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4.6 out of 5 stars140
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 13 June 2013
Set in the mid-19th century, this novel centres on the daughter of a village innkeeper whose father dies prematurely and who moves from a largely impoverished rural community in Holderness, Yorkshire to Hull, where her talents have full scope, and a landowner's younger son who trains as a doctor. This is an engaging novel, well-researched, which does not shy away from the appalling conditions of poor people.
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on 16 November 2014
The Inn Keeper's Daughter, once again Val Wood story's hold your interest from beginning to end, you just have to read one more chapter , the story starts in Hull Yorkshire. Where Joe the husband of Sarah is very ill, & not expected to live long, the family are suddenly up routed after their fathers death to another Inn way out in the country & the children's dreams of what they planned for themselves are suddenly shattered, so we follow them through their life & how their life takes on a different path with all the ups & downs .... a brilliant story you will not be disappointed.
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I enjoyed this evocation of the life of innkeeping families in Yorkshire in the nineteenth century. Through the person of Bella, whose father is an inn tenant, we see the rural life as farm labourers are fed and put up during harvest season, travellers are warmed and refreshed, and local people come for a quiet pint and game of dominoes. Innkeeping is profitable enough if the landlord can just refrain from drinking his stock.

With the early death of Bella's father, she, her brothers, little sister and pregnant mother, are left to run the business as best they can. Then her mother becomes homesick for Hull, the port town where she was brought up, and decides to move the family here to take on a pub instead, thus giving us a good contrast.

We also meet a young man James, second son from the manor family, who trains to become a doctor with the aim of helping the people around him, and becomes caught up in the streams of wounded from the Crimean war. Medicine is changing as new treatments and ideas are proven; theories about cholera, wound infection and ether for women in labour have arisen.

This tale is less a romance than a depiction of the times. We see perhaps too easy a path for Bella's family, as the pub owners don't cavil at dealing with women, they don't need to incur debt and Bella, oddly, is not beset by admirers nor considered a loose woman because she works in an inn. The lesson that hard work, clean living and treating others with respect will help you prosper is excellently conveyed and it's good to see a social history that is not about squalor and abusive parents.

Other books I've read by Val Wood include The Hungry Tide and The Doorstep Girls and I find her a very good writer. She says that an inn was owned by some of her forebears but has been demolished to make way for a road.
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on 21 March 2013
Saw this book reviewed in a local newspaper and liked the sound of it. The story certainly lived up to expectation and I would certainly read more of this particular authors books
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on 15 December 2013
This is a good descriptive tale set in Holderness and 'Ull as the locals call Kingston upon Hull. Val Wood has researched her subject well and interweaves real events into the story. Her characters lives are expended on to the point were you feel you know them well.
It reminds us of something we have lost in our material world of today and that is compassion for others, coupled with enjoyment from simple things in life. A good read, romantic and whistful just the thing to brighten a winter night.
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on 23 November 2013
Overall, Wood does an excellent job of balancing broad depictions of the Empire with intimate domestic scenes in an engaging way. Through the build-up of see-saw moments and endearing characterisation, I took an avid interest in what the outcome would be. No matter the satting, The Innkeeper’s Daughter relevant to 2013, in which the fortunes of ‘Britain’ as a joint Scottish-English-Welsh concept are equally up in the air as during the time of Empire.

Read more at:
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on 8 April 2016
Haven't finished this book yet but am three quarters of the way through. Unfortunately I am still waiting for something to happen.
I have found it tedious so far. It tells the story of a family moving from one district to another and trying to make a success of the
second move, but it is all so predictive. I'm afraid Val Wood is not Catherine Cookson. Cookson's books had a bite to them. In my opinion this book has none.
Not sure if I would read another.
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on 28 July 2013
My wife is an avid reader of this authors books. She says it was totalling absorbing. It has now passed to other family members.
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on 8 July 2013
As usual Val Wood's book is very interesting as I am familiar with all the areas she writes about. I like most of her books
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on 8 March 2013
I loved the book was as good as all the others Val Wood has written. I told my daughter and my mother about it
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