Book Review: Blood Ties (Tales of the Notorious Hudson Family #4) by Julie Shaw

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Family is not always a place of safety.  Kathleen was just eight years old when her mother was tragically killed in a car accident.  And when her father remarries it is to the bitter and resentful Irene who has two children of her own and no space in her heart for another.  Irene goes out of her way to make Kathleen’s life as miserable as possible and will stop at nothing to get her out of their lives… When Kathleen is sixteen, a shocking incident rocks the family, and life takes a darker turn.  Among this darkness, Kathleen finds a glimmer of hope in an older man, but Irene is ruthless in her mission to destroy her.  Can Kathleen find happiness or is she destined for tragedy?
Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I know that this isn’t a crime or thriller book as I usually read, but the story of modern Cinderella intrigued me and I decided to give it a try. Being a motherless daughter by myself , I’ve found some connection with the main character, but that is where the similarity ends. The plot is set in Bradford Yorkshire in the sixties of the last century and centers around one working class family. Kathleen is a young woman, girl, just turning sixteen years old, who has lost her mother as a child. Her father remarries a couple of years later, and the new stepmother has two children by herself. But this family’s life is far away from a happy fairytale. The stepmother is like Cinderella’s evil stepmother, and her children act just like Cinderella’s stepsisters. Kathleen works part-time in her father’s pub and there she meets a man. A regular customer, a young widower who has lost his wife too early in life. The pain from the loss connects these two people., but they have to fight for their love. Terry is older than her and already a widower and she is still a minor. Love works in mysterious ways.

I like Kathleen as a character. She is a down-to-earth young girl, too wise for her age. It is obvious that she has had to grow up too soon. She desperately wants to have a family, that’s why she stands still while her stepmother and her stepbrother and sister treat her badly. She loves her father too much to destroy his idea for a family. And when love knocks on the door, she invites it in and grabs with both hands. But when you are sixteen you have dreams that might not be realistic and falling in love with a widower is not the best decision in the world. And all she wants is to be happy.

Another character I like is Kathleen’s father. He reminds me of my father a little bit. When he finds out that his minor daughter is seeing an older man, he tries to protect her. That would any good father do. Like every father, all he wants is his little princess to be happy.

But can these two people who suffered through life finally find happiness in their lives?

The story tells us about the ordinary human life. A life full of ups and downs, everyday struggles, smiles and tears. Blood Ties is a family drama that can be easily described as modern time Cinderella. Honestly, I was expecting more description of the time when the story is happening, some events that marked those years. I had a feeling that the story lacked the wider picture and was concentrated just on the feelings of the young girl. But that was just my opinion.

My opinion: 3 / 5.

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