A Mother Forever written by Elaine Everest, publisher Pan, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover, audiobook and now paperback format.
1905: Ruby Caselton may only be twenty-five years old but she already has the weight of the world on her shoulders. Heavily pregnant with her second child, penniless and exhausted, she is moving her family into a new home. The Caseltons left their last place when they couldn’t pay the rent, but Ruby’s husband Eddie has promised this will be a fresh start for them all. And Ruby desperately hopes that this time he will keep his word.
With five-year-old George at her feet and her mother having a cross word for everyone and everything, life is never dull at number thirteen Alexandra Road. It doesn’t take long before Eddie loses another job and once again hits the bottle. It’s up to Ruby to hold them all together, through thick and thin. She remembers the kind, caring man Eddie once was and just can’t give up on him entirely. What she doesn’t know is that Eddie has a secret, one so dark that he can’t bear to tell even Ruby . . .
Through Ruby’s grit and determination, she keeps food on the table and finds herself a community of neighbours on Alexandra Road. Stella, the matriarch from across the way, soon becomes a friend and confidante. She even dreams that Ruby will ditch the useless Eddie and take up with her eldest son, Frank. But when war breaks out in 1914, the heartbreaks and losses that follow will fracture their community, driving both Stella and Ruby to breaking point. Will their men ever return to them?
To buy links:
Waterstones: A Mother Forever by Elaine Everest | Waterstones
I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.
I adored this story by Elaine Everest, no matter what tragic historical events are thrown into the author’s storylines she still manages to instil a lovely warmth and cosiness for the reader’s experience.
If you’ve fell in love with Elaine Everest’s The Woolworth Girls series you will know of Ruby Caselton the stalwart figure of Alexandra Road. A Mother Forever is Ruby’s story set a couple of decades before she became a grandmother, friend and confidante to many in Erith.
It’s 1905 and young Ruby hasn’t had it easy so far in life, she fell hopelessly in love with Eddie Caselton and now has a 5 year old boy, George, with another baby on the way. Hoping this is her last move of many as Ruby moves into Alexandra Road but life soon takes a tragic turn or two and Ruby learns who she can rely on. The last few years married to Eddie has proved challenging at times and they have had to flee the rent man often and her husband has gone back on his promises. The new start on Alexandra Road sends many obstacles for this young couple. Torn between the love of a once good man Ruby is left with a battered heart and struggling to keep life as normal as possible for her young family.
As the years go by the uncertainty of war looms and the menfolk are volunteering in their droves for the frontline leaving family, friends and love ones at a loss and anxious for their safety. There is a role reversal between the men and women as jobs at home need to be fulfilled.
Elaine Everest has given us another wornderful family saga that can easily be read as a standalone but if you have read her previous work you will love this prequel and glimpse into Ruby’s life. I particularly enjoyed how the author incorporated so many historical events into the storying bringing to life an era that we have only read about. There was also a real sense of time and place and the emotional atmosphere felt very poignant. I also appreciated catching sight of characters that Ruby met briefly in her twenties and thirties that later on were to play a prominent role in her life.
Ruby’s is a beautiful, tragic love story with Eddie. At times you couldn’t bear the heartache and anguish she endured but at others it was just so wonderfully romantic that they were like your ‘Hollywood-esque’ tragic couple that had so many wrong junctions in life but the roads always went back to them.
Family saga at it’s best.
About the Author
Elaine Everest is from North West Kent and she grew up listening to stories of the war years in her home town of Erith, which features in her bestselling Woolworths Girls series. A former journalist, and author of nonfiction books for dog owners, Elaine has written over sixty short stories for the women’s magazine market.
When she isn’t writing, Elaine runs The Write Place creative writing school in Hextable, Kent. She lives with her husband, Michael and sheepdog Henry. You can find out more about Elaine on Twitter @ElaineEverest or Facebook /elaine.everest