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Reviewed by Jean Hall for Readers' Favorite
I thoroughly enjoyed this British story although it brought many deep issues to the surface. In Holding On, Mel Morton writes about the village of Heatherton, with a woman named Beth who is holding on to a secret. I wanted to know what happened next as I read Beth's story and how she managed to cope with surviving childhood sexual abuse.
The story starts out innocently enough with the Heatherton committee planning an event. The good folks of the village plan a festival to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. They want a celebrity to kick off the festivities and they choose a renowned war photographer named Don. Beth puts two and two together and she realizes that the photographer is her feared abuser. She was just a fragile girl of eight named Lizziebeth when her innocence was deviously stolen. Beth has a disapproving Mum and an understanding Dad. Beth's husband Peter is kind and thoughtful. Will Beth be believed and will justice prevail?
The story of childhood abuse bubbles up through the work of the committee and more comforting everyday events. The British English and slang gives Mel Morton's Holding On its distinctive flavor. I thought that this British story was very appealing and that deep subjects were approached with great humanity.