Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners . To take part, you simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to check out her blog and link back to Lauren’s Page Turners, and add your own links!
It’s been a while since I’ve picked a Goodreads Monday book, so this week I’m going for a book I’m on the blog tour for on 1 Feb – a little while away yet, but I’m really excited to read it…
Title:: Veronica’s Bird
Author: Veronica Bird & Richard Newman
Publish date: 22 January 2018
Veronica Bird was one of nine children living in a tiny house in Barnsley with a brutal coal miner for a father. Life was a despairing time in the Fifties as Veronica sought desperately to keep away from his cruelty. However, a glimmer of hope revealed itself as she, astonishingly to her and her mother, won a scholarship to Ackworth Boarding School where she began to shine above her class-mates.A champion in all sports, Veronica at last found some happiness. That was until her brother-in-law came into her life. It was as if she had stepped from the frying pan into the fire.He soon began to take control over her life removing her from the school she adored, two terms before she was due to take her GCEs, so he could put her to work as cheap labour on his market stall. Abused for many years by these two men, Veronica eventually ran away from him and applied to the Prison Service, intuiting that it was the only safe place she could trust.
Accepted into the Prison Service at a time when there were few women working in the industry, Veronica applied herself every day to learning her new craft even training in Holloway Prison where Myra Hindley was an inmate. With no wish to go outside the prison, Veronica remained inside on-duty. While her colleagues went out to the pub, the theatre or to dine she didn’t feel able to join them.
Her dedication was recognised and she rose rapidly in the Service moving from looking after dangerous women prisoners on long-term sentences to violent men and coming up against such infamous names as The Price sisters, Mary Bell and Charles Bronson. The threat of riots was always very close and escapes had to be dealt with quickly.
After becoming a Governor, Veronica was tasked with what was known within the Service as a ‘basket case’ of a prison. However, with her diligence and enthusiasm Veronica managed to turn it around whereupon it became a model example to the country and she was recognised with an honour from the Queen. With this recognition the EU invited her to lead a team to Russia and her time in Ivanovo Prison, north east of Moscow, provides an illuminating and humorous insight into a different prison culture.
Through a series of interviews with Richard Newman —author of the bestselling A Nun’s Story— Veronica’s Bird reveals a deeply poignant story of eventual triumph, is filled with humour and compassion for those inside and will fascinate anyone interested in unique true life stories, social affairs and the prison system.
Have you heard anything about this book, or have you got it on your TBR list?
This does look good, looking forward to seeing your thoughts in February!
Thank you! I’m looking forward to starting it ????
[…] Monday! I came across Snazzy Books‘ Monday post and thought I would join in on Goodreads Monday […]
Not entirely a true story. Both Veronica’s parents George and Ethel were literate her mother could also read music play the piano beautifully and speak French. George was not a brutal man, just an average working class bloke, probably a little above average for the time as he owned his own house when most only rented. Veronica was a very privileged child and lots of sacrifices were made by the rest of her family so that she could go to Ackworth. Unfortunately, after the death of her mother, her father said that he could not afford to keep her there. Her older sister Joan stepped up and for the following 3 years, she and her husband Fred paid all expenses. It was Veronica’s choice to live with her sister, there was nothing to stop her from returning home to her father who at the time was on regular nights at the pit. He did like a drink and unfortunately in later life drank to excess. Veronica has done well in her career but she should not have portrayed her family in the way that she has because they have always been there for her.
Thanks for your comment, that’s really interesting to hear actually! I suppose it’s tricky sometimes to see past what might have been changed from real life in a book. Thanks