Now My Life Begins – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds
‘The train began its approach to Edinburgh’s Waverly Station. Jenny stared in fascination at Edinburgh Castle, perched high above the city, with its high rock precipice protecting all that had lived within the walls. “Waverly Station!” shouted the conductor. “Watch your step.” Jenny stepped onto the busy platform; people bustled to and fro. Several trains arriving and departing the station filled the air with black soot and noise. Swept up in the flow of people, Jenny found herself climbing the steep grade to the street above. Tentatively, she looked around at the huge city. Never in her life had she seen so many people or so many buildings, which made it all a little overwhelming. A cart sped past, causing her to jump and bump into a stranger. The man scowled at her. “Sorry, so sorry.” Her apology fell on deaf ears. Everyone was rushing somewhere and all were oblivious to the shy woman from Watsworth, clutching her worn suitcase for dear life.’
Jenny Barstow had received a letter confirming her position as assistant to the City Clerk of Edinburgh. She had grown up in the small town of Watsworth and since her only living family was her uncle, she had no real ties to the town. That is unless you count Tim McKitterek as being a tie. She and Tim had known each other forever and in each of their eyes, they just knew that one day they would marry. But that wasn’t to be. Tim worked at the mines and after his father up and left, he was the sole supporter of his mother and her six children. It took every penny he made just to keep them afloat. He would never be able to leave Watsworth and Jenny knew it. Her only choice was to go alone and hope that one day things would be different and just maybe he could join her.
What Jenny didn’t bargain for was finding that her position had been filled by Ian Murphy, nephew of Lord Provost of Edinburgh, John Murphy. So here she is. The farthest she has ever ventured from her little town of Watsworth, hungry, no job here nor back home, no place to live and just enough money to make it back home with hopes of something working out for her there. Then comes her “knight” in the form of an elderly man by the name of Zachariah Taylor.
I’ve read several of Author Shirley A. Roe’s books and they just keep getting better. Now My Life Begins takes the reader through not one but both World Wars with their destruction not only to property but human lives and mentality as well. She not only tells a beautiful story that is quite realistic but she throws in history along the way allowing you not to just possibly learn something new but to also make the story even more believable. I’ve totally enjoyed her words and stories of love as the characters survive what was sent their way in the form of life. This is truly a beautiful story.