Review published on August 11, 2015.
Kirsty is a strikingly attractive girl who, after the death of her much loved mother, is abused by her father. Due to his involvement with the Fenians he forces Kirsty to accompany him as he flees from Ireland but a horrific event on the boat means Kirsty is abandoned and despised in the workhouse. Nearby live the Harveys, landed gentry and mine owners. Andrew, the heir, is induced to marry against his will. Inevitably he and Kirsty will meet and in the best romantic way with him nearly knocking her over from his horse. He, of course, is smitten by her beauty. The outcome, as expected, benefits neither of them.
Whenever such books open with a poverty stricken lovely girl a reader knows it is not going to be a cheery read. This is no exception and life deals Kirsty a rotten hand as she falls victim to one bad lad after another.
There is little joy in this book and I found it predictable. It reminded me of the TV ads for the soaps. The bleakness of the story builds with rape, robbery, abduction, abortion, a mine disaster and few events to lift the spirits.
The book is written with skill with a variety of clear cut characters but I found it difficult to relate to them. I believe such books are written to a formula. But hey, they are successful with an enthusiastic following. Fans will find this one most enjoyable.
But it was not for me.
Sheila A. Grant
TO CATCH A DREAM by Mary Wood
Pan, May 21, 2015