Wednesday, June 21, 2017
The Penny Heart by Martine Bailey
This was a total cover grab from the library. I saw the colours of the cover and then the title and upon reading the back, I was determined to read this book.
The Penny Heart is about the lives of two women in1850's England. One was to be put to death for a minor crime and the other was simply to get out from under her father's rule and begin a life of her own. Mary, the woman who was almost hanged but spared death and instead sent away to "the ends of the earth" vowed to return to England and seek revenge on the man who testified and sent her away. Grace is the woman who marries the man that sent Mary to the gallows. I won't say more, but it's a really intricate story.
I liked this book but at the same time, it was a little long for me. It took me a lot longer than some books to get through it, and although I am happy I finished it, it felt very long. There were so many details in the stories of these women and what transpires, that I think at times perhaps it was a little bit more complicated than it needed to be.
There were a lot of interesting and captivating moments, including during the last 50 or so pages. By the end I was glued to the page, and I knew that this kind of thing was coming and I knew that it would be worth the wait to read till the end.
The thing is I found myself feeling for both of these women although I knew that there was vengeance and deceit going on. Grace was often so naive and and silly at times, but yet, I still worried for her. This book was very well written.
Recommendation: I don't know if this book is for the casual reader. This story is long and detailed, and probably should only be read by those prepared to go the distance with it. the story is worth the wait though.