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Kate's Story (The Hopkins Family Saga, Book 2): A heartrending tale of northern family life

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Kate's Story (The Hopkins Family Saga, Book 2): A heartrending tale of northern family life.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Billy Hopkins(Author)

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'Dad, it's the happiest day of my life,'Kate said.'I wish time would stand still and it could be today forever.'



It's June 1897, and Kate is celebrating her eleventh birthday on the day of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Kate's joy is short-lived, as tragedy strikes, threatening her family with the loss of all they hold dear. Before long they are evicted from their home in Ancoats, Manchester, and with no wages coming in and a mother unable to cope, Kate has to grow up fast. Her deepest desire is to keep her brothers and sisters together.A journey of hope and heartache takes Kate from the hardships of the workhouse to the dubious comforts of a position in service to the rich; from the joys of marriage to a good man, to the sorrows and losses suffered during the Great War.

'A truly heartwarming read' Lancashire Life (Lancashire Life)

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Book details

  • PDF | 352 pages
  • Billy Hopkins(Author)
  • Headline (2 Aug. 2001)
  • English
  • 8
  • Fiction

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Review Text

  • By Bill Keeth on 7 August 2005

    I honestly and truly believe this book to be Billy Hopkins' abiding masterpiece. This is not to denigrate his debut novel, OUR KID, in any way - or the rest of that hilarious sequence, culminating in the recently-published WHATEVER NEXT! But whereas the appeal of these other five books is of an immediately accessible kind for all and sundry - and quite rightly and understandably so! - KATE'S STORY is the sort of book (e.g. MRS DALLOWAY, THE GREAT GATSBY, TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, THE GRAPES OF WRATH) that could not possibly have been written before its creator had succeeded in cutting his writer's teeth elsewhere. It's so much softer in tone, for one thing, and - given the really serious, vicissitudes of life in fin-de-siecle downtown Manchester UK that must be faced on a daily basis by the narrator and her loved ones (it opens in 1897, for instance, with an 11-year old girl visiting her father's place of work, the cause of his premature and impending death) - its humour too is necessarily of the un-guffawing kind. But there is something else here too - a very particular something that, for me at least, marks KATE'S STORY out as the work of a master storyteller second to none.John Braine used to say that you can't really call yourself a novelist until you've got three books under your belt. But what I think is worthy of even greater respect is when a male author so contrives things that he tells his tale with the voice of a woman.Which is what Billy Hopkins does in KATE'S STORY - he adopts the persona of his own mother. And though other authors have contrived a similar technique in the past (e.g. Anthony Burgess with ONE HAND CLAPPING; Charles Portis with his superb TRUE GRIT - another Bill Keeth "must-read"; and David Storey with FLIGHT INTO CAMDEN), Billy Hopkins brings to the narrative of KATE'S STORY such thoroughgoing decency and unwavering sensitivity that, all uncouth - indeed, sham masculinity being set aside to this purpose, womankind as a whole will feel immediately at ease in his presence. Heck! she'll forget her narrator's a man!And this, to my mind, together with the narrative's location amongst the early twentieth century urban poor,makes KATE'S STORY by Billy Hopkins the most interesting and important social document penned by a writer of fiction since James Plunkett's Dublin-based STRUMPET CITY in the 1970s.It is surely only lack of imagination coupled to creative paralysis and a perennial aversion to paying the going-rate for good fiction that keeps TV and film producers focused instead upon Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, George Eliot and the Brontes.

  • By Kindle Customer on 7 June 2017

    Excellent book. Kept me interested till the end good read especially if you are from Manchester. Great value for money

  • By Mark Bolton on 8 June 2002

    A rollercoaster of emotions for Kate, as her happiness turns to despair though family tragedy and loss of status. The characters are almost Dickensian at times, except that we know that they were very real in the life of Kate and her family.Kate's resolve and strength of character pull her and her younger siblings through a series of difficulties, and the book had me laughing and crying at times. A truly great read, and a worthy addition to Billy Hopkins' other two titles.

  • By stan on 1 August 2017

    Love the books

  • By Mary Joan Clement on 27 June 2002

    Ready Kates story took me to a time we have all forgotten. Billy Hopkins leads the reader into the very heart of the family where we laugh, cry and hope all at the sametime. I couldn't wait to pick up Kates story as soon as I could and when I had finished reading the book felt forefilled within myself. Kate shows a lot of strength yet is so funny that laughter and tears mix together. A must read for anyone who enjoys 'real life'

  • By Shelli Fleming on 27 July 2005

    I was advised by a friend to buy this book for my father as it was based in the district he grew up in. And now eight months later i've finally got my hands on it!!! Its been lent to friends of my family who have all raved about it. I just couldnt put it down!! Looking forward to reading the other titles of Billy's. Billy Hopkins - you are truly a wonderful man!!

  • By Gail on 5 March 2010

    I really could not put this book down. It was an easy read so I got through it very quickly. The story illustrates the lifestyles and the difficult times that some of our ancestors had. The story takes place in Manchester and gives detailed and accurate information about the area, but will probably reflect the lives of poor city dwellers nationwide of the era. Although the characters live in poverty it is certainly not a depressing book as the story shows the resilience, the morals and the strength of character that were normal for the time. In a way it made me very proud that my ancestors survived, and I am grateful that they did! I passed the book onto my mother who has found the book to be as enjoyable and as gripping as I did. Even though my father doesn't read many books (he prefers the newspaper) I am sure he will be the next one to read it. I will definitely read the other books Billy Hopkins has written as he has a great way to capture the lives of people at that time in history.

  • By Heather on 14 July 2010

    We think some people have it bad now ,we've got no idea! But although Kate's story is a tale of unbelievable poverty, it is also heartwarming as Kate, an amazing character fights her way through hardships and the unfairness of her life. She keeps on going no matter what life throws at her. It is hard for us to imaginehow she felt but Billy Hopkins' descriptive writing has you routeing for her all the way. Not in the style of Catherine Cookson but far more gritty,this is a real persons life. A lovely book set when the world was a different place, definately not to be missed. It really makes you think. An all time favourite and a treasured possession.


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