All Consuming & Heart Racing
Maid Of Steel by Kate Baker is a fabulous historical novel that I just could not put down.
The action is set in 1911 moving from New York to Queensland in Ireland. Immediately my heart was in my mouth as I read that the maiden voyage of a brand new ship was planned for April 1912. I read with ever increasing heart-rate as the dreaded date approached. Which way would the action go? You will have to read it to find out!
The main theme was women’s suffrage. We witness the strength needed by the women in order to pursue this course. They were treated abominably by the forces of law and order.
Another theme is that of survivor’s guilt. A character is wracked by guilt of actions done and not done. We can never change the past, all we can do is to learn from it. “Life is about what’s coming, not what’s been.”
PTSD in soldiers and sailors is also addressed. Homes are set up to offer comfort and care for those damaged by the forces.
People are living a lie, hiding who they really are. Near tragedies open eyes in order to be the person they were created to be.
Unmarried mothers were viewed with shame in 1911. It takes strength and courage to stand up and declare that all babies are a gift.
All the characters were well drawn, likable and easy to empathise with.
I absolutely adored Maid Of Steel. It consumed me as I read. I cannot wait for more from Kate Baker.
I received a free copy from Rachel’s Random Resources for a blog tour. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.
Maid Of Steel
It’s 1911 and, against her mother’s wishes, quiet New Yorker Emma dreams of winning the right to vote. She is sent away by her parents in the hope distance will curb her desire to be involved with the growing suffrage movement and told to spend time learning about where her grandparents came from.
Across the Atlantic – Queenstown, southern Ireland – hotelier Thomas dreams of being loved, even noticed, by his actress wife, Alice. On their wedding day, Alice’s father had assured him that adoration comes with time. It’s been eight years. But Alice has plans of her own and they certainly don’t include the fight for equality or her dull husband.
Emma’s arrival in Ireland leads her to discover family secrets and become involved in the Irish Women’s Suffrage Society in Cork. However, Emma’s path to suffrage was never meant to lead to a forbidden love affair…
Publisher’s link: https://www.bookguild.co.uk/bookshop/book/486/maid-of-steel-SMwd/
Kate Baker wrote terrible holiday diaries as a child, which her husband regularly asks her to read out loud for their entertainment. She has since improved and has written with intent since 2018. Maid of Steel is her second novel; the first is lining drawers in the vegetable rack at their farmhouse.