestley thinks she knows where. Her chief bridesmaid suspects Sally may have joined the Christian Israelites. Will they find her before the group sails on a missionary tour abroad? The split causes a bitter dispute between Sebastian and Wesley, her brother. While feelings are running so high there seems to be no hope of reconciliation between the families.
*summary is from Amazon and information on author from back cover of novel
*This novel came directly from the author but has in no way affected the honesty of this review