Black Country Orphan is a moving story of the courage and strength of women, by the Sunday Times bestselling author Annie Murray.
The early 1900s: Cradley Heath, a town in the Black Country near Birmingham and centre of the world's chain-making trade.
Lucy Butler, a young girl crippled by a cruel accident, lives with her two brothers and widowed mother, a chain-maker barely making ends meet. When tragedy strikes, the Butler family is separated and Lucy is taken in by Bertha Hipkiss, another impoverished chain maker, struggling to look after her own family.
Lucy, while feeling the loss of her own family, relies on the company of Bertha's two sons, charming Clem and straight-laced John. Though clever at school, Lucy knows she must leave and earn her keep, working many hours in the backyard forge. The five women toiling side by side, inevitably have their own friendships and squabbles. But they're united in their hatred of loathsome middleman Seth Dawson, who treats the women with contempt, and keeps their pay punishingly low.
But by the 1910s, there is a movement stirring, as across the country workers begin unionising for their rights. For Lucy, Bertha and the women of Cradley Heath, the promise of a better life seems almost too much to hope for - and the fight may end up costing them everything . . .
Annie Murray was born in Berkshire and read English at St John's College, Oxford. Her first Birmingham novel, Birmingham Rose, hit The Times bestseller list when it was published in 1995. She has subsequently written many other successful novels, including A Hopscotch Summer, Soldier Girl and the bestselling novels Chocolate Girls and War Babies. Annie has four children and lives near Reading.
This heart-warming story is a gripping read, full of drama, love and compassion (Soldier Girl)
Take a Break
This epic saga will have you gripped from start to finish (Chocolate Girls)
Birmingham Evening Mail
Just the right mix of mystery and nostalgia (Birmingham Friends)
A tale of passion and empathy which will keep you hooked (Birmingham Blitz)