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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.4 out of 5
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  • Uplifting, yet heartbreaking

    The Hat Girl from Silver Street by Lindsey Hutchinson grips the heart and gently twists it. This historical fiction saga set in 1900 revolves around Ella, a sweet girl taking care of her depressed wheel-chair-bound father. Working in the millinery trade for a witch of a shopkeeper, she is barely holding body, soul, and home together. With help from her father, she sets out to open a shop selling her own creations. Times are so hard in the Black Country, and they scrimp by until fortune begins to smile upon them. Then trouble once again finds poor Ella. Will she be able to overcome the heartbreak that follows her? The cast of characters is well-defined. I promise you will either love or hate them. When I thought it was unrealistic that so much was working out for Ella and her friend Kitty, the rug is pulled out from under them. The subject of depression is artfully woven throughout the story, which had to be accurate in that period of time. Life was so hard for common people. Overall, I enjoyed this novel. It made me laugh, cry, and even talk to the characters a time or two. If historical fiction is your genre, you will love this story. Please don't take my word for it; pick up a copy today and judge for yourself.

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  • The Odds are Against Her

    The Hat Girl From Silver Street by Lindsey Hutchinson is women’s fiction with a lot going on. In fact, it is a lot of things but not any one thing. One could almost consider it a story of friendship, or a historical family drama, or a romance, or a tragedy, or a story of friendship. It is all these things while also being a beautiful inspiring novel celebrating the resilience of the human spirit and the determination to pursue a dream. I was quite taken with the character Ella Bancroft from the beginning. Events made her life one of two steps forward and one step backwards as the sayings goes. Cheerfulness and perseverance were two strong attributes of this character. Her life is not easy in Black Country at the turn of the century. Her approach is admirable and inspiring in what I thought would be a somewhat Cinderella story. Sadly, it is not, the conclusion is not at all what was expected. I truly hope that this is not the last that will be seen of Ella and her friends. The ending was so shocking that I felt that something more must happen to Ella in a future book. Still I loved this story but while Ella accepts her seemingly future life, I cannot but hope for another visit to Ivella’s shop. An ARC of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley which I voluntarily chose to read and reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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  • Unputdownable, woman entrepreneur, Victorian Time

    The story began innocuously, but developed with a burst! Ella Bancroft is one of the the most resilient women of her time. She faces adversity with such vigilience that she is an amazing example for her friends and other young women wanting to start new businesses. Ella opens up a hat business to keep her and her disabled father from being homeless. This plot is one the author takes in so many directions that you can’t put it down because you will become so invested in Ella and her life choices that you will need to know the outcome. I definitely would recommend this book! I received a free advanced copy from NetGalley and these are my willingly given thoughts and opinions.

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  • Insightful, Hopeful and Refreshingly Wholesome

    Set in 1900 Walsall, this sweet yet achingly heartbreaking story is about Ella, a young woman who leaves her job as a milliner where she is underappreciated, encouraged by her kind father who sees her true worth. He is in a wheelchair and feels useless until he discovers a rare talent and reason to smile. Leaning on each other, they set up shop together. Ella was ten when her mother died and she and her father are very close. During this time Ella discovers love and friendship and unspeakable sorrow and remains steadfast. Ella's sister, Sally, could not be more different and this causes tension. Sally's husband is also a source of stress. There are secrets, betrayals and deceptions as well as unexpected twists right to the very end in this touching and wholesome story. The subplots are compelling, too. I love the historical details, not just physical such as the hats but those of emotions and propriety. Beautifully done. The author is insightful and thoughtfully portrays the human spirit. She is a fabulous storyteller and has a stunning way of knitting pieces together. Historical Fiction and Women's Fiction readers really should read this refreshingly lovely, lovely book. You will feel a range of emotions...allow yourself to get fully lost in it. Oh, how I loved it! My sincere thank you to Boldwood Books and NetGalley for the pleasure of reading this heartrending book. I loved it very much.

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  • Excellent

    I loved this story ___ strong characters, engaging plot and a few twists and turns! Couldn't put it down, even though I should have been sleeping. 😃 I thought this was one of Ms Hutchinson ' s best novels.

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