Summary

Set in Cumbria and covering the period from 1898 to the early '20s, this is the powerful saga of John Tallentire, first farm labourer then coal miner, and his wife, Emily.
John's struggle to break free from the humiliating status of a 'hired man' is the theme of a novel which has been hailed as a classic of its kind - as meticulously detailed as a social document, as evocative as the writings of Hardy and Lawrence.
©1969 Melvyn Bragg (P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Xander on 05-05-18

Outstanding and real story-telling

At first I found this book very hard to get into. The narrative perspective is moved at random between characters and the choices that the characters make can be frustrating. However, as I kept reading I came to the realisation that this might be one of the most real pieces of fiction I have ever read. The characters are not perfect. They make mistakes, act like cowards and hurt each other. Yet, life continues and the characters work through their problems much as we must do in real life. As the reader resonates with the characters through their hardship, pain and suffering; joy is found and is graciously given in the resolution, all because of Melvyn Bragg's outstanding abilities as a story teller.

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5 out of 5 stars
By pennyk on 23-03-17

Enthralling

I enjoyed every minute. The accents were good and the descriptions helped paint pictures. Looking forward to the next part of this wonderful family saga.

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