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Publisher's Summary

When young Jinnie Howlett’s widowed father, a tinker man, died a pauper, she was already a reluctant inmate of a northern workhouse. But she thought herself fortunate - the alternative might have meant she ended up on the streets.

When close to her 15th birthday and after years of toil and drudgery, she was at last offered a position as a maid-of-all-work. Jinnie’s employers were the Shalemans and her place of work Tollet’s Ridge Farm, a bleakly isolated and run-down sheep farm way out beyond Allendale and towards the Cumbrian border. Before long, she discovered she had exchanged one kind of drudgery for another, this time for the Shaleman family. 

Rose, invalid wife of Pug and mother to Bruce and Hal, demanded every hour of the day and night of her. Fortunately Bruce soon recognized that there was more to this seemingly vulnerable girl, and it was he who would defend her against the taunts and harassment of the brutish Pug and Hal. 

She became acquainted with Richard Baxton-Powell, who owed his life to Bruce, but when the persistent attention Richard paid her became too obtrusive, she was to understand that her growing confidence and maturity owed more to her life with the Shalemans than to any outside influence. It was then that Jinnie Howlett was suddenly thrust into womanhood, and the path to her own destiny became clear.

©1994 The Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

What listeners say about The Tinker's Girl

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Classic Catherine Cookson

I have long been a Catherine Cookson fan and this book certainly lived up to all that I enjoy about her style and plots.
The underdog comes good in the face of unlikely circumstances. Though the outcome is positive the plot is not too predictable.
Anyone who enjoys historical novels of struggle and real life with a touch of romance and overcoming the odds thrown in should find this book engaging.

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  • Myriamb8
  • 17-04-2019

good but not great

a bit too similar in plot to Dinner of Herbs for me. no real surprises. a bit thin on plot

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  • AdamH
  • 08-06-2019

not written by Cookson shame on trustees ruinin

g reputation by using computer stories which . Catherine would turn in her grave disgusting

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  • Ms. E. J. Baker
  • 14-03-2021

Poor faulty recording with duplicate lines

This is a cross between The Tide of Life and a smattering of her other big best sellers. Certainly it is not her best book ever but as I read it was released posthumously I am no longer surprised as I am sure she would have done more work on this before satisfied it was to her usual high and rigorous standards. It's quite enjoyable as a story as far as it goes and were it a good recording I am sure it would be even better but throughout there are numerous occasions of the same sentence repeated twice. It is infuriating and totally spoils it and shows very sloppy editing. Because it's so badly recorded I'm unsure whether to keep it or to send it back as a faulty recording because that is what it is.

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  • sandra
  • 02-06-2020

Brilliant

What a brilliant story I loved from beginning to end and am looking for something similar now

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  • Rachel
  • 30-05-2020

Brilliant

another great story with all the twists and turns you would expect from Catherine Cookson

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  • Misscatzi
  • 29-05-2020

A great book

If you enjoy period drama you'll love this book.
I have the paperback and I've read it twice! Fabulous read for those winter days when you just want to snuggle up.

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