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Reviewed by Gretchen Jawurek for Readers' Favorite
I was drawn into Kitty McKenzie by Annemarie Brear from one of the first sentences in the first paragraph. “Below two weighty men filled the back of the wagon with furniture.” You think, “Oh the family is moving.” You are right, but not in the way you think Katherine McKenzie - otherwise known as Kitty - is moving. Kitty is left to take care of her brothers and sisters after typhoid took both her parents and the youngest sister. She is one of seven children: Rory, Rosie, Martin, Mary, Joe and Clara. Now Kitty is in charge of them all and is finding out that her parents, “God Bless Them,” were not very good at managing their finances.
This story takes place in York during the middle 1800s. Kitty finds herself not only in charge of the family, but going from a comfortable upper middle class life to abject poverty. But don’t despair; this is a “feel good” story. Kitty finds the courage and strength and a few loyal and helpful friends that help her work her way up from poverty to a cart in the market, to owning a tea house, to achieving her dreams, all the while keeping the family together and out of the workhouse, which was quite an achievement in those days.
I love that the story is ‘character rich' and I always love reading an inspiring tale about how someone works their way up from nothing to achieving their dreams. Kitty McKenzie has it all. You laugh and cheer her on! You will be amazed and inspired as you read this book. You won’t want it to end.