Firstly I wish to thank Sarah Hardy, representing Bookouture, for inviting me on the Blog Tour for The Midwives of Lark Lane by Pam Howes
All’s fair in love and war… but what happens when the war is over?
After the heartbreak of World War Two, newlywed midwife Cathy hoped Liverpool life would offer some joy. But a terrible miscarriage and the escape of her abusive stepfather Jack from prison make happiness hard to find.
Meanwhile, Cathy’s beloved granny is ailing. Whilst at the hospital, Cathy sees her midwifery friends, who are planning to open a home for unmarried mothers. After losing a baby of her own Cathy would love to help, but for now, she must take care of her grandmother.
As her grandmother’s health worsens, she writes Cathy a letter. The day her granny dies, Cathy goes home and opens the envelope: Thank you for giving me a reason to live. Everything I have in the world is yours now, my darling. Cathy is devastated but determined to honour her granny’s memory, hoping the maternity home can be her legacy.
Just as Cathy and her friends are about to open their doors to the first expectant mothers, Jack is spotted in Liverpool. It’s only a matter of time until her cruel stepfather catches up with her, determined to pay her back for getting him locked up in prison. Can Cathy keep herself and her grandmother’s legacy safe, and see Jack sent away for good at last?
The Midwives of Lark Lane is a heart-wrenching saga about how the best friendships can help you through the worst of times. If you’re a fan of Nadine Dorries, Diney Costeloe and Kitty Neale, you’ll love Pam Howes!
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
Although this is the latest book in the Lark Lane series, it is my first. Pam Howes gave plenty of background on the characters so I felt well and truly familiar with all of them in this story. The story centres around Cathy, who is newly married to Gianni. They have a little girl and have joined Gianni’s family on the road as part of the travelling fairground, where he rides a motorbike as part of a duo with his dad on the Wall of Death. It may have sounded romantic but it is noisy, smelly and Cathy misses home.
As new circumstances develop it is thought best that she and her daughter return to Lark Lane for the winter. Cathy eventually returns to her training to become a nurse, then a midwife. I loved this side of the story and all the shockingly different attitudes that were around then if a young unmarried girl became pregnant. There was a terrible stigma not just to the girl but the reputation of the family too. Cathy and her fellow midwife friends are quite a force to be reckoned with as they are determined to change things.
There is also a secondary storyline which follows Jack, Cathy’s ex-step-dad. A real nasty piece of work, brutal, vicious and determined to ruin the family in every way possible. There are some amazing characters and a real feel of how it used to be back in the 60s, with some neighbours being just as close as family. Women still had little say in anything then but things were gradually changing.
A super story that has the good guys, the villans and a new generation of determined and strong-willed women. Super!
I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
HERE, IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pam Howes was born in Cheshire. She is an ex Interior Designer who began writing seriously in the mid-nineties. The idea for her first novel, set in the sixties, was inspired by her time as a teenager, working in a local record store and hanging around with musicians who frequented the business. That first novel evolved into a series set in the fictional town of Pickford, based on her home town of Stockport. Three Steps to Heaven; ‘Til I Kissed You; Always On My Mind; Not Fade Away, and That’ll Be The Day, follow the lives and loves through the decades of fictional Rock’n’Roll band The Raiders. Pam is a big fan of sixties music and it’s this love that compelled her to write the series. A stand-alone true-life romance, Fast Movin’ Train, set in the nineties, was published in early 2012. Pam is mum to three adult daughters, grandma to seven assorted grandchildren, and roadie to one musician partner.