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(In the process of gathering reviews.)
Member of the audience: "Fantastic! Never heard anything like it. Loved the story about the Punch and Judy man!"
The following is taken from a review of my 2004 novel, AND FIGHT FOR BREAD by Joan Stockdale
"This is a vividly descriptive book with an exciting storyline.
It is set in Mansfield in 1817, when tradition deemed strong family ties.
Tom Stone is 16 years old. He is an ostler in the stables of Mansfield's Old Eclipse Inn, as were his father and grandfather before him.
But times are hard and life is tough. Tom's brother-in-law, Jonathan Parker, is a framework knitter with very little work and practically no money with which to feed his wife Ann and baby son Caleb, Tom's sister and nephew.
Dialogue contained in AND FIGHT FOR BREAD is written in the rich dialect of Mansfield and Nottingham. This is just what makes this lovely story a unique, exceedingly meaningful and realistic read.
Unspoken text tucks itself so well into the tale that any initial doubt the reader may have experienced is short-lived.
Malcolm Seymour is a talented author who surrounds his characters with action. Indeed, whilst rumour is rife of a national uprising to overthrow the government and the monarchy, Tom's brother Will, acting with the 'Nottinghamshire Militia', is persuading Tom to infiltrate a 'cell' locally.
He becomes acquainted with Jeremiah Brandreth, and when he stows away on a stagecoach to Nottingham he again meets up with the 'Nottinghamshire Captain', creating this section of the book to gather some quite strong text.
On the 'domestic' front, Tom has been accused of pawning a watch. Thus, his departure from Mansfield has more than one reason.
I found this book humbling. In the most beautiful flow of words, Seymour sets some of the scenes amidst the extreme poverty of the time. Ecstasy vies with pride. yes, pride, even in the face of infant starvation, as one finally reads of the happiness of appreciation of the meals which Tom has usually secured honestly!
All in all, this is a book I urge you to read. There are such rich literary pickings to be enjoyed, which will be remembered for a long time to come."
"This looks like great fun; I find the lightness of touch very evocative of the early Dickens/Pickwick Club era. Good luck with this; I am putting on my watchlist until I have room on my bookshelf!" B. Lloyd
Page last updated: 18/04/10
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