Set against the blistering heat and grinding poverty of the chainshops of the Black Country, this compelling love story charts the struggle of young Anna Gibson to forge a new life from the remnants of betrayal by her lover, and a tragic marriage of convenience.
A simple offer of work as a model proves to be the catalyst for complete change, taking Anna from the sunny beaches and liberal attitudes of an artist’s colony in Brittany, to the struggle to survive and make good in the immigrant community of downtown New York.
Anna learns her lessons well, and she finds herself still making chains, but now chains of restaurants, leading to wealth if not happiness. Then comes Prohibition, and Anna’s decisions involve her in a gangland feud which threatens her family and friends in a frightening web of intrigue and violence.
EDITORIAL NOTE: How do we recover from the agony of a lover’s betrayal? What is true love anyway? Can we befriend lawbreakers without getting hurt?
These questions are at the core of this unusual and compelling book. Written with humour, colour and passion, Helen Spring weaves an absorbing tale of obsession and complex emotions, and their far-reaching consequences.
Readers comments on ‘The Chainmakers’.
’99 per cent of this book flows through your eyes and into your mind as easily and comfortably as the thoughts of a daydream....’
‘Helen Spring is a true storyteller...’
‘If you want to be totally absorbed into the past, experience the joys, sorrows and hardships of the late 19 th – early 20 th century then this is the book for you....’
‘An absorbing and unusual book, don’t miss this one.’
‘Ms Spring’s competent narrative sweeps the reader effortlessly from the filth of the 19 th century factory floor to the elegant drawing rooms of New York.’‘The Chainmakers’ - available from all good bookshops, Amazon.co.uk ISBN 978-0-595-44765-7
A QUICK DIP......
Clancy took Anna’s arm as she clambered aboard, and then walked along the towpath to talk to her as she settled herself at the rear of the barge. He leaned towards her. ‘Ye didn’t say, Anna. Ye didn’t say...’ he entreated in a loud whisper.
‘What?’ Her face was stricken.
The bargeman took the tiller and the canal boat began to move away. Clancy walked alongside, his eyes locked with Anna’s. ‘Are ye coming darlin’? To America? Are ye coming with me?’ She did not answer. The boat drew away and she mouthed , ‘I’ll see you next week.’
Clancy raised his hand in acknowledgment and watched the barge recede slowly. Then he turned away and walked back along the canal path. It was only when he reached the main road that he realised he had not asked Anna to marry him.