Book Jacket


rank  Editors Pick
word count 12353
date submitted 22.01.2012
date updated 14.04.2014
genres: Fiction, Romance, Historical Fictio...
classification: moderate

Sally of Spring Row

Emma Hornby

October 1853. Sally must do whatever it takes to escape her husband and protect her child -- whatever the cost.


Spring Row, a dismal row of cottages nestled in the heart of Bolton in Lancashire, has been Sally's prison since being forced to move there from the workhouse as a young girl. That was when Joseph Goden selected her as his wife. A drunkard and bully, Joseph rules his wife with a rod of iron, using threats and fists to keep her in check.

When Sally goes into labour, Joseph's actions spark a series of unexpected events, enabling Sally to escape him at last. But she must strive to overcome these changes if she and her child are to stay together -- and survive.

After hearing that Joseph is threatening to claim their son out of revenge, Sally must flee Spring Row in search of her only living relative and forge a new life for herself and her son amidst the squalor and belching chimneys of Victorian Manchester. With the constant threat of being discovered by Joseph, who will stop at nothing to find her, Sally must fight with every ounce of strength and wit she has to protect herself and her son -- and finally be with the man who truly loves her...

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1800s, england, history, love, rags to riches, romance, saga, victorian, workhouse

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HarperCollins Wrote

‘Sally of Spring Row’ is character-driven historical romance, set in the mid nineteenth century. After years of abuse from her alcoholic husband Joseph, Sally finally plans an escape to save the life of her unborn child. But when Sally goes into labour, Joseph’s violent behavior takes a turn for the worse and their neighbour, Ivy, comes to her rescue. His true nature revealed to the residents of Spring Row, cowardly Joseph takes flight, and Sally is taken in by Ivy and her family. Sally slowly rebuilds her life with her new child, and a romance with Ivy’s son begins to blossom, but Joseph isn’t about to let his wife and child get away so easily.

‘Sally of Spring Row’ is well written, saturated with strong emotions and containing real, human characters the reader easily identifies and empathises with. The historical setting is well crafted, with the right mixture of a warm, cosy nostalgia and harsh reality, and the drama it brings. The book would be well-positioned as historical saga, both the plot, characters and writing style are suited perfectly to this genre.

The opening scene is tense and powerful, and while I have reservations about such a violent opening, it is effective and immediately hooks the reader in. You give the reader a good sense of the time and place in which the book is set through effective use of dialect and historical context. For the most part, the characters feel fully formed and the dialogue and interaction are believable and appropriate, helping to move the story forward. Ivy in particular is a strong and appealing character. The reader feels for her; unable to give her sons the life she wanted for them, she remains the strong matriarch of the family, never letting her troubles show. You handle the raw emotions of hatred, loss and despair very well, never labouring the point and allowing the reader to experience these emotions through your description and dialogue.

Some characters need more work, however. Joseph feels quite two-dimensional at the moment, a straight-forward villain. We need to see some motivation for his behaviour, see things from his perspective, however warped that may be. Malachy McCourt from ‘Angela’s Ashes’ is a good example of a slightly more evenhanded approach to characterization. Sally has the potential to be a brilliant character, but as a reader I felt quite muddled about her past and her personality, which feel inconsistent. Her back story is very interesting and there is scope to build on this. The present is, in some ways, the least interesting part of the story – the day to day life bringing up the baby is quite repetitive and while we certainly need this, especially to show her fear that Joseph may come back, it is in the mysteries of her past and the possibilities of her future where the real drama lies. It is not clear where her sudden determination to leave Joseph came from, and what strength she has left to pursue the life she wants in Manchester, especially with a baby. It seems to me that Sally could be a great example of a strong female character, continue to build her in this way and I think this will add greatly to the book’s appeal.

You have created a good cast of characters and your writing is a very good example of historical saga. My reservation is that the plot isn’t quite original enough. Domestic abuse and other issues raised in the book were, unfortunately, extremely common at this time and form part of many successful saga novels. The plot, at present, is quite predictable, and in such a competitive genre I think you would struggle. I certainly think you have a talent for this genre, and I don’t have much in the way of criticism of your actual writing – you write extremely well. You have the beginnings of something here and with work on the plot I think this manuscript could do well.

PurpleProse wrote 50 days ago

Gosh! I've just read the first chapter - my heart was in my mouth! Very powerful and emotional, a real page turner. Excellent read. But I think I must just have a cup of tea to calm down before reading on. Well done. Great read.
Poppy, The Day will come

Vancey wrote 64 days ago

Hi, Emma.

There is effective use of dialect, which helps to place the characters firmly in their milieu. There is an authentic saga feel to your story, but though there is action and strong dialogue, I feel a few more surprises, the sort to knock you sideways, would help to maintain pace and plot. Writers sometimes plan the whole direction of their narrative, but I suspect that, at strategic points, yours might benefit from freeing your characters, a little, to do the unexpected. The saga market is very competitive, and to stand out, stories have to be outstanding, but you should certainly persevere here. You are definitely on your way! I enjoyed your story and would have read on. Thanks for the read.

Best wishes,


(The Exile of Nicholas Misterton - Literary/Historical)

Elayne wrote 65 days ago

A really encouraging review.....well done...I think ...personally.... that it is excellent. You should rightly be delighted....good luck with your writing Emma, you deserve to succeed.

Cami Talu wrote 72 days ago

Congratulations Emma on reaching the ED. I have read the first couple of chapters and they are very well written. Excelent work, and well deserved medal.

David G. Turner wrote 77 days ago

Excellent opening chapters (and historical fiction is not even my thing).

C. A. Thomson wrote 217 days ago

Hi Emma,
I've just stumbled upon 'Sally of spring Row.'
It's fantastic! Infact, it has just made me late for work. I'm at chapter six and I can't put it down!
This is so well written, and the story, although not normally my genre, is gripping stuff.
Already I want to kill Joseph for what he has done to Sally and as for the pompus priest? Well!!
I know I've discovered your work a little late in the day, but it's better that, than never!
Why is this book not already published? Come on Harper Collins, where are your scouts? They should have spotted this one coming in the distance and signed it up immediately.
Thanks for a great read and all the best for the future.
Craig Thomson. 'Search for the Sunlight.'
PS I'm fairly recent to this site and I'm not too sure whether it will be of any use to you at this advanced stage of your journey to the Ed.'s desk, but I have given you full stars and on my watch list.

Little Gypsy wrote 286 days ago


stearn37 wrote 286 days ago

Hi Emma,
Congratulations on getting to the editors desk.
Good luck.

John Stearn

myownwords wrote 288 days ago

Congratulations Emma!
Ron Graves

Tottie Limejuice wrote 292 days ago

Wanted to take a look at the current number one. I found the opening graphically but well written. I don't agree with some comments about the dialect. I grew up in Greater Manchester, parents are from Lancashire, I know Bolton. I've only read the first two chapters but would say the dialect was well depicted thus far.

However I do have grave doubts over "frigging". I never heard it used whilst growing up in that area, admittedly in mid 20th century not 19th century, of course, and as far as my research tells me, I think it's more a late 20th century expression, although I'm sure you've done your research and can show its earlier origins.

Nice to read something devoid of glaring errors, I just picked up in Chapter Two the expression concealed to instead of concealed from.

Hope this does make the desk; on early reading it should do. In fact I am going to make some shelf space for it.

Tottie Limejuice
Sell the Pig

Blank Sheet wrote 292 days ago

Working to make the story less predictable, more energy, more fresh use of metaphor, etc., would help.

The first chapter leads me to think you can probably find an audience, though.

Pretzki wrote 294 days ago

Tried too hard at times with the dialect, so much so that when you forget to use it, it was blindingly obvious. Sometimes its enough to give location and allow the reader to add the dialect
Wuthering Heights is a prime example of hard dialect often losing the reader in their efforts to read it.

licker21 wrote 307 days ago

I loved everything about this story and i have backed it and will race to my local bookstore when it is published.

Debbie Hanson :¬)

Luke Bramley wrote 310 days ago

Love your choice of setting and how you describe it- I prefer the next few chapters to the first chapter - not because I'm averse to violence but because it's better to get to know a character before your asked by a writer to care for them - it's a deeper and more satisfying experience. You certainly have the gift though. It's on the watch list ready for the next few chapters. Good luck with the Ed.

Luke Bramley, The Kingdom Within.

Juliana S. wrote 313 days ago

Congratulations, Emma, on reaching the top 5. :)

Geowonderland wrote 315 days ago

Emma, your first chapter was a little bit too graphic for me. I almost stopped at some point, but at the same time I couldn’t. Your book is so absorbing from the first sentence. You are obviously an excellent writer. It looks as your book is the next one for the editor’s desk. Well deserved. Good luck, Aneta

BeeJoy wrote 319 days ago

Emma, you have a great story here, sad but with heart and strength - really good description and dialogue - I was captured by the characters immediately. You bring them to life so well. I am four chapters in and hooked. Not much else to say - hope it gets published soon! Starred and backed.
Mona (Facing The Truth)

Michelle Richardson wrote 319 days ago

Emma, this is very well executed and the voice is distinctive. It's not my usual read but the MC quickly had my sympathy for her situation. On my WL and high stars.
Michelle- 43 Primrose Avenue

Debra H wrote 320 days ago

Hello Emma:
I've read chapters four, five and six and found them to continue in the same engaging style as the first three. The plot is thickening, as they say. The backstory that describes the trials and tribulations of Ivy and her family was woven into the emerging story of Sally's plight, giving the reader a good idea how difficult life was for a poor family at this time in England. The scene where the priest comes to try to convince Sally to return to her husband had me wanting to throw a punch in his direction.
Time is winding down for the month and I only hope Sally of Spring Row makes it to the editor's desk.
Cheers and best of luck.
Debra H
Turnaround Bay
(I've edited Turnaround Bay, taking out a chapter and adding a scene in chapter five.)

Max China wrote 321 days ago

Emma, I just read your first two chapters and thoroughly enjoyed them, tension piled up throughout chapter and the hook at the end of chapter one is a great page turner. By the end of chapter two, you've effortlessly introduced a cast of credible characters to play out their roles in this unfolding drama - Sally of Spring Row.

I can't wait to see Joseph get his come uppance. High stars from me, and I wish you the best of luck over the next couple of days.

Max China
The Sister

Bill Scott wrote 322 days ago

Your book was mentioned in the forums. It looks like you're do a review in the very near future. I usually just point out the areas where I stumbled. I think that's what benefits people most. HC won't hold any punches, so if something could possibly be off, best to know about it ahead of time. Of course these are all just my opinions, if something doesn't ring true to you, by all means, disregard it.


— her eyes flickered toward the horse-hair sofa … for me, the addition of horse-hair was more in the author's head and less in the character's (if that makes sense.)

— "she thought bitterly" Do you need this. If we are in her head we know it's her thought. I guess I'm not quite sure of the pov yet.

terrorisation — seemed modern to me, especially for 1853 when people are using thee. I found terrorize (US spelling) 1823 as the first reference so you may not be far off, but it gave me pause. fyi

I stumbled over this sentence.Not sure if it is the punctuation or just a UK/US disconnect.
"It was as she placed a slice of bread [,] smeared thinly with pork dripping[,] in front of him that her whole world had come crashing down around her." (had come was awkward to me as well. My punctuation skills are D+ at best. But the sentence lacked clarity for me.

I would have been OK with stared and frowned the 'had' stared and 'had' frowned made it less immediate for me. ( same for had been cut off) I realize now we are backtracking to explain him beating her at the beginning of the chapter, but it is not easy on the eye.

"it was pointless asking him to fetch help now . . ." That this would even have occurred to her mid-beating is a bit of a disconnect for me.

constant and wave also seem a bit disconnected. I'm typing as I'm reading so, if this is labor the pains/contractions should be intermittent. They can be relentless, but if they are constant, then she is likely is having a placental abruption ( which could very well happen in this situation.) I'll read on.

which was squeezing her upper arm painfully . . . clamped one of her breasts painfully — a bit of an echo here. I try not to be the adverb police, but you could do with a trim.

This dialogue seems real today. I'm just not sure it does for 1853 — a bit too modern. "God, I hate you. I wish you were dead. You're an animal. I feel sick just looking at you, you despicable bastard."

JJ Broadleaf wrote 322 days ago

I couldnt put this down. Just looked to see why it was ranked so I and not my sort of stuff but more than good. Hope the ED treats you well best of luck and highest stars


Neville wrote 322 days ago

Sally of Spring Row.
By Emma Hornby.

A book that captures the reader from the opening page, taking us back 160 years and done very well I might say. The older dialogue used for a hamlet such as this, at that time, is pretty much spot on.
Poor Sally, taking her regular beating from her husband Joseph was probably commonplace in that period of history and her about to give birth—makes you wonder.
This is excellent writing, there’s no doubt about it and it doesn’t lack in description either.
I can see this being in print and it’s a book that I would buy without hesitation.
I’m pleased to have had the opportunity to read some of it and will certainly come back for more.
Worth every star and there’s six of them! BACKED!
Six Stars!!


One Off, Sir!
The Secrets of the Forest (Series)- Cosmos 501.
The Secrets of the Forest (Series)-The Time Zone.

BeeJoy wrote 322 days ago

Whoa. I started first chapter. Brilliant. I am so glad to see that she is leaving the husband. I am liking this book. Great job so far girl!

Cait wrote 324 days ago


I read several chapters of this way back. I think you’ve changed it a bit, and it reads even better this time around. What a beast Joseph is (he’s even worse than the character in my book!) and you make it all the more unsettling with your knack of drawing the reader right into that kitchen, making us witness his cruelty towards Sally.

You have a good ear for dialogue and I love the dialect. It comes across as natural, so well done!

Your writing, also, is very good, and I feel a little guilty making the few nits I did. For what they’re worth, here they are:

Ch 1: Joseph's reply [was ground out] quietly…
Try: Quietly, Joseph ground out his reply… ~ This gets rid of the ‘was’ and makes it less passive?

... as Joseph [began to] gently smooth the drenched hair from her hot…
~ as Joseph gently smoothed the drenched hair from her hot, etc. ~ I think it best to omit the ‘began’ word in one’s writing. Makes it stronger without it.

... her heart [began to] beat furiously [in her chest] as a slow…
~ her heart beat furiously as a slow, leering grin spread across Joseph's face. 'in her chest' not necessary.

... words suddenly [began to] pour from Sally's mouth,
~ words suddenly poured from Sally's mouth, ~ Not keen on ‘suddenly’ either, but it’s up to you.

Ch 2: Relieved Sally feels safe in the comfort of Arthur and Ivy's house.

Ch 3:
... as they [began to] smoke and crackle,
~ as they smoked and crackled,

... as they [began to] burn,
~ as they burned,
~ as they turned crimson, slowly warming the small, homely kitchen.

Filling a heavy iron kettle with water from a bucket at the side of the hearth, which had been filled at the well in the lane the night before, Ivy put it on the bar and swung it over the fire [to heat - no need to tell us this].

~ This is a tricky one. Here, she’s 'multi-tasking'… At the same time as she’s filling the kettle, she’s putting it over the fire? Try something like:

A bucketful of water, which Arthur had drawn from the well in the lane the night before, sat at the side of the hearth. Ivy filled a heavy iron kettle from it, put it on the bar and swung it over the fire.

... then noticing his napkin [was sopping wet], (I’m assuming they called nappy a napkin in those days?)
~ then noticing his sopping wet napkin… this gets rid of the ‘was’ and makes it a bit stronger?

A little of the [cold – typo] [from the bucket] [was added]... – In the previous paragraph, you mention the coal is from the bucket so no need to repeat it here.

Try: ~ She added several more small bits of coal…/ She added several more nuggets of coal then stripped the child of his wet clothing. ~ Gets rid of another pesky ‘was’.

After he [was] dressed…
~ After she dressed him…

Lying the clean, dry, contented child upon the rug once more, she quickly washed herself with the remainder of the water in the dish and slipped into her dress.

Another multi-tasker. Don’t think she could wash and dress herself at the same time as she puts the child on the rug? I know…I’m being a right picky pain in the arse with these pesky nits. :o.

Try something like this: With the child now dry and contented, she lay him upon the rug once more, then quickly washed herself with the remainder of the water in the dish and slipped into her dress.

As you can likely tell, I'm no pro, so I won't mind if you totally ignore all of the above!

But this is a book I’d like in paperback to read. :o)

Have sprinkled lots of Irish stardust over it, and will put it on my shelf soon.

Cáit ~ Reminiscing ~

Debra H wrote 347 days ago

Sally of Spring Row is a heartbreaking read--from the first three chapters that I've read, anyway. The writing is very well done with great use vocabulary, varied sentence length and structure. The narrative carries the story forward for the reader at a very nice pace. Opening with a pregnant Sally being beaten by her brutal husband definitely gets the reader on side with the main character, Sally, and hating the antagonist, Joseph, who seems truly evil. It's hard to understand his motives in beating and abusing his wife. I've sometimes read that even villains should have believable motives for their behaviour. The plot so far is very engaging.

The characters introduced in the first three chapters are intriguing. Varying the viewpoint works well to give a more rounded exploration of the plot. I find Ivy an engaging woman, her husband, Arthur, well rounded and Sally, the main character, a person we might feel sorry for. Hopefully she does not remain a victim too long (the pitch suggests she flees to save herself and her son). Victims who do nothing to get out of their predicament can begin to wear on readers. I expect this is not the case here.

The setting is well described and the time frame, the Victorian period, is a very popular for stories about poverty, men forced to work in poorly maintained mines, and women ill-treated, with little recourse to improve their lot.

The dialogue sounds perfect. I can't say I'm an expert when it comes to dialect and period dialogue, but it rang true for me. There's a really nice balance of action, dialogue and internal monologue.

The structure, a straightforward chronological narrative with insertions of backstory works well, as does the third person past tense telling of the story.
When I want to read on I know you've hooked me.
Six stars and good luck on the editor's list this month.
I'm putting Sally of Spring Row on my bookshelf and will read further as soon as I have a moment.

Debra H
Turnaround Bay

Sheena Macleod wrote 351 days ago

Continuing to read through Sally of Spring Row. Read through chapter eight. = nine. What a nasty lot Joseph and his sister are. I am enjoying this well written account. The mention of the potato famine in Ireland and the immigrants to Bolton. All great stuff.
Excellent flow and narration.
Already high starred


Sheena Macleod wrote 357 days ago

Sally of Spring Row by Emma Hornby

Emma, what a vividly depicted tale. I found the first chapter very disturbing and the cruelty was only properly explained, when I discovered that Sally had been bought.
What an engrossing story indeed.
I read the first seven chapters and was impressed by the consistency of your narrative, writing and dialogue.
Omg, the priest was typical of the mind set then. The marriage had to be preserved and it was the churches job to ensure that it was.
You must have carried out a lot of research on the time- your attention to detail of dress, behaviour etc is very good. It is Catherine Cookson/ish but more gritty.

Very High stars and hope to see this published.

The Popish Plot

Angelika Rust wrote 358 days ago

Not my kind of book, usually, nor my preferred genre, but I still was drawn into it from the very beginning. Your highly descriptive writing, together with an absolutely natural sounding dialogue, made me feel as if I were standing there watching rather than reading.
The only thing that irritated me a bit was that Joseph would let Sally go with Ivy. Bullies tend to be cowards, yes, but if he feared his neighbors' talk or scorn or whatever, what made him go and hammer against Arthur's and Ivy's door? That exposed him even further.
Apart from that I've nothing much to say. A fine, professional, polished piece. You didn't even leave me any typos to complain about.
High stars.

sonyadodd wrote 359 days ago

Wow! What an amazing opening chapter. Immediately the reader is drawn to the terrible conditions of Sally's existence and we share a hatred for her despicable husband.
Your writing is excellent at weaving the reader into your story and the chapter ends in a great place to hook any reader who is not already gripped by such excitement.

Kathy K G wrote 360 days ago

What a monster you've created with Joseph. He has beaten and cowed Sally almost to the point of nonexistence. It's hard not to have sympathy for a woman so grievously mistreated. You've built Joseph up to be such a monster of cruelty and depravity in that first chapter that it's hard to believe he would be so easily intimidated as to let Sally go just because one of the neighbors calls him on his bad behavior. But you've also created a stalwart force in Ivy, making it easier to believe that she would stand firm in the face of his ugliness. I like Arthur as well. Quiet, stable and kind. I really enjoyed reading about the little details of their everyday lives. It felt so real and very lovely. I've read the first three chapters and have kept it on my wl so I can come back and read more.

Great job and high stars.


Stellajr wrote 360 days ago

Emma, It was emotionally difficult for me to get through the first chapter. In retrospect though, it does a brilliant job investing us in Sally's well-being. From the moment we know she is away from this brute, we are behind her, holding our breath, hoping she will succeed in escaping from him. You are masterful in building and maintaining suspense. I have read all that is here and could easily have continued. You made me feel that these are real people. I'm anxious to see how the reunion goes with Sally's aunt. I worry what will happen if Joseph finds her and her baby. Will he retaliate against the neighbors who helped her? Will Sally find true love and happiness?
I had some difficulty with the dialect, but at the same time felt it set the tone and made it feel more authentic. I had to guess at what some of it meant; most of it could be figured out through context. Highly rated and on watchlist for now. Will find it a spot on my shelf in the near future.
All the Best,

teaka wrote 360 days ago

Ok let me just say I love this story thus far. The language and descriptions set the scene and time line wonderfully. It reminded me of how Great Expectations was written(with the dialect and such, I loved that story BTW) I hope Joseph gets paid put to him in a big way and I love Sally's strength. A true survivor, someone whom had seen hell, lived it for gosh sakes and is attempting to build a better life for herself and her son. I truly hope this is a happily ever after kind of story as my heart feels for your main female character. The only thing i had a hard time with was follow the POV, but i think that was just me. The fact that even though half starved herself, Sally could not bear to see the poor homeless dog go without shows her compassion for all things. Gave it high stars and added to both my bookshelf and to watch list
Best Regards

Juliana S. wrote 364 days ago

Hi, Emma - sorry it took me so long to respond to your offer to read each other's work. I'm very impressed with your ability to bring these people to life. I felt as though I was right there with them. Of course, I hated being near that monster, Joseph and could feel those blows he gave poor Sally. A man like Joseph is basically a coward so of course he would run away. I hope he gets his uppance. So glad Sally has wonderful neighbors. This is a very well written story. Best wishes.

L.Lombard wrote 369 days ago

Where do I start? At the beginning, I guess. I hated Joseph, immediately, from the start, so that was very well done. Even though Sally seems weak in the first chapters, I couldn’t help but see her inner strength, and waiting for the right moment in the story to let her shine was brilliant. Every character has a purpose, and they are all brought to life with perfect timing (even Shield). I read all you posted and am left wanting more. This is wonderful writing and the reader journeys right along Sally as she picks up the pieces and reinvents herself.
Wonderfully done.

NLG-86 wrote 372 days ago

The style is engaging and grabs the reader's attention right from the outset. We are immediately drawn into the difficulties of Sally's life and although she evidently fears Joseph, we are also given an insight into her courage and spirit.
I like the descriptions and thought the dialogue convincing, with good use of dialect to set the time and place.
Chapter one ended with suspense which made the reader want to find out whose shout had interrupted Joseph.
Really like this and have put it on my shelf.

ShirleyGrace wrote 373 days ago

I think we both got on this site at about the same time. I read your book then but I looked back and I cannot find a comment. I may be over looking it or possibly I wasn't confident enough at that point to review the book. At any rate I will now. The beginning of the book bites into the reader and is very very graphic. The brutality and evil of the attacks and the abuse holds the reader and the reader then holds their breath waiting for her to make her escape and get away from this maniac. The reader believes and wants somehow to help her. I had no problem with the dialect and in fact I think it adds to the story. It's a very good book.

T Barr wrote 375 days ago

I very much liked your work. You are very talented. The opening chapter is attention holding and
well developed.

dezii77 wrote 377 days ago

I thought this was brilliant!!! What great agony you have shown the readers! I almost thought i was there, in pain with her. And you said this was a Romance so I cant help to wonder who the mystery man is to save the day (giggles) what an eye catching start, and good use of an Irish accent :)

Olive Field wrote 380 days ago

I have backed this in the past and kept it on my book shelf. I've had another read and backed with six stars. I hope this make the desk this month. Best of luck, Olive.

Vithereader wrote 385 days ago

This reminds me of Catherine Cookson's books. You write really well.

Davrielle wrote 386 days ago

Chapters 1-3

Emma, your writing is visceral and professional. I felt like I was reading a segment from an already published manuscript. I was simply blown away by the power of the first chapter. It was as if I was in the scene, watching everything. I felt for Sally, and I detested Joseph with all my heart. He seems like a terrible person, and most likely the villain of the story. The words you use to describe your first chapter were powerful, and I only wish that I could write like you do.
Anyway, there were some things I noticed in chapter one-three that you could use a slight improvement on. I noticed you rely too much on the dialect of Lancashire people. This is both good and negative. You do a great job of showing us the dialect, but it's just a bit too much to handle. I'm sure a person from Lancashire will understand the words perfectly, but for people who aren't from that area (I'm from the States), it can be quite jarring. Most publishers suggest you limit the dialect. Once you get the point across of the dialect, throw in a word or two in each dialogue tag, but don't make the entire dialogue in the dialect. It's difficult to read it.
Your language in your descriptions is beautiful, and I only wish I could write as fluid as you.
I like Arthur, but he seems kind of just...there at times. Is there a way you can make him pop more? Is he a major character? I would like to see more about Arthur. And Ivy seems very kind and gracious. Could you perhaps show this by describing something that makes her gracious? I really love your characters because they are so visceral. I can definitely see this published, and I backed it to help you get to the ED.
Great work, and you are definitely an inspiration for my own writing. I will definitely come back to this in the near future (like tomorrow) to further my reading! :)

Mary Smith Reads wrote 388 days ago

I love this. The opening chapter actually had me holding me breath...I was as unsure as Sally about what he is capable of. Excellent writing. Well done.

Aliss wrote 388 days ago

Hi Emma,
The pitch really sells the story to me – sounds like Wuthering Heights meets Dickens! Love the description of ‘belching chimneys’ in Manchester – it makes me want to read more.
Chapter 1
You naturally tell the story and grip the reader through the action in the opening. Likewise Joseph’s dialect comes across very well – realistic but still easy to follow. You are immediately thrown into Sally’s predicament. Joseph is established as a really horrible character from the start and the incident with the wool is really well written.
You also end the Chapter with a successful ‘cliffhanger.’
Chapter 2
I found the opening paragraph to be very ‘wordy’ (?) before I settled in to the Chapter. The description of the houses on Spring Row are effective, as is the dialogue and the characters and once again, I think you throw the reader into some action and the pace picks up immediately.

Bell52 wrote 391 days ago

Sorry that should have been "Hi Emma" !

Bell52 wrote 391 days ago

Hi Sally
I have read two chapters but i can't wait to read more. Your synopsis was really inviting. Your language and descriptions were really good and i really felt immersed in the 19th century. Your first chapter was so dark that my heart was in my mouth the whole time. High stars from me.
Michelle Read
Long Lost

Icelanna wrote 399 days ago

Hi there!
I'm so glad we have a theme in common! I love how you portray the lifestyle, its detailed enough to not be too much. It's always difficult - it's one of the things that made me frown when it came to getting peoples opinion "is it too much?" kinda thing but you've handled it very well - I've read much worse!
I love the MC you strike fear into us as her husband belittles her. You've captured it all very well. You are now on my WL and I will be back to read more :)


LisaCee wrote 407 days ago

Hi, Emma, I just noticed your ranking and wanted to say congrats! The editor's desk is within reach. Well deserved! Best, Lisa

Acinorev wrote 411 days ago

Hi Emma thank you for your encouragement and helpful advice. As I promised a few days ago I will now support your book all the way to the top. Lots of luck, Kylla.

Acinorev wrote 414 days ago

Hi Emma thank you for your encouraging review and for your advice. I have edited the first chapter on your recommendation, and it is very much better. I am still trying to complete the story, and then I will do some serious editing and polishing. It never ends does it? Because this type of genre is not many people's choice of reading it is very difficult for me to get honest opinions and advice. So you can imagine how delighted I was that a good writer such as you spent time to read my work. I have never attempted to write anything before. I have read some of your book, Sally of Spring Row, and I have stared it high. I will back it when I have a space on my shelf. I will definitely help you to get on to the editor's desk when you are in the last ten positions. Many thanks and my best wishes, Kylla.