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Miss Appleby's Academy [Kindle Edition]

Elizabeth Gill
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (551 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.99
Kindle Price: £4.49 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

Emma Appleby's arrival in the County Durham village of Tow Law is sudden and mysterious, provoking deep suspicion in the locals. And because she has a child with her, seemingly out of marriage, they want nothing to do with her - except for pub landlord Mick Castle. When Emma opens an academy and sets herself up in competition with the local school, she provokes a savage response from the community. But she will not be deterred - even when her past catches up with her and Mick is forced to choose between family and love.

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Product Description


'Original and evocative - a born storyteller' Trisha Ashley.

'Elizabeth Gill writes with a masterful grasp of conflicts and passions hidden among men and women of the wild North Country' Leah Fleming.

'An enthralling and satisfying novel that will leave you wanting more' Catherine King.

From the Back Cover

1906. Emma Appleby's arrival in the County Durham village of Tow Law is sudden and mysterious. The locals are deeply suspicious, and the fact she has a child with her, seemingly out of marriage, means they want nothing to do with her - except for publican Mick Castle. His marriage to Isabel is deeply troubled and his daughter Connie is running wild, and Emma offers him a lifeline. As Emma opens her Academy, to help children such as Connie, she is met with a savage response from the community. But she will not be deterred - even when her past catches up with her, and Mick is forced to choose between family and love.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1227 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (31 Jan. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009P1WEL8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (551 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,335 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Elizabeth Gill was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and as a child lived in Tow Law, a small mining town on the Durham fells where her family owned a steelworks. She has been a published author for more than thirty years and has written more than forty books.She lives in Durham City and loves the theatre and cinema, good food and wine and the Durham dales where she goes to write in the summer. She likes the awful weather in the north east and writes best when rain is lashing the windows.

She has written several trilogies, some of which will be released as Kindle editions by Quercus next year and available on Amazon and other sites.
You don't have to read the books in order but just to let you know that there are three trilogies.

Swan Island, Silver Street and Sweet Wells revolve around a steel foundry, run by David Black. Swan Island is his wife's story, Silver Street his sister's and Sweet Wells his secretary's story. These book are based on true life events set before during and after World War Two and were all about the author's family.

The other trilogy begins with Shelter from the Storm, The Homecoming and When Day is Done. The Homecoming is actually the last in the trilogy but was written second. All the books stand alone. Shelter from the Storm should be read first.

Paradise Lane is followed by Snow Hall and it's better to read them that way round because the characters from the first book appear in the second. There is a third to this trilogy which is not yet out as an ebook. It's called Dragon's Field. It's best to read them in order.

Where Curlews Cry is a modern novel about three women whose various partners are killed in a train crash and what they do after that. The novel is set around the solicitor they have in common, Sam Browne.

Dream Breakers was set in the 1970s and is the story of a lad who gave up everything, including the girl he loved, to become a successful footballer player in the days when celebrity football was just beginning.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miss Appleby's Academy 13 Oct. 2013
By Helga
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love this real feel good story, when everything starts coming together for this lady who fought so many hardships.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A nice if predictable story 10 Nov. 2013
By D Payne
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story centres around Emma who grows up in America. Various events see her travel to the north of England where her family originated from. Emma, needing a job,starts running her own school and despite opposition and prejudice news soon spreads of her academy. The story includes various characters that Emma encounters . Emma emerges as a strong willed woman throughout the book and clearly has a positive influence on all those that come into contact with her. An enjoyable read although it is rather predictable.
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75 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Capturing Characters and History 8 Jun. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Emma Appleby arrives in a small village in County Durham, having made her way across from America. She brings with the a small boy who is not her son and she seems to be looking for something from the past.

The locals are suspicious, they have long memories and feel that they cannot be associated with her. Only one person seems to connect with Emma and that is Mick Castle. But Mick Castle has problems of his own, not only is he trying to run many pubs in the area, where trouble and fighting is commonplace on most nights, he has a wife who never leaves their house and a daughter running wild.

Emma suddenly seems to be the answer to some of his problems. She tackles the domesticity which is missing from one his pubs, The Black Diamond, and wants to help the likes of Connie and channel the energy she has into something else. The opportunity presents itself when a visit with George to the local school, Emma sees how the teaching method leaves a lot to be desired. If she could teach them in her own way in her own academy then maybe she will find her place in life. What she is searching for seems to have alluded her so far, and perhaps the small village so far from America is the perfect place to start.

The characters that Elizabeth Gill has created are intriguing and rather infuriating. Emma's brother Laurence back in America, was instantly dislikeable and the way he deals with his sister as a commodity is shocking perhaps today, but not in 1906. Mick Castle's wife Isabel, has a problem and whilst it is not perhaps apparent, as the book goes on, the author deals with a rather modern issue in a historic setting.
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing read 12 April 2013
By Lally
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It all starts badly for Anglo-American spinster Emma Appleby when her supposedly perfect father dies and leaves everything to her smug, obnoxious brother. When Emma receives an offer of marriage from an older and totally unsuitable man, she realises it's time to make a stand.

She takes her adopted son George (as Emma is a single woman with a child at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries, there are plenty of opportunities for gossip and scandal there), and returns to the North East of England, where businessman Mick Castle is also having a bad time with his alcoholic wife and wayward daughter Connie, who looks nothing like Mick - so we wonder why.

The North East wasn't a prosperous or particularly inviting place at that time. As the local whore tells Emma, there's no living for the likes of us (single/widowed women) except up against a wall. But Emma's not about to start selling her body - with the help of Mick Castle, she opens a school, instead.

There's an attraction between Mick and Emma from the start, but of course he's married and there are going to be plenty of dramas, traumas and a big slice of heartache before they can find happiness.

This novel features a wonderful cast of characters. Mick and Emma are very real, and so are the child George and Nell the fallen woman, whose husband was killed down the pit and thinks all men are bastards really.

Elizabeth Gill is a native of the place about which she writes and she took me there. I could feel the bitter wind off the fells on my own face. When I finished reading, I was quite surprised to find myself back in the 21st century. This is an all-round great read - unreservedly recommended!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shallow story, poorly written 22 Oct. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is clear from the many positive reviews of 'Miss Appleby's Academy', that Elizabeth Gill, the author, has many admiring followers. This is the first of her novels that I have read and I fear, on this showing, I cannot count myself amongst them.

Novels that I enjoy have to have characters whom I believe in, a storyline that is compelling and a writing style that invokes atmosphere and stimulates the senses. This book achieved none of these for me, although again, I note, it clearly worked for many others.

Much of the story is located in the north-east of England, an area that Elizabeth Gill is very familiar with. I too lived there for many years. Yet for me, the setting - its people and its places - was only superficially portrayed - there was none of the spark that others ( Can I offer Catherine Cookson for example?), have managed to capture.

The storyline limped along. It continually offered possibilities, only to disappoint. Right up to the end, I wondered if it might offer more, only for it to arrive at a very weak and abrupt conclusion. And the writing style was often very stilted and awkward.

But most of all, I just could not believe in the characters. They were poorly drawn - not at all like real people past or present. By way of example, could I offer George (the surrogate son of the principal character Emma). For the first third of the novel, I simply could not work out how old he was meant to be. Eventually, we are told he has reached the age of 13. Yet thereon, he behaves like few other emerging adolescents I have ever met.

Not for me, I am afraid.
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