- Title: A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane
- Author: Lindsey Hutchinson
- Publisher: Boldwood Books on August 24, 2021
- Genre: Saga/Historical Fiction
- Pages: 340
- Formats Available: Paperback, Audiobook, & Digital
- Rating: 4/5
Trigger Warnings: Coercion, Alcohol Use
Many thanks to Lindsey Hutchinson and Boldwood Books for providing me with a digital copy of A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane with a request for an honest review. Also, thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for having me on the tour and for providing the materials needed for this post.
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About A Winter Baby on Gin Barrel Lane
Dolly Perkins and Jack Larkin have grown up in the notorious gin palaces of Birmingham.
It’s a world of happiness and friendship, but also violence and poverty. Now that Dolly runs the Daydream Gin Palace on Gin Barrel Lane she can finally control her own destiny, but sometimes fate still plays its hand.
Keen to expand her empire, Dolly and Jack take on a new pub, but they are in for a shock when a foul smell in one of the bedrooms turns out to come from a body hidden in the wall.
As the police hunt for their suspect, rumours abound, spread by the local urchins – happy to be used as runners for a little bit of food and a coin or two.
But rumours can be dangerous, and as one of the worst winters on record covers everything in snow, Dolly and Jack have to fight for the lives they have made for themselves, and for the urchins that they have come to think of as family. Will the arrival of a new baby on Gin Barrel Lane bring the promise of new hope, or will the long-awaited thaw uncover new secrets and new tragedies…
The Queen of Black Country sagas is back on Gin Barrel Lane with a rip-roaring, heart-warming, page-turning story of family, friendship and beating the odds. Perfect for fans of Val Wood and Lyn Andrews.Provided by Rachel’s Random Resources for Tour Use
A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane is a delightful and inspiring novel that will make everyone smile. Lindsey Hutchinson does a fantastic job with the story by giving us characters to root for.
Dolly co-owns a gin palace where she works hard, earning her the respect of most in the city of Birmingham. Jack is her long-time friend turned husband, and they work together to build a small empire. When a criminal tries to take Jack and Dolly down, they fight back. With the help of their customers, employees, and friends, they make it look easy. It takes more than idle threats to scare off Dolly. While Dolly and Jack grow closer, their success skyrockets. And, the Moreland thug weakens. It goes to show that evil never wins.
Dolly is a spitfire, and so are the housekeepers and cooks she hires for the gin palaces she runs. I love seeing strong female characters, especially in a historical context. Because life wasn’t easy for women, and definitely not single women in the 19th century. Jack is a loveable goofball. He never lets his ego get in the way of what Dolly wants. They work well together, and Jack is completely devoted to Dolly.
I loved the urchins. The dirty, hungry, little ragamuffins touched my heart in a way that makes me wish my kiddos were young again. The kids run errands for anyone, but their elaborate spy network gives them the heads up on all the gossip. Aggie and her mysterious ways of knowing everything made me laugh and want to hug her tiny spies.
Though, I do have a few problems with this book. Apparently, it is the second book in a series, but I had no idea. It wasn’t until I happened upon an online review by another reader that I found that out. So, that does explain the overwhelming information dump at the beginning. Though, I think it would still be overwhelming even if I had known this was a sequel.
Another problem I had is with the title. I don’t understand it at all. I mean, there is a harsh winter, but the baby comes in the middle of the summer, well after the winter storm. So, the title baffles me a bit. Maybe someone else can explain the thought behind the title.
Yet, even with those issues, I still adored this book. The characters make me happy. The story is so inspirational and full of love from every direction. I am glad that this book came my way. I am happy to award A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Alley 4 out of 5 stars. Anyone who loves a bit of historical drama with tinges of love everlasting will enjoy this novel. I recommend it to all those readers who love strong women, history, and orphans.
About the Author – Lindsey Hutchinson
Lindsey Hutchinson is a bestselling saga author whose novels include The Workhouse Children. She was born and raised in Wednesbury, and was always destined to follow in the footsteps of her mother, the multi-million selling Meg Hutchinson. Lindsey’s first title for Boldwood was published in February 2020.