Sep 15, 2015

Book Review: Ha'penny chance by Gemma Jackson

Review by Tanya

This is the second book by Gemma Jackson and is the follow on to her debut novel. The book is about Ivy Murphy which is a young lady, in her early 20’s, living in Dublin in 1925. She lives alone after the death of her strict father and is very set in her ways. She pushes her pram around the “posh and wealthy” houses of Dublin collecting their unwanted items. She works hard improving and altering these and she then sells them on at the local markets where she is well known by the stall holders. She is constantly caring for others such as Sean McDonald and his young mother. She has a friendship with the well-off Ann Marie Gannon and they teach each other things, which I enjoyed reading about.

The story revolves around the characters in the street and their various activities but Ivy is at the centre of it all with her caring and thoughtful nature. She is walking out with Jem Ryan who is also working hard to get out of the poverty and move up the classes. He cares deeply for Ivy and wants to help her.

Throughout the story Ivy’s life changes completely and unexpectedly. She has a hard decision to make at the end of the novel. I loved how things developed and how the characters became so believable. I admit that I do like books set in this era but have not read many set in Ireland and this was a nice change. Although it’s a standalone, I would advise to read the first book as there are things in the book referred to from the first. All in all it was a very nice read and I highly recommend it.

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