Eve and her Sisters, by Rita Bradshaw
Book: Eve and her Sisters
Author: Rita Bradshaw
Have you ever encountered a person living in poverty, then humiliated more when an able person takes away the little they have? Did the person who was robbed fight back, or did they struggle on, fall many more times but pulled themselves up each time?
In Eve and her Sisters, Rita Bradshaw tackles a sensitive topic - what happens when children lose parents/guardians and are left destitute in a society lacking in proper support systems for their wellbeing?
The story centers around the life of Eve, a minor who after the death of her mother, and later that of her father and older brothers finds herself the guardian to her two younger sisters. Eve is thrown into a world where the majority of people are only ready to help by paying for the services she can render. Eve must consider a critical question, proceed to a workhouse for her survival, and in the process let her minor sisters into an institution to be cared for?
I liked the approach used by the author to discuss vices in society. Uses Eve to take us into the work conditions that coal miners were exposed to in 18th century England – to the benefits accrued to a small sector of society. The author takes us to the predatory world of bad men who could not spare innocent minor children. And then to a world that balances out the evil world, a world of Caleb Travis who, out of pity, gives Eve a job – yes, there are still good people left on this earth.
Rita’s style of writing is very captivating – descriptive enough to take a reader to 18th century Europe, to the fields of WWI and to the impact of the war on individuals and whole communities. Her choice of words befits the then environment, and her language use pulls a reader into the ongoing dialogue between characters. Many a time her use of language and descriptions of the setting made me forget I was living in the now, but in 18th century Durham.
The author’s choice of and description of characters captured my attention throughout the book – without doubt, I saw each of the three sisters and the different individuals they encountered on their life’s journey.
Eve’s journey is heartbreaking and encouraging, all at the same time. Her journey proves that struggles in life are sometimes the road we need to travel before we achieve something good, permanent. The story of Travis will help the reader realize that money, riches and infatuation are not the only answer to happiness in life, there’s more.
I recommend the book to anyone wanting to understand 18th century England: costs of the mining sector and of war to individuals, families and whole communities. The costs that society attaches to physical beauty at the expense of inner beauty, morals. And, the benefits when one refuses to give up, stands up for what is right and not necessarily what society prefers.
I found the book an easy read because it was professionally edited, uses suspense to get a reader to open the next page. The book is very entertaining while it imparts moral lessons to the reader.
Overall, I gave the book a five-star review after considering all the above-mentioned factors, and that I kept reading the book until the last page.
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