I have reviewed The White Apron by Christine Eyres for Reader’s Favorite.
Although Aggie’s life was no fairy tale, she cherished her childhood like a distant dream. When her teacher recommended her for a scholarship exam, she believed herself to be one step closer to becoming a teacher. However, her mother, whom she called Mam, decided that it was “o’er time” that she left the school. Despite her reluctance, fourteen-year-old Aggie was sent off to Alder Lodge to work as a “maid-of-all-work.” This is where she found love. She could not put her foot down to protect her ambition of becoming a teacher, but in the matter of marriage, she did not succumb to her mother’s resistance. Thus, she married William, a soldier with enchanting tales of travels far and beyond. Little did she know that this very man would put her through life’s horrific turmoils. The White Apron by Christine Eyres is a testament to a woman’s resilience and devotion.
At times, I thought I wouldn’t miss William. What sort of wife says that? But it’s true. He led me a merry dance, and now I wonder if I should have been stronger. I followed him from the squalor of Blackfriars Wynd in Edinburgh after the army used him and then discarded him.An excerpt from The White Apron by Christine Eyres
The remarkable growth of Aggie, aka Agnes, from a little girl, who thought of her first period as a sign of being pregnant, to a dignified woman entrances the readers. Loneliness and poverty claimed her life, but those could not break her spirit. When her husband surrendered to self-pity, she took charge and faced the many hardships of life with a commendable inner-strength. As the plot traversed through the gloomy path of numerous deaths and diseases, the audience held their breaths for something better to transpire in Agnes’ life. Christine Eyres’ Agnes does not give up and that aspect of her characters shines through the darkness. Whether our heroine is talking to herself while scrubbing the floors with paraffin or retorting her husband’s illogical claims, each dialogue is just as engrossing as the others.
We learned to ignore the noises of our neighbours that floated loud and clear through the thin walls, occasionally giggling at an especially loud fart.An excerpt from The White Apron by Christine Eyres
The White Apron by Christine Eyres does not present life through rose-tinted glasses. As a matter of fact, that would have been a false portrayal of a time, when unknown diseases were killing new-born babies among many other disasters. Instead, the story encourages readers to face the disorienting chaos of life head-on. The White Apron by Christine Eyres is a perfect book for the readers who look at the past for inspiration. A perfect historical fiction to blow your mind, indeed!
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‘…you’re worried about the tale of a talking cat but it’s alright for some sanctimonious English besom to visit India and say about millions of people: your values and beliefs are shite — take mine or you’ll burn in everlasting fires.’
‘Och, it’s just a story, William.’
‘Ha, so is Puss in Boots,’ he retorted, looking so pleased with himself that I had to smile in defeat.An excerpt from The White Apron by Christine Eyres
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