My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A Woman’s Choice spans approximately 18 years of Clara Foley’s life. It begins just after the turn of the 20th Century, with young Clara. At nearly 12 years old she and her mother are about to embark on a steamer bound for America where they intend to start a new life. Turned out of their home after Clara’s father died, their only hope came in the offer of assistance from Clara’s Aunt in New York.
This book is about the strength of women. Clara must be strong where her mother is weak from grief. In a reversal of roles Clara is forced to care for her mother. Whilst crossing the Atlantic they make friends on the boat, some of whom will have significant parts in Clara’s life.
In the early years in New York, Clara and Jenny stay with Aunt Emma and Uncle Bill, but conditions are cramped and they need to find a place of their own. Clara supports them by working in a garment sweatshop, but her ambition is to be able to sing. She must start at the very bottom of the ladder and it’s a hard life until she gets her first chance singing popular songs in the music department of Staceys.
It’s Clara’s determination and drive which get her where she is, she pushes her agent to find her an audition for a show and again she works her way up. She’s supported by her good friend Michael O’Halluran and other strong women, Noreen and Margo.
The return of Luke Rutherford adds another chapter to Clara’s life, with his ambition to build and sell motorcars. The friends enter into business at a time of prosperity for some, while Europe plunges into war. With Michael gone to England to join the war, Clara feels adrift. News from France will set Clara back on her feet as she once more makes her own choice about her destiny.
View all my reviews on Goodreads
Annie will be joining us on the blog tomorrow as our guest do come back and find out more about her writing.