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4.6 out of 5
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  • A heartbreaking story

    The Child from the Ash Pits by Chrissie Walsh takes us back in time to 1926. Cally Manfield is nine years old when her mother passes away and her life changes forever. The Child from the Ash Pits takes us from 1926 through the end of World War II. Despite her humble beginnings, Cally was determined to get ahead. There were numerous obstacles put in her path. Cally had a horrible stepmother who intensely disliked her and a father who failed to stand up for her. She is intelligent and worked diligently on her studies. Cally is tested throughout her whole life, but she perseveres thanks to her strength and determination. A saying of her mother’s guides Cally. It is “Happiness doesn’t find you; you make your own.” The beginning is incredibly heartbreaking (have a box of tissues nearby). We get to see what it was like living in the shadow of the mines. The air, the filth, and the incredible danger. I found The Child from the Ash Pits to be well-written and the story moved along at an even pace. The characters were developed and suited the time period. I thought the author captured what it was like to live during this era. I do want to let readers know that there is violence in the story along with foul language (a sprinkling). The Child from the Ash Pits is a story that will linger with you long after you finish it. The Child from the Ash Pits is a heart-rending tale with coal calamities, flashy floozies, handsy humans, terrible travesties, and a sympathetic soul.

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  • The child from the ash pitts

    A good changeable story. Strong carachter.lots of changes . First I have read by this author. Would try her again

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  • A historical Saga and a girl rising from poverty.

    Cally Manfield is only eight when her mother Ada dies in childbirth, her father George is a coal miner at Calthorpe Colliery and the general strike has just ended. When, Cally really needs her father's attention, he becomes involved with his sister-in-law Annie and he’s forced to marry her. Annie's a spiteful woman, she hates Cally and makes her life absolutely miserable. She lies to Cally, informs her that her dad doesn’t want her to live at home anymore, and sends her off to work as a maid. Cally works hard, the owner has wondering hands and she's forced to leave. At fourteen Cally’s on her own, the girl who once dreamed of getting a grammar school scholarship, and is now homeless. A kindly couple Dolly and Henry Brook give her a job working in their pub, and she learns a lot about the hospitality industry from them. Mary and Sykes Balmforth, want to open a country house hotel in the Colne Valley, they offer Cally a job, it’s a huge success and Cally finally has stability she's wanted. She keeps in contact with her father George, Annie doesn’t change her ways and he had no idea what his horrible wife had done to his eldest daughter. Cally marries Red Blackstone, they start a family and she continues to work at the hotel. With the threat of war looming, Cally and Red struggle to get over a terrible loss and the last thing Cally wants is to be trapped in a unhappy marriage like her father. The Child From the Ash Pits is a story that spans two decades, about a girl who grew up in poverty, forced to sit outside in the cold by her evil step-mother, despite hardship and constant setbacks, it's amazing what she has accomplished, and her father's proud of her. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, if you like a long historical saga, I highly recommend reading this book and four stars from me

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