23rd out of 80 books — 28 voters
The Cinder Path
'You're a loser; you were born a loser.' Was that the whole truth about Charlie MacFell? Was he just the kind of nice chap who always takes the dirty end of the stick, lacking the inner strength to take a firm stand in life or love alike? In one of the most powerful and distinctive novels that this author has written, Catherine Cookson brilliantly portrays a man in search...more
Published 1979 by Corgi Books
(first published 1978)
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As in most of Cookson's books she writes with strong female characters overcoming some miserable circumstance or misfortune. I also love the English accents given her characters. If you like books set in old England and well developed characters, you will enjoy books by Catherine Cookson!
I think this must be one of her best. I especially liked the way she dealt with the Great War and its aftermath. The chapters where Charlie is in hospital and as well as his shrapnel injuries is suffering with the effect of battle Fatigue (or perhaps we would call it Post Traumatic Strees) were exceptionally vivid. Her characters are solidly built and believable.
I read all of Catherine Cookson's books some years ago and enjoyed them immensley. I recently re-read all of them and find that on a second look I found them all so very predictable, and was rather disappointed. However I'm sure that it is my tastes that have changed not the calibre of her story telling.
Jan 26, 2010 Tara Chevrestt rated it 2 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Very unlikeable characters. The main man, Charlie is a wimp, fool, and sissy. The sisters torn apart over him are Victoria, a mega you know what and Nellie, an alcoholic. This so badly lacks Cookson's usual flair.
Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, whom she believed to be her older sister. She began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master. Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award for...moreMore about Catherine Cookson...