A delightful story of a free-minded woman looking for stability and respect.
We are thrilled to be part of the Blog Tour for Sally on the Rocks by Winifred Boggs.
The book is part of the stunning British Library Women Writers series. Each book includes a contextual timeline and a comprehensive afterword, all wrapped up in beautifully embossed covers.
Our thanks to British Library Publishing for the advanced reader’s copy.
Print Length: 256 pages
Publisher: British Library Publishing (16 Sep 2021)
Sally on the Rocks is part of a curated collection of forgotten works by early to mid-century women writers, featuring the best middlebrow fiction from the 1910s to the 1960s, which offer escapism, popular appeal and plenty of period detail to amuse, surprise and inform.
When her bohemian life in Paris falls flat at the beginning of the First World War, Sally Lunton returns to the care of her guardian in Little Crampton to find a husband. With some encouragement from the local busybody, she makes a play for Mr Bingley, the bank manager, although she has a rival in Mrs Dalton, a widow with a young daughter to raise. These two ladies form a quiet alliance, recognising that the prize isn’t really worth fighting over but respecting the other’s pursuit of financial security. Sally aims to win but is distracted by her unsettling emotions for a soldier tortured by his experience at the Front.
This entertaining novel is full of acute and humorous observations of male and female attitudes to love and marriage. Sally is a spirited heroine, who is determined to settle into a comfortable life now that she is in her early thirties. But in securing her future, Sally must also face her past
From the Publisher’s Blurb
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Sally on The Rocks is a splendid story of strong women living in a male world and trying to make the best of it.
Sally, the heroine, was in her thirties and tired of a life of recklessness. She longed for stability and respectability, both things she thought she could get by returning to her hometown and marrying a promising local bachelor.
Like many other small rural towns, Little Crampton was full of respectable citizens guarding the town’s morality and not immune to the occasional gossip.
At the heart of all gossiping was Miss Maggie, a bitter spinster with an investigative personality used to dig people’s secrets and manipulating them for her own amusement.
With less than honorable intentions, Miss Maggie tempted Sally to return from Paris to pursuit the town’s great catch, Mr. Bingley, a man in his forties whose most excellent quality was the balance in his bank account.
The book was very witty, and the social critique was so rich and engaging. I loved all the characters! Good or bad, they seemed so real, like someone I have met somewhere or another.
I immensely enjoyed the love triangles, especially the friendly relationship between Sally and her rival, Mrs. Dalton. They respected each other and played fair and square.
Sally’s character evolves so much. She went from a mere egocentric ambition to realizing her needs were much more complex and could not simply be bought with money.
I was positively impressed by the progressive views of the author, considering the time the book was written (1915). In addition, I found her portrait of women very positive, full of self-awareness, and hopeful for the future.
I highly recommend all the books in this series, and especially Sally on the Rocks.
These beautiful books bring knowledge, entertainment, and a trip to the past through the eyes of first-hand witnesses. An invaluable experience!
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author
Winifred Boggs was the popular author of more than a dozen novels in the early twentieth century, but her reputation appears to have been short-lived and very little is now known about her life. During her lifetime, many of her novels appeared simply as ‘By the author of The Sale of Lady Daventry’, her sixth novel, from 1914, described by the publisher as ‘the novel that made a reputation’. Few biographical details were included alongside the early editions of these works, and it has not proved easy to discover much else about this elusive author.
What is known is that Boggs was born in 1874, and published under the pseudonyms Edward Burke and Gloria Manning, as well as under her own name. She was a frequent contributor to The Lady’s Realm, a woman’s magazine that targeted upper-class women readers and which closed in 1914 or 1915. Sally on the Rocks was originally published in 1915. The Times Literary Supplement said, ‘It is difficult now to give a fresh touch to satire on village life, but Miss Boggs has succeeded’; while another contemporary reviewer commented, ‘Sally is a personality in herself, one whom every reader will like, if only for her breezy charm and honesty’.
Several of Boggs’ novels were translated into Spanish, including La Ruina de Sally. Her final novel, The Romance of a Very Young Man, appeared in 1930, and she died the following year.
From the Publisher’s Media Kit