A tale of a courageous young woman rising triumphantly above the harshest obstacles Fate can throw in her path
Maura Deverell is a young Irish peasant girl whose mother is dying of consumption. Their cruel landlord threatens to throw them out of their cottage unless Maura agrees to marry his young son, Liam Riordan. But before Maura can decide, she is brutally raped by Liam's brother Padraig, who gloats that once she is under their roof, Maura will be at his mercy - his sexual slave.
Weak though she is, Maura's mother does not let this vicious act go unavenged. She curses the Riordans and then, on her deathbed, makes Maura promise to leave Ireland for good. Maura ends up in Birmingham, after many narrow escapes from rape and death. Even when she makes staunch friends, and discovers a protector in the shape of Aiden Shanley, she longs to go home, stopped only by her promise to her mother. Eventually the wicked Riordans meet a well deserved sticky end and Maura is persuaded to return and marry Liam after all.
This is dramatic, gritty stuff. - Bookseller
Praise for PEPPERCORN WOMAN:
'A dramatic saga calculated to grip readers from the opening line.' - Keswick Reminder
A compelling read, for all the heart-breaking agony. - Coventry Evening Telegraph
Meg Hutchinson lived for sixty years in Wednesbury, where her parents and grandparents spent all their lives. Her passion for storytelling reaped dividends, with her novels regularly appearing in bestseller lists. She was the undisputed queen of the clogs and shawls saga. Passionate about history, her meticulous research provided an authentic context to the action-packed narratives set in the Black Country. She died in February 2010.