17 November 2018

Book Review: Barefoot on the Cobbles

Today, 17 November, is the official release date of Janet Few's book Barefoot on the Cobbles: a Devon tragedy, based on a real tragedy that lay hidden for nearly a hundred years.
Janet is a well known family and local historian, a rockstar genealogist who has spoken widely internationally including at BIFHSGO. She sent me a pdf copy for review.
I rarely read fiction, and that goes for watching fiction on TV and internet streaming services. There's too much real world for one life. So my review of the book is not informed by knowledge of the genre.
The story paints a picture of family life, the joy of birth, poverty, keeping up appearances, seeking independence, courtship and marriage, death in the family. It climaxes with death of a child, accusation of manslaughter and the subsequent court case at the end of the First World War.
I was drawn in by the portrait of the life and times a century ago on the North Devon coast. Janet understands the way of life and mutual suspicions of the small communities. Janet also drew heavily on newspaper records; a reporter covering the trial is a minor character.
The book will interest the family historian with roots in the area and more so those who enjoy historical fiction. Buy the book and find resources at thehistoryinterpreter.wordpress.com/.

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