I’m hosting the final stop on the blog tour to celebrate the paperback release of Mothering Sunday by Rosie Goodwin. Sadly the book didn’t make it to me in time (thanks to wandering parcels!) and so I’ll be reviewing it later, and I’m really looking forward to it – is sounds like such a charming, cosy afternoon read! But for now, here’s an extract for you to enjoy – and if you’ve already read this one, then I’d love to hear what you thought!
If you love Dilly Court, you’ll love Rosie Goodwin.
ALL SHE WANTS IS SOMEONE TO CALL HER OWN
Fourteen-year-old Sunday Small has never lived outside the Nuneaton workhouse. The regime is cruel, and if it weren’t for Miss Beau – who comes in every week to teach the children their letters – and her young friend Daisy, Sunday’s life wouldn’t be worth living. And now she’s attracted the unwelcome attention of the workhouse master.
With no choice but to leave behind everything she knows, Sunday strikes out on her own to make her fortune and to fulfil her promise to come back for Daisy. And, secretly she dreams of finding the long-lost mother who gave her away.
But she’s about to discover that, try as she might to escape, the brutal world of the workhouse will not let her go without a fight
Published in paperback 27th July 2017 by Bonnier Zaffre (UK)
After scouting around for a while Sunday found all she needed. A bucket and a somewhat grimy mop, some soda crystals and lye soap and a number of old rags. Annie was already seated at the kitchen table shelling peas by then so she silently made her way back to her room. She was breathless by the time she got there. It had been no easy task balancing the bucket up two flights of stairs but she was eager to make a start. So much so that she forgot all about going to say goodbye and thank you to Lady Huntley. First of all, she gathered up the rugs that were scattered about the floor and placed them by the door. Later on she would take them outside and give them a good beating. She then opened the window as wide as it would go and set to with a vengeance, coughing and spluttering as the dust swirled around her in clouds. She was so absorbed in what she was doing that she started when Annie appeared in the doorway some two hours later.
“Are yer deaf or what?” she grumbled. “I’ve been bawlin’ me lungs out fer you to come an’ ‘ave something to eat from the bottom o’ the stairs.” She looked around in amazement then. The floorboards were gleaming damply in the light from the window that Sunday had cleaned, the whole room was spick and span, and the furniture smelled of beeswax polish.
“Well I’ll be,” she said greatly impressed. “You’ve certainly transformed this room, lass.”
Sunday sat back on her heels and grinned. She was in the process of washing down the chest of drawers now.
“I’ve almost finished. I hung the flock mattress out of the window and gave it a good shake but I forgot to ask you where I might find some bedding. I want to give the rugs a good beating then and once that’s done you can tell me where else you want me to start.”
“I’ll show yer where the linen cupboard is an’ yer can help yerself to whatever yer need. But leave this fer now an’ come n’ get somethin’ inside yer. We only ‘ave a light snack mid-day but it’ll keep yer goin’ till yer dinner tonight.”
Sunday stood up and wiped her hands on her apron before following Annie downstairs.
“I’ve taken a tray in to the missus,” Annie informed her, “but she’ll eat in the dinin’ room wi’ the lodgers this evenin’. You’ll eat in the kitchen wi’ me.”
As they entered the kitchen the smell of new baked bread reached Sunday and her stomach growled ominously. She suddenly realised that she hadn’t eaten at all that day, she had been too nervous at breakfast, not that she had missed much. The greasy porridge that was served to them in the workhouse always left a nasty after taste and often made her feel nauseous.
Now she gazed in amazement at the two loaves that were cooling on a rack on the table. They looked nothing at all like the dry grey bread that she was used to and her mouth watered at the sight of them.
“I do me own bakin’ at least three times a week,” Annie informed her proudly. “There’s one thing I’ll say fer the missus, she don’t skimp when it comes to feedin’ her lodgers an’ though I say it meself I’m a fair old cook.” She chuckled then. “I’ve ‘ad to be. I ‘ad eleven nippers see to an’ they was always hungry so I ‘ad to make me money go a long way. They’ve all long since grown up an’ flown the nest now but I still pride meself on keepin’ a good table. Now sit yerself down an’ stick in, lass.”
Sunday plonked herself down on one of the kitchen chairs and stared at the food spread out before her.
“That’s the last o’ the leg o’ pork left over from last night’s dinner,” Annie informed her. “An’ there’s some pickled onions an’ cheese there along wi’ the butter. That should keep yer goin’ till later.”
About The Author
Rosie Goodwin is the author of over twenty bestselling novels, selling more than 300k paperbacks. She is the first author in the world to be allowed to follow three of Catherine Cookson’s trilogies with her own sequels. Having worked in the social services sector for many years, then fostering a number of children, she is now a full-time novelist. She is one of the top 50 most borrowed authors from UK libraries and regularly appears in the Heatseeker charts.