Review published on October 28, 2017.
Lancashire in 1931 for many meant no jobs, poverty and hunger. The kind man of the title of this historical novel is Finn, a widower who has inherited some money and a neglected house in a small village. As well as providing employment for some of the needy villagers, he takes in a young boy, Reggie, who has run away from an orphanage.
The author is very good at evoking the the hardship and despair of the time, when jobs were scarce and poor people struggled to get enough to eat. The plot though is rather implausible with Buddle, the evil director of the orphanage, seeming determined to get Reggie back in his control.
It is quite a page turner with an exciting, if rather unlikely, climax and the main characters are well drawn. I enjoyed the story but did find the style of writing annoying occasionally. Some of the background and historical information is given in speech, which makes for very stilted dialogue and the author does keep reminding us about how the good-hearted Northern folk help each other even when they haven’t a penny to spare. On the whole though, it is a heartwarming, feel-good story despite being rather predictable.
Berwyn Peet 3/3
One Kind Man by Anna Jacobs
Hodder & Stoughton 9781473630840 hbk Jan 2018