25/01/2007

Tilly True (by Dilly Court)

'Tilly True' is a historical 'Catherine Cookson' style novel at the turn of the 20th century, by Dilly Court. The book opens with Tilly - who works as a housemaid - being beaten by her employer for theft. She swears her innocence, but nobody believes her so she walks out. On her way home, she stops a donkey being beaten, and is rescued by a clergyman. Tilly knows she can't stay with her impoverished family for long and must find some other job.

By the end of the first chapter, Tilly is established as a fiery, determined and impetuous girl who has great strength of feeling. Her main fault is that she stories whenever it suits her, and frequently gets caught up in a tangle of lies.

Although I sympathised with Tilly, and thought the book well-written, there was rather too much action for my personal tastes, and too little characterisation. Other than Tilly, all the other characters were rather shadowy.

Anyone who likes this style of novel would probably enjoy this as a light read. The unpleasantness of working-class life at the time is evident, but isn't given too much gory detail, and the overall theme of the book is fairly uplifting.

My longer review of 'Tilly True' is here at The Bookbag.

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