This wonderful book was shortlisted for the 2004 Harry Bowling Prize and it is completely and utterly easy to understand why.
Every Step of the Way transports you back in time to
a life of teddy boys, and where rationing had recently ended. A life where washing machines, televisions, central heating and even an inside toilet were things of luxury, certainly not common-place for an ordinary family in West London. A life in which Beth Brixham lived, working and looking after the rest of her family and experiencing the killer smog in the 1950s. She was a strong and plucky young girl who struggled to survive in a tough, male dominated world.
I must admit that I had picked up this book to start reading and put it back down again a few times, as it was very different to the books I normally read, as I only really read books which are written in current times. How very wrong I was! Once I'd read the first couple of pages I was completely hooked and couldn't put it down.
It was delightfully written, and taught me so much about how tough people were and about the way people lived back in those times which weren't actually that long ago. It made me realise just how lucky we are, living in the here and now and how much we take things for granted. It made me think about the life that my parents had lived and I know just how much my darling Mom would have loved this book if she had been around now to read it. I really felt like I wanted to discuss it with her and ask her loads of questions about how she grew up. Perhaps they have books in heaven - if so, I'd love you to read this Mom!
Well crafted descriptions of both the settings and the characters in this novel truly made the story come to life and feel every emotion that Beth went through in her tough existence. There were some very sad moments in this book, where Beth was so low that she really didn't know how to carry on, yet she pulled herself together and did what she thought was right to survive. A truly amazing character that you wanted to reach out and give a hug to. Kit writes in a way that flows so beautifully throughout the well written plot line that I was really quite disappointed when it came to an end.
A thoroughly enjoyable read, which took me right out of my comfort zone and I was absolutely delighted that it did!
Kit Domino is a very talented lady who is not only an author and poet but also an amazing painter, and you can learn more about her writing and her art at her website www.kit-domino.com. She is also a proof reader and editor - and obviously an expert at time management to fit all of this in!
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