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Catrin Collier has written an absorbing love story with a difference.
Peter, a handsome, attractive, kindly, loving curate, has a ‘dark secret’ which threatens his relationship with Edyth, who falls deeply in love with him at first sight. Having just left school, she ditches all her plans to have a career, and defies her parents and family to marry Peter. (The Bishop has insisted that Peter should marry before he can be considered as suitable to have his own parish.)
Once they are engaged, Peter is posted to Tiger Bay in Cardiff Docks, a famous cosmopolitan quarter of the City. On her first day at college in Swansea, Edyth absconds to pay a surprise visit to Peter in Tiger Bay. Arriving late at night she is subjected to some terrifying experiences before being rescued in the police station by a Lutheran pastor who becomes a friend, and is best man when she marries Peter.
Although baffled by Peter’s changing moods and his relationship with his mother, who schemes to move into their home in Tiger Bay, Edyth learns to love the culture and people of the colourful, multi-ethnic Bay. Increasingly unhappy with her home life, she becomes more involved with the social life of her neighbours. Readers will be engrossed by the mystery of Peter’s secret and his ambivalent behaviour towards Edyth, whom he truly loves.
Catrin Collier tackles a difficult topic with sensitivity and understanding. There are many linked stories relating to Edyth’s family (her father is a Labour MP) and the diverse people she meets in Tiger Bay, so the story races along. Because it is so well written and easy to read, I found I was reading it well into the night. A very different romance.