The Girl Who Dared to Dream

The Girl Who Dared to Dream – AD sent for review

disclosure: we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for a review

I do love books that take you to a different moment in time, with characters that you can become invested in.  The Girl Who Dared to Dream by Diney Costeloe does just that.  Published earlier this month, this historical fiction is captivating and introduces us to young Mabel Oakley and her family, living in London during 1912.

The Girl Who Dared to Dream

Mabel Oakley lives in London with her parents and two brothers.  Her father has worked in a solicitor’s office for many years and her older brother is looking forward to starting his apprenticeship as a carpenter.  Many of Mabel’s peers are heading to a life in service but Mabel wants more from life.  She wants to stay on at school and work and eventually work in an office as a secretary but can she persuade her father?

When a mistake is made by a staff member under her father’s supervision, Andrew Oakley finds himself in the firing line when it is him that is dismissed.  Stunned, he leaves his office and whilst distracted he walks into the road and straight into the path of a brewer’s dray with catastrophic consequences.  Life for the Oakley family will never be the same again.  Oakley is hospitalised and will never walk again.  The whole family will need to pull together and make sacrifices.  There will be no apprenticeship for the boys, her mother takes in piece work and Mabel’s dreams of life as a secretary are torn to shreds.

Her cousin, Lizzie, works in service for a rich family and she is able to secure Mabel an interview for an under-maid position.  Mabel knows that as much as she hates the idea, she will be helping her family by living away from home, whilst sharing her wages with her mother.

Before her father’s accident, Mabel had met an older gentleman, Mr Clarke and they’d formed an unlikely friendship.  He is a good listener and Mabel shares her worries and frustrations with him, knowing she can’t really burden her family.

As The Girl Who Dared to Dream develops you become totally invested in Mabel and her story.  She’s a strong central character who you really want to succeed, no matter what life throughs at her.  It’s beautifully written and there are a number of twists and turns as Mabel and her family navigate their way through the situations they find themself in.

I don’t want to reveal the whole plot, it’s just one of those books that you find yourself glued to.  It’s one of those late-night page-turner reads that I couldn’t put down. I can thoroughly recommend reading The Girl Who Dared to Dream and I’m looking forward to discovering more novels from this author myself.

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