Big congratulations to Laura Wilkinson whose book, ‘Crossing the Line’ (previously called ‘Public Battles, Private Wars’) is out today in paperback, published by Accent Press. I just love that cover.
I read ‘Public Battles, Private Wars’ a few years ago and am posting my review again. First though lets look at what ‘Crossing the Line’ is about.
Miner’s wife Mandy Walker lives a quiet life. She’s hopeless at everything apart from looking after her boys and baking. Life is fine.
But she knows it could be better.
Her husband’s a drinker and best friend Ruth is busy with a teaching career. Mandy dreams of a different life – an impossible, unachievable life. Only Ruth’s husband Dan believes in her and, after serving during the Falklands war, he’s damaged.
But when the men come out on strike, Mandy joins a support group. She finds friends and strength in surprising places. And secrets and enemies where she least expected them.
Mandy must decide which side of the line to stand on and determine her fate.
‘Crossing the Line’ is set in Yorkshire, Fenley Down in the 1980’s, and tells the story of the miners’ strike.
Mandy is 23 years old, married to Rob who works in the mines, and has children. Mandy feels as if she is stuck in a rut and wants to do more. However, a life as a housewife and bringing up the children seems inevitable. Mandy’s childhood friend, Ruth, who left Fenley years ago, returns with her Falkland’s war hero husband, Dan. But something just doesn’t add up and Ruth isn’t the person she appears to be.
Conflict with the Coal Board turns to war and the men go out on strike. The community and its whole way of life is badly threatened and Mandy finds herself joining the Fenley Action Group (FAG) which gives her a whole lot of confidence. As the strike goes on relationships are tested and Mandy discovers just who her true friends are.
This book is just so different from Laura Wilkinson’s debut novel. I really enjoyed it and I liked her writing style. I could actually hear the Yorkshire accent. Whilst this story was about the miners’ strike it also took a good look at the people affected by it and their families, bringing with it a couple of interesting plots.
Mandy was one of my favourite characters. She was of strong character no matter what life threw at her and a woman to be admired. The cakes she baked and the descriptions throughout the book are enough to make anyone’s mouth water.
I give this book 5 out of 5.
‘Crossing the Line’ is available to purchase from Amazon UK:-
About Laura Wilkinson
Laura Wilkinson is a feminist and lover of ginger hair. A resident of an unfashionable quarter of Brighton, she likes to write stories which entertain and provide food for thought. Her novels are Crossing the Line, The Family Line, Redemption Song and Skin Deep. Her work has been described variously as ‘compelling’, ‘poignant’, and ‘emotional’. Alongside writing, she works as an editor and mentor, and speaks at events nationwide. She has a passion for fashion and anything which glitters. In another life, she’d make a good magpie.
Website – http://laura-wilkinson.co.uk/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/ScorpioScribble