“Breathtaking. Utterly floored me.” William J. Kite
The good, the bad and the ugly….
This is an excellent book. My husband and I both found it compelling reading. The flow of language and description is masterly. I would heartily recommend it.
5 stars G.M. Donald
Ropewalk follows the tradition of spellbinding historical novels with a period story that feels true to life.
Set against a backdrop of workers’ uprising in Ulverston, a thriving port town of Northern England, in 1831, it is mostly told from the perspective of a strong female character, Bea Lightfoot. She is 21, a working-class lace-maker and full of dreams when she meets the enigmatic Captain Henley and Joshua, the son of a rich merchant.
This tale weaves romance with mystery, rebellious plotting, legal proceedings and historical fiction, making them work well together and creating an immersive and atmospheric story.
The dynamics between Bea and Joshua are tenderly depicted and Bea is a well-rounded, memorable character as is Captain Henley whose haunting presence elevates the novel. Also, the ending is satisfying even though the author finishes it on a cliff-hanger as a prelude to Book 2 of the Ropewalk series.
Forewarning: there is a brutal scene (of a sexual and violent nature) two-third of the way through which may not appeal to everyone. It isn’t voyeuristic nor sexist and I found that it is brought together thoughtfully while its aftermath is anchored in the context of that era. Yet, much like ‘that’ scene from the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini it is upsetting.
5 stars Austry
I was given this book as an advance copy. I am a lover of historical fiction and rate this highly. I had no knowledge of Ulverston or the Ropewalk before reading this novel. However I now feel like I have been there. HD coulters descriptive and engaging writing made me feel like I was right there in Ulverston. The relationships throughout the novel and how they are woven together really made this book for me. I am really looking forward to the next instalment and continue on Beas journey with her.
5 stars Jillian
A must read for fans of Historical Fiction…
H.D.Coulter weaves Bea’s story beautifully, bringing her characters and Ulverston to life.
Bea is a strong, talented working class woman, frustrated in a life in which she has no autonomy or opportunities to forge her own path. When she meets Captain Hanley and Joshua Mason she gains an insight into a different world and her life will never be the same again.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book; I loved H.D.Coulter’s writing style, I found myself truly immersed, with Ulverton and the Ropewalk brought to life and admired Bea’s strength and ambition for more than society allowed her. I can’t wait for the next instalment.
If you like historical fiction you will love this book.
5 stars Rachel Hamilton
Gripping and enjoyable….
Started reading this book ‘ROPEWALK’ by H.D. Coulter and got interested right away and was keen to keep reading on to the next chapter and then on to the next . It was hard to put down. The story got you involved right away with each character’s description and personality fitting in with the history and time of events in Cumbria in the 1830s. This is a well thought out book, giving the time of industrial unrest between workers and bosses and the poverty and survival of families.
This was also a working girl’s quest for a more full-filling life. Which path should she take?.
I’m glad Book 2 will be out soon as I am eager to know the next step of the journey to a new future in a new land.
5 stars A Gillies
True love in a cruel world…
It’s 1831, and the book follows Bea, a young ropemaker’s daughter from the north. Her life is predictable until two men of higher status fall in love with her. On the backdrop of an uprising by her people, Bea is exposed to the cruelty of her world and the tension ratchets up with a beautiful use of language. This is not a fairy story, and you are almost holding your breath towards the end, as the injustices mount up. An incredible book with a deft ending that, I believe, will lead into a second book next year.
5 stars Darren
“Ropewalk follows the tradition of spellbind historical fiction with a period story that feels true to life.”