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Book Review: Hearts of Gold #1 - Catrin Collier
on 25 August 2014
This book sets the scene for the Powell family and their friends and relatives in the Graig, on the poor side of the Common in Pontypridd. The story is well written with fiction woven around the social history of the time. Valley communities were tight and would stick together but despite the community mindedness there was also the small minded, nosey neighbour attitudes and the shame from any scandal that threatened to shake a family's values to the core. This book is set in the 1930's right in the heart of the depression and the families depicted are struggling to survive. The story centres on Bethan the eldest daughter of Evan and Elizabeth Powell. Bethan is a nurse and a major contributor to the household, helping to keep the family from total poverty. Her brothers Haydn and Eddie are struggling to find decent and steady jobs and the youngest Maud is still at school. When Bethan meets the younger Dr John her life looks as if it may change for the better and to keep up with Andrew John, from the "crache" she has to dress the part.
The story runs along comfortably and just as I wondered where it was going it twisted and turned keeping me on my toes. I did find the story predictable in parts but even so, that did not detract from the interesting subject matter or my enjoyment of the story.