Guest Post and Guest Review for The Railway Girl by Tania Crosse – Blog Tour

Today, on behalf of Jill Burkinshaw from https://booksnall.blog/, Tania Crosse and Joffe Books, I’m hosting a guest post by Tania Crosse and a guest review from Brenda Young for the historical drama, The Railway Girl.

Synopsis

A heart-wrenching story of poverty, grief, love and compassion based around the building of the second railway through the historic market town of Tavistock on the edge of Devon’s Dartmoor.

It is 1887 and times are lean. When West Country farm labourer, Emmanuel Ladycott, and his dairymaid daughter, Tresca, lose their jobs on the land, they head for Tavistock where Emmanuel hopes to join the hundreds of navvies working on the new railway.

Lodging together in a tiny attic room, Tresca is determined to forge a new life among the overcrowding and poverty of Bannawell Street. But when Emmanuel is dismissed from the railway, Tresca doesn’t know whether to blame her father or his Irish foreman, Connor O’Mahoney.

Torn apart by her conflicting emotions, events spiral out of control, leaving Tresca broken and on the brink of despair. Lost and betrayed, will she find the strength and courage to fight for her future?

Guest Post from Tania Crosse

Inspiration for The Railway Girl

The whole of my Devonshire series is inspired by the rich and fascinating history of west Dartmoor and the surrounding area. Drive across Dartmoor today, and most visitors will see the savage beauty of the rugged, spectacular landscape, and the adorable ponies, sheep and occasional cows grazing wild among the rocks and heather. Few, though, will realise that, as well as being grazed more intensely, in the past, Dartmoor was a place of dangerous and demanding industry. Each of the books in the series sets out to explore a different aspect of life on the moor, from leading a harsh existence and scraping a living from farming and mining, to other more unexpected employment.

For The Railway Girl, we move to the market town of Tavistock on the western side of the moor. The original GWR railway came to the town in 1859, but towards the end of the century, the London and South West Railway drove a different route through the town, and it was the building of this that inspired this novel. The mining boom was over and times were lean, especially for those working on the land. Soup kitchens were set up in the town, and the workhouse at the top of Bannawell Street was crowded. But when two thousand relatively well-paid navvies and their families appear on the scene, the local economy takes a step up. Itinerant farm labourer, Emmanuel, seeks employment on the railway, bringing his dairymaid daughter with him. She, though, is the driving force behind his lax ways. Their relationship with his Irish foreman on the railway is a challenging one, that will bring defiance, heartbreak and tragedy. Later, after its completion, the railway will play a part in the most horrendous trauma a woman can experience – the abduction of her child.

Guest Review from Brenda Young

No matter what life threw at Tresca she pushed herself on, always taking care of those she loved.

Her time in the workhouse was gruelling to read, very descriptive and realistic.

The life of the poor was certainly no picnic, but she threw herself into life and what it brought to her with zeal.

She deserved her happy ending.

Author Bio – Tania Crosse

 

Historical novelist Tania Crosse was born in London and lived in Banbury Street, Battersea, where her two most recent titles are set. However, at a very young age the family moved to Surrey where Tania’s love of the countryside took root. She always enjoyed reading and has composed stories ever since she could hold a pen. After studying French Literature at university, she devoted twenty years to bringing up her family. But her passion for writing never left her, and side by side with her in-depth research into Victorian social history, she began to pen her novels in earnest as her family grew up.

When Tania discovered Morwellham Quay, the restored Victorian copper port and now living history museum in Devon, she fell in love with this magical place and felt a spiritual compulsion to create a story that would illustrate life there in times gone by. This led to the publication of her debut novel, ‘Morwellham’s Child’, and now Tania has fourteen published titles with which to thrill her readers.

Tania has now completed her series of novels illustrating the rich history of Tavistock and the surrounding area of Dartmoor from Victorian times to the 1950’s. She is now working on a series of Twentieth Century stories set in London and the south east. She draws very much on her own experiences of life to create her books. She hates being catagorised as a writer of historical romance. The history comes first, she insists, and the human tales develop from her research. The characters lead harsh, demanding lives and their stories are often cruel and harrowing.

Tania has been happily married for forty five years and claims she would never have achieved her success without her husband’s support. They have three grown up children, two grandchildren and three grand-dogs!

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