Briony Marsden has led a hard life, forced to do the work of a grown man while enduring her drunkard father's taunts and blows. But when he goes too far one day, her fate becomes even worse as she makes her way alone in a heartless world. Not quite alone. She has a friend - Lizzie Jenkins - who will do anything to help Briony re-open Moorend Mill. And Chad Cameron, the richest man in the district, has always admired Briony's spirit and determination. When her fortunes are at their lowest, he falls in love with the elfin waif and decides to make her his wife. But the only way he can win her is by trickery - by betraying her naive trust in the man who came to her rescue when all seemed lost. Can their marriage survive when she discovers his deception?
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(176mm x 112mm x 30mm)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
This latest historical novel from prolific author Audrey Howard is set in the 19th century and romps along in the time-honoured way. The local miller's daughter, breathtakingly beautiful Briony, is overworked and brutally treated by her drunkard father but lusted after by the gentry in the shape of the rich and dashing Chad Cameron. When a family tragedy strikes at the mill, Briony, bereft, and alone except for her friend Lizzie, succumbs to Chad's demands in desperation, even though having to associate with a common girl like Briony disgusts Chad's sister and friends. Influence and money count, however, and everyone keeps their own counsel on the subject lest their businesses suffer. Briony's dearest wish is to keep the mill running, and that is why she has bargained with Chad, but when she discovers he has played what she considers to be a deceitful trick, their fragile truce crumbles and war breaks out between them. When the antagonism of Chad's sister reaches a frightening pitch, Briony's proud spirit is almost broken. There are plenty of reversals, misunderstandings and accidents, not to mention imprisonment and near madness, before equilibrium is restored. Within the limits of its genre this is a lively and enjoyable read. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Audrey Howard
Audrey Howard was born in Liverpool in 1929. Before she began to write she had a variety of jobs, among them hairdresser, model, shop assistant, cleaner and civil servant. In 1981, while living in Australia, she wrote the first of her bestselling novels. She lives in St Anne's on Sea, her childhood home..