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THE FEN TIGER by Catherine Marchant



Pub Date: June 22nd, 1979
Publisher: Morrow

Catherine Marchant is Catherine Cookson, of course, and this is a 1963 manifestation of the Tyneside minstrel's favorite formula: domestic snarl and showdown (often violent), followed by a Santa-Claus finish with riches and romance for all the good people. The locale is the bleak fens of the English countryside, and the ""Fen Tiger"" is gruff Michael Bradshaw, who initially irritates his neighbor--nearly penniless Rosamund Morley, sole support and comfort of her alcoholic father and beautiful sister Jennifer. The Morleys are ""on their uppers,"" as is ""Tiger"" Michael when he first returns to his farm with his adored ""Mongol"" child Susie. Eventually Rosamund and the Tiger purr into marriage, but on their wedding night, alas, Michael's ex-wife, believed dead, returns upon learning that Michael has inherited a fortune (his wealthy relatives have conveniently drowned). The demented ex-wife tries to do in her own child Susie (whom she loathes) and Rosamund; but fortunately she succeeds only in doing in herself Now the Bradshaws and Morleys are in the clear, in the money, and in the pink: Jennifer has her romance, and Father will have a new business to distract him from the bottle. No Geordie gab this time, but just as sunshine bright as the Mary Ann sagas.