THE LOVE CHILD by Catherine Cookson


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 The latest gossip-wallop Cookson novel takes place in an 1880's northern English village, complete with manor house, coal mines, and villagers unusually nasty. Here, Cookson's heroine, born like her siblings on the wrong side of the blanket, goes through the wringer and emerges free and in love. The household of Nathaniel Martell, who lived in sin with his beloved Maria, was a happy one. But outside, in the village at large, the pair's six children were favorite targets. Their neighbors, mean as only Cookson's dolts can be, burnt their barn, crippled their goat, and then, faced down by the family's benefactor, wealthy Miss Netherton, the townsfolk confined themselves to spitting. Why all this? Because Nathaniel's drunken wife lived on. (Even after the wife dies, and Nathaniel and Maria marry, they're still on the town spit-list.) This is mainly the tale of daughter Anna, who teaches at a dreary school with a ruling ogress and tutors the tiny son of Simon Broderick, whose brother manages the mines and whose wife is a (generally screaming) witch. Gentleness comes to Anna with Timothy, Simon's young uncle, doomed to bachelorhood because of his epilepsy. There'll be two deaths, one violent, and some tar-and-feathering, as well as home truths about Anna's Da (Cookson men, ostensibly saintly, never come through with a clean copybook). A happy ending, of course. Cookson in full stride.*justify no*

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-671-72836-9
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1991


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