Synopsis: Words Taken From The Book
“Moving from a North Wales castle to a cottage in a mining village and then to a farmhouse on the Norfolk marshes, Family Feeling is the story of three young people whose fates are bound together in strange and unfathomable ways.
Dot Tegydd is the third daughter of propertied parents who longed for a son.
Hywel Fletcher was born the day his father was killed in the pit, and is bitterly resented by his mother.
Huw Pettigrew is the much-loved and hard-working eldest child in a respected farming family.
Dot and Hywel dream of a contented future caring for their land, while Huw’s dreams are more like nightmares… Yet when tragedy strikes it is Huw’s vision which brings the three together and gives each of them, in the end, their heart’s desire.
About The Author:
Judith Saxton AKA Katie Flynn, AKA Judy Turner, was born in Norfolk, but was raised and has spent all her life, in the North Wales town of Wrexham.
A compulsive writer, she has more than 60 published novels under her belt. She started with short stories and articles, and many of her early stories were broadcast on Radio Merseyside.
As Katie Flynn, she decided to write her Liverpool series after hearing the reminiscences of family members about life in the city in the early years of the century.
As Judith Saxton and Judy Turner, she writes books with primarily romantic themes, situated in historical settings.
Her books predominantly have themes about deeply felt personal relationships between friends and between lovers in times of strong historically dramatic circumstances, from the Napoleonic Wars, through the two World Wars, to 20th Century rural England.
For the past few years she has had to cope with M. E. but has continued to write, albeit more slowly.
My Personal Thoughts About The Book:
As with all of her work, this book I found to be a moving account of the depths of life and love, covering the themes of sex, family and career.
The book centres on the life of the times, social mobility and history, in two diverse, yet both rural locations, at the turn of the twentieth century.
The man of the household, regardless of his station in life, expected there to be children from his marriage, with great priority being lavished onto any son and heir:
“To a small and ugly girl, whose mother could not see past her plain features and the fact that she was not the longed for boy” – Page 45 of the book.
Women of any social class, generally accepted their role in life passively.
The rich accepted that their husband’s would, in most cases, take a mistress, many openly, others more surreptitiously.
The working class woman accepted that her husband should demand and expect, to be able to vent his frustration after a hard days work. Excessive drinking and physical violence would be no stranger in many households:
“It was because he drank that he hit her, of course. It was strange that a man so easy-going, so pleasant, could be so vicious at times” – Page 24 of the book.
Judith Saxton portrays the disappointment, stoicism, and acceptance of her characters very sensitively.
She highlights the perceptiveness which children have in assessing how they are truly thought of by their parents and what lengths they will go to change that perception, to earn love and acceptance.
How, when genuine, unconditional love is given from parent to child, or between siblings, it needs to be cherished and nurtured for it to flourish.
There is great emotion in her portrayal of the invisible, unfathomable bond and shared strength, that exists between twins, which distance cannot diminsh.
Great storytelling, that called upon all the emotions and senses, as I was inexorably drawn into the characters lives.
This book gets a worthy 4.5 out of 5