Warm Up with a Good Book

Featherweight by Mick Kitson

Annie is born in the mid-19th Century, alongside coal-covered canals of the Black Country, in the West Midlands of England, to a large Romani family. When her father dies, her mother becomes desperate and makes the impossible decision to sell Annie, who is almost nine years old to the highest bidder at an annual fair. Overnight, Annie becomes daughter to the famous, and foul-mouthed bare-knuckle boxer Bill Perry, the legendary “Tipton Slasher,” who though over-fond of drink, dotes on the girl.

As Annie grows up, she ends up taking care of an aging and ailing Bill more and more. When Bill ends up in financial trouble, Annie decides to train as a fighter, herself, in order to get him out of the jam. Soon enough, Annie becomes a legend in her own right, and along with the opportunity to attend school and become literate. Will that be enough to allow her to escape to a better life?

This rollicking read is filled with run-ins with the law, robberies by dangerous highway men, the finding of first love, and of course, plenty of fist fights. Annie’s independence and joie de vive make her a delight to spend time with, and her determination to succeed no matter the obstacles in her path, makes her downright inspirational. If you like action-packed historical fiction with strong and unique characters, a vivid setting and old world dialect, don’t miss Featherweight. It will knock you out!

-Carol

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