Beautiful prose and an exquisite read!
In 1898 Yorkshire, Aurora Pettigrew has it all, a loving family, a nice home, a comfortable life. She’s waiting for the right man to offer her marriage, and the man for her is Reid Sinclair, heir to the Sinclair fortune and the love of her life. But, Reid’s mother, Julia, is against the match and her ruthlessness unearths a family secret that will tear Aurora’s world apart. Unwilling to bring shame on her family and needing answers to the allegations brought to light by Reid’s mother, Aurora begins a long journey away from home. She leaves behind all that is familiar and safe to enter a world of mean streets and poor working class. Living in the tenements of York, surrounded by people of a class she’d never mixed with before, Aurora struggles to come to terms with the way her life has changed. By chance, she reconnects with a man from her past and before he leaves with the army to war in South Africa, he offers her security through marriage. Aurora knows she should be happy, but the memory of her love for Reid threatens her future. When tragedy strikes, can Aurora find the strength to accept her life and forget the past?
I have been an avid follower of Anne Brear for many years and have had the pleasure of reading almost all of her novels. I was eager to read this one, confident that it would be as impressive as the others. This book exceeded my expectations and is one of favourites.
The story takes place in Yorkshire England during the late 19th century. At the heart of this tale is a young woman named Aurora, a young woman of comfortable means who is in love with Reid, a young man of privilege, who lives next door. Conflict arises when Reid’s mother, Julia, who believes Aurora is unsuitable for her son because her family is newly wealthy, sets out to research the family’s past secrets. She manages to discover a secret that devastates Aurora’s life and forces her to live in poverty.
As expected, To Take Her Pride is the kind of story that moves the reader through a realm of emotions. Complex, realistic characters, a rags-to-riches theme, and a forbidden love element, kept the plot moving at a good clip with unexpected twists along the way. The reader is taken on an emotional journey through historical York where the author’s attention to detail and historical accuracy truly makes the story and characters feel authentic.
This novel is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching. It depicts England’s class system in an unbiased, true manner. The author plumbs the depths of her characters, making them multi-dimensional, imperfect, and fascinating. I could not put this book down and it kept me reading long into the night. If this is the first book by Anne Brear (formerly Anne Whitfield) that you’ve read, rest assured that it will not be the last. You’ll become a collector like me! Get this book, sit back, and enjoy beautiful prose and an exquisite read.