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‘The Mersey Mistress’ by Sheila Riley

The Mersey Mistress: The start of a brand new gritty series for 2021 (Reckoner's Row) by [Sheila Riley]

Synopsis

1910 LIVERPOOL DOCKS
Ruby Swift is a hard-working, straight-talking woman of substance who does not suffer fools gladly,
But when tragedy strikes on a bitter Christmas Eve, Ruby and her beloved husband Archie take matters into their own hands when a trusted employee’s house is mysteriously engulfed by flames and lives are lost.
Orphaned by the fire, Ruby welcomes heartbroken sixteen-year-old Anna Cassidy, into her home but is unable to save Anna’s twelve-year-old brother Sam, who is sent by the Church to Canada as a Homeboy.
Can Ruby help mend a broken heart and can these two children ever be reunited or is there another higher game in play?

My Review

I have been a fan of Sheila’s work for a little while now.  I read, loved and reviewed her two previous books called ‘The Mersey Orphan’ and ‘The Mersey Girls’.  So when I heard that she was due to release another book, I knew that I had to read it as soon as I could.  Well ladies and gents the wait is over because Sheila’s new book called ‘The Mersey Mistress’ was released on 6th April 2021.  It is another corker of a read, which I thoroughly enjoyed but more about that in a bit.

 I loved the character of Ruby Swift and I took to her from the start.  In fact she began to feel more like a friend than a character in a book.  She hasn’t had it easy herself as events happened in her past that led to her having to move away and create a new life for her and her husband.    Ruby hasn’t let it keep her down as she and her husband have made a success of things.  Her success hasn’t changed her and she has been known to help those in need.  She has known hardship herself and she can’t bear to see others suffer.  Ruby is a kind, compassionate, sensitive young woman.  She doesn’t suffer fools gladly and she won’t take any nonsense from anybody.

It’s no word of a lie when I say that I was drawn to this book by the fact that I saw Sheila Riley’s name on the cover of the book.  The synopsis left me wanting more and I dived straight into the story.  To say that reading ‘The Mersey Mistress’ became addictive is a huge understatement.  I picked the book up only intending to read a chapter or two but I ended up becoming so wrapped up in the story that I was still sat there reading over half a dozen chapters later.  ‘The Mersey Mistress’ developed a hold over me and it was a hold that I wasn’t willing to break.  Despite my best efforts to ration how much I read in one go to prolong my enjoyment of the book, I finished reading ‘The Mersey Mistress’ in just under 12 hours.

‘The Mersey Mistress’ is superbly written but then I think the same to be true of Sheila’s work in general.  Sheila has a writing style that is easy to take to and easy to get used to.  She certainly grabbed my attention and drew me into what proved to be a compelling and emotional read.  Sheila describes Merseyside so well that I feel as though I know the place without ever having visited.  I hope that makes sense.  I felt as though I was part of the story and that’s thanks to Sheila’s very vivid and realistic storytelling.

In short, I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘The Mersey Mistress’ and I would definitely recommend it to other readers.  I will certainly be reading more of Sheila’s work in the future.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.

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