by Chris Pearce
Book: Stand Alone
Publisher: Australian eBook Publisher
Pub Date: Dec 2013
Genre: Historical Fiction
Book Links: Goodreads Amazon
Handloom weaver Henry Wakefield, his wife Sarah and their five children live in abject poverty in the Manchester area of the UK in the early 19th century at the time of the Industrial Revolution. Henry hates the new factories and won’t let his family work in them. He clashes with Sarah, a factory agent, a local priest and reformers, and son Albert runs away. The family are evicted and move to Manchester but are even worse off, living in a cellar in a terrace and have another little mouth to feed.
Henry’s love of money overrides his hatred of factories and he starts one of his own, but it is beset with problems. The Wakefields eventually become quite wealthy, but Henry holds the purse strings and this has a devastating effect on the family. Albert is caught stealing and is transported to New South Wales. Her baby’s death, Albert’s unknown fate and society parties become too much for Sarah, who hears voices and is taken to the lunatic asylum. Son Benjamin faces eviction from the family home for having a baby with an orphan girl too soon after their marriage.
Family members, including Sarah who has got out of the asylum and Albert who has returned to England unbeknown to Henry, have had enough and seek revenge.
My Review: So I've started to get into these books with more of an historical aspect to them, and this book is probably the one best I've read so far. The storyline is good and the actual writing of the events and historical part was more realistic written than most and you can actually picture what's going on. I couldn't get into most historical books, mainly because it bored me and some historical things, just shouldn't be made into a book.
Anywho, I had an issue with Henry. Just what can I say? He is annoying and his view on life just made you not like Henry. Pretty much wanted to see him just disappear from the story at time. Then there are the times where you want to root for him. Not so much for him, but for his family. Times are hard for everyone, and Henry and his family are having a hard time. They need more money to get more food and have better conditions. Henry is given a chance to better their lives. Instead he turns down the job because he thinks of it as his enemy. This is where he thinks of scenarios, if he had gotten the job and how it would affect his family.
So I'm happy that Henry loves his family and wants to take care of them. So he starts his own business and eventually the family becomes wealthy. But when you have a lot of money it can do things to you or your family. You have his son stealing, then another son having a kid, oh and his wife goes cray cray......