Hey mersquad coven!
I was blessed with a physical copy of this novel for this blog tour and I’m so excited that I get to share my thoughts on this! Thank you so much to Rachel’s Random Resources, and to the team at Allison & Busby for sending me this copy!
The Poor Relation
by Susanna Bavin
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Release Date: May 23, 2019
Genre: Historical Fiction
1908, Manchester. Mary Maitland is an attractive and intelligent young woman determined to strike out on her own and earn a living. Finding work at a women’s employment agency, her creative talent is soon noticed and Mary begins writing articles for newspapers and magazines.
But being of independent and progressive mind are troublesome traits when those you hold dear must constantly live up to the expectations of the well-to-do family to which they are linked. With increasing pressures from the powers that be, can Mary find the fine line between honouring her family and honouring herself?
Susanna Bavin has worked as a librarian, an infant school teacher, a carer and a cook. She lives on the beautiful North Wales coast, but her writing is inspired by her Mancunian roots. She also writes as Polly Heron.
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources and Allison & Busby for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
Of course, this novel takes place during a time before the women’s suffrage movement truly came to pass, but it was in the works. So that’s what the gif is for above, because that’s what I immediately thought of – even though this takes place in the UK rather than the US. But still some of what happened were similar, so it’s good to note.
I enjoyed this story of Mary and her journey in wanting to live a life that was more than what she was given. I like that she wasn’t just satisfied with not being able to chase her dreams, and learns how to deal with everything going on. It makes me appreciate the kinds of freedoms that women have today, even though it’s not nearly enough but that’s a conversation for another time.
I think that Balvin did a great job with this novel, and really gave me some insight into how some of the more “misbehaved” women during this time would have been like if I got to meet them. It gave me some hope, and when you read it, you may feel something similar by the time you get to the ending.