This outstanding story of a poor family struggling to survive in Victorian England should be on the reading list of every medical student and aspiring nurse to say nothing all social workers.
Every chapter grips with events and places, people and circumstances described with drama and authentic realism. Poverty, overcrowding, poor nutrition and despair come over and one can sense the potency of the devil's brew of all these elements as prime causes of disease and death. Kate was in many ways a character head and shoulders above her "betters" and her story illustrate the greatest value of patience, humility and determination set against adversity and tragedy.
It is no tragedy that the wealthy classes of Victorian England went into steep decline under the impact of the first world war. It can only be a cause for amazement and debate that revolution and bloody "cleansing" of a society flawed by injustice and intolerance did not actually come about. Kate's Story is worth reading and reflecting on for many reasons. Perhaps the best of these is because it describes the best of all human values in a young woman whose family must be so proud of her. She knew the meaning of "love" and understood how to put it to work for the benefit of those close to her and those further off.
"So shall she ever shine".
REVIEW BRIAN MCGUINNESS,PROFESSOR OF PRIMARY HEALTH CARE,UNIVERSITY OF KEELE.
Having read twice all three of your wonderfully descriptive books (Kate's Story, Our Kid, High Hopes) about Manchester life, I felt that I must write and say congratulations. These have been added to my ever increasing library of treasured Manchester local history books.
Geoff Knight, Manchester
I have just finished reading KATE'S STORY and there is no doubt in my mind it is the best book I have ever read.
Simon Abram, Runcorn, Cheshire
I have just finished reading KATE'S STORY. Although I read your previous books with absolute delight, I must convey to you how much your book moved me. I was transported back to my childhood and to the stories told by my mother, grandmother and aunt.
Angela Chambers, Eastleigh, Hampshire
I am 15 years old and have read your first four books several times, (I was 13 when I first read OUR KID. I would like to congratulate you on such brilliant pieces of work! Are there any plans for a fifth book?
Wayne O'Brien, Swinton, Greater Manchester
'Have just finished reading KATE'S STORY and can't thank you enough for such a tremendous read. I felt I was reading the life story of my own grandmother.'
Susan Tydd, Swinton.
'Never before have I laughed and cried out loud as much as I did reading KATE'S STORY. I've read all your other works and felt I was there living the good and the bad times. They have also taught me so much too.'
Andrea, Firefighter at Birmingham airport.