Three Mills, East London, 1870
The last sack of grain swung perilously over Effie’s head as it was hoisted into the House Mill on the banks of the River Lea. The narrow-boat rose a little higher in the water as if relieved to be divested of it’s heavy cargo, and a thick layer of dust settled on the decking like a generous coating of sugar on a sticky bun. Effie held her hand to her aching back, peering into the gathering gloom to catch sight of Tom, her younger brother, who had gone to collect their horse, Champion, from the patch of waste ground nearby…..
Be it non fiction, or as in this case, fiction, I enjoy reading about life as it was lived in the past, with more than a little awe and admiration for the stoicism and resilience shown by the working classes, in the face of their difficult and often dangerously lived lives.
This opening paragraph takes me back to a time when the canals and rivers of the UK, were used extensively for transporting goods around the country, with the riverfolk living in cramped and uncomfortable conditions, often with very young children responsible for some of the most dangerous and difficult tasks and where education was a self taught lesson, learned from life itself.
As a study of social history, those first lines have me hooked and intrigued.
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I can’t wait to do a little blog hopping myself and check out all the great Book Beginnings you have!