Tuesday, August 20, 2013

This Just In… Four Florins by Valeria Jane Wilson

The Fenton family -- John, chief reporter for the Edinburgh Courier, his elegant wife Dorothy, and their four daughters, Isabella, Anna, Constance and Jemima -- live comfortably in Edinburgh at the outbreak of the First World War.

The rather shrewish Dorothy is a Suffragette, and spends her days handing out white feathers to young men who have not volunteered for the front. When Isabella's secret sweetheart, a young artist, on his way to the Dardanelles, disappears in the troop train crash at Quintinshill, the already tense relationship between Isabella and her mother breaks down.

Isabella is forced to leave her comfortable home and life as a promising art student and experiences desperate poverty. Yet strangers around her are able to give enough solidarity for her to make a new life, with a new name, Ishbel, and eventually to continue her artistic career.

Four Florins begins with a real event: the tragic train-crash at Quintinshill, 1915. To this day the worst train disaster on British soil. The War and, later, the impending Depression form the framework for this story of ordinary people just trying to get on with their lives.

You can order Four Florins here. Visit author Valeria Jane Wilson on the Facebook here. ◊

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