Top positive review
17 people found this helpful
A really good read.
on 16 June 2013
From the first page I fell in love with this story. Judith Barrow plunges you straight in to the lives of her characters and their personal issues and relationships. These characters are real, so real you feel you have known them forever. And Judith Barrow certainly did her research; the attention to historical detail is second to none, vividly portraying what it was like to live in the post war era. This is a gritty story about what it means to be part of a family with all that demands. It is also a story about prejudice,secrets, guilt, revenge, and how the past can affect the present in devastating ways.
Mary is the central character and she is the anchor that holds this family together. Whenever anything goes wrong, it is Mary who is expected to pick up the pieces, as she has always done. Even Wales is not far enough away to escape the demands of her troubled family; Ellen, the younger sister who is being driven mad by her vicious and vindictive mother-in-law; Patrick, the brother who is destroying his own marriage to Mary's friend, Jean; the nieces caught in the middle of their parents fighting. And Mary has her own problems to deal with, in choosing a hard road for herself by living in sin with Peter,an ex POW. She and Peter face outspoken and spiteful prejudice from the small Welsh community where they have chosen to live.
Changing Patterns is apparently a sequel to Pattern of Shadows which I have not read but certainly will now. However, it is also a stand-alone read.
I took a gamble with this book. I hadn't read anything by the author before so didn't know what to expect. I'm always a bit wary of buying a book by someone I haven't read before. I am very pleased I bought this one. Judith Barrow writes well, very well indeed, and she has just gained another fan.