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Through Streets Broad and Narrow

(Ivy Rose #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  3,125 ratings  ·  279 reviews
On New Year’s Day 1925 Ivy Rose Murphy awakes to find her world changed forever. Her irresponsible Da is dead. She is grief-stricken and alone – but for the first time in her life free to please herself.

After her mother deserted the family, Ivy became the sole provider for her Da and three brothers. Pushing a pram around the well-to-do areas of Dublin every day, she begg
Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Published January 8th 2014 by Poolbeg Press (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,125 ratings  ·  279 reviews

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Tony Hisgett
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, review
I enjoy reading historical mysteries and when this special offer from Amazon appeared in my e-mail I though I would give it a try, as it appeared to have many of the elements I look for in this type of novel.

The three most important things I can say about this book are;
From the moment I started reading I didn’t put it down until I had finished every last word
The first thing I did after finishing the book was go to Amazon and download the next book. Actually that’s a lie I went to bed first as
Jun 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Three mixed-bag stars. This series debut started out promising but started to drag mid-way through and just kind of petered out at the end for me. On the positive side, I enjoyed the colorful 1920's Dublin setting. I think the author did a good job bringing it to life and "showing not telling" to help this reader become immersed in the setting. Overall, though, the writing was not all that great, and in the e-book version at least, the copy editing left much to be desired. Missing commas and ove ...more
Jon Abbott
A young woman in Dublin in the 1920's father (her "da") dies after having cleaned out every penny in their hovel, including money for the rent. Since age 9 and the flight of her Ma to a life somewhere else, the pennies earned by Ivy Rose alone are all that have kept her lazy but oh so handsome Da and her 3 olders brothers, all now departed, in a bit of food and rough shelter. Ivy is now on her own.

Read this story before? Think she is going into service in some great house? Or, perhaps she will f
Ellen Whiting
Oct 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
Don't waste your time. The story itself is interesting, but the writing is terrible.
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
A book that makes you grateful of the little things in life
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
I loved the setting, but this was a somewhat of a hot mess. There were so many random events thrown together and the plot didn't flow well. I don't see myself continuing with the series.
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
The story of ivy rose Murphy and the life and times of Dublin in the 192os.
This book was a delight to read. I felt like I had stepped back in time to Dublin in the 1920s. A life of hardship and poverty that shows that even though they were hard times the little community was very tight knit and there was nothing a good cup of tea couldn't solve.
Jackson portrays life in the 20s so vividly and well you can't help but feel you are a visitor watching all the characters. Growing to love them or loa
Connie D
Sep 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-for-me
It used to be rare for me to stop reading a book, but it didn't take long for me to quit this one. There are too many inconsistencies and awkward problems (including historic accuracy and general logic) for me to keep reading it.

Also, why would both the coroner's assistant and the daughter think (rather dreamily and repeatedly) about what a fine specimen the dead corpse is? Ugh.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books
I almost passed this one by

Unless a book is written by an author I am familiar with, it's title and cover picture are usually what attract me, spark my interest. This was not the case with Through Streets Broad and Narrow by Gemma Jackson. The title struck my as a little ackward, the picture uninspiring. I'm not really sure what drew me to this book, but I am so glad it did.

Set in the tenements of 1925 Dublin, the story introduces Ivy Murphy, a young Irish woman who's life until that point had b
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I'm about halfway in this book, but I doubt that I'll finish it. It was free on my Kindle, so I clicked. I like historical fiction. I'm especially interested in Irish historical fiction. And the premise of the book had promise. To her credit, the author has obviously researched many details about life in Dublin in that time period. However -- and it's a big however -- the writing is not good. Lots of cliches -- and worse still, cliches that would not have come up in Ireland in the 20s. Attitudes ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
A feel good, rags to riches story set in the Ireland of the early 1900.
Though the story is pretty predictable and the writing could have been better, the character of Ivy, who collects discarded garments from the rich to modify them for reselling keeps one reading to the end.
This was a freebie on Bookbub and is the first of a three part series. I don't see myself going hunting for the remaining books.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Good for a first novel. A little clunky and a little forced. Good characters but the plot needs work: more excitement, drama, and tension. Will probably not read the rest of the series, at least not right away.
Pat K
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historic-fiction
This is a really charming story. Not a litarary book but well written and engaging. I got this book free through bookbub, but have bought the next two in the series. I would recommend it.
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Through Streets Broad and Narrow is the first in a four book series about a girl/woman who after spending the better part of her childhood taking care of her brothers and father sets out on her own to pursue her own life and dreams. After Ivy Rose Murphy's mother flees and then her brothers do the same, her father, a drunk spends every bit of money she's able to make, he treats her more like a slave than a daughter and her life seems pretty destitute, but then her "da" dies and she must now face ...more
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really loved the beginning of the book, but it got formulaic and the ending seemed rushed. I am giving it a 4 because it was well written and I wanted to keep reading despite knowing how it will end...eventually. The formula demands that you read all 3 books before you see the romance come to fruition. I may be suckered in because it is a feel good rags-to-riches book.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
awesome cover, newbie author to me, series - 4 books. cool time era for a read to be. mid twenties in Dublin. great characters, well written, great writing style. believable read and i hope to read the other reads soon enough!
Sarah Robins
Jun 20, 2019 rated it liked it
One of the things I loved about this was reading about old Dublin and the history behind it. Focusing on Ivy the book starts with the death of her Da and her then changing fortunes. The characters are all great and believable but few story line I felt was a little far fetched and thing seemed to work in Ivy’s favour a bit too easily. I enjoyed it but by the end I didn’t care too much.
margaret amato
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I can't wait to read the next Ivy Rose book. She is so courageous.
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a great story! Not a mystery; but, a story of life in the 20's in Ireland. Poor like most of us cannot imagine, it was a story of inspiration. I look forward to reading Gemma Jackson's next book about these same characters!
Roxanne Jessome
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A revealing yet delightful story of life in turn of the century Ireland and the struggles of the working classes.
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Shelly by: Rebecca Ellis
4.5 stars
I didn't want to leave Ivy and her cohorts! GREAT story of resilience, TRUE Christianity, and living up to one's potential! Money isn't always the only answer to Life's problems and often money can obscure our vision of real life!
Good Read, going back for more! Thanks Becca!
Karen S. Stockton
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A very worthwhile read

Gemma is a new author for me. Thoroughly enjoyed the story and it was hard to put down. Delightful characters.
Debbie Gallagher
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I started reading this book without any expectations, I thought it would be like so many others I've read, very typical and light. But from the start I was surprised - by the story itself - which is absolutely gripping, particularly the characters - and just how well written it is. I can't wait to read more by this author.
Martha S. Heney
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read!

One of the best books I have ever read. Couldn't put it down. Definitely an epic wonder. Awesome! Well done.
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dennis Gabel
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Through Streets Broad and Narrow

A fascinating story and description of early 1900s life in the tenements of Dublin through the eyes of a young woman. The Characters are well drawn and story is deeply involving. The series is promising.
Nice alternative plot to the normal 'indigent young woman is befriended by rich older man and treated to an education' story. No older man; no man. Well, there are a few contemporary young men, but she (Ivy) takes care of them rather than the reverse. Definitely a young woman who makes lemonade out of lemons. Set in 1925 Dublin.

Don't read if you think that priests and nuns were the best thing ever for the Irish poor.
Tonya D Flores
Sep 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fun read

What a great book. I love the premise of the poor girl coming up from nothing to a whole lot of something. And Ivy is just so likeable. The characters are real and they draw you into their world. This would probably have never really happened, but it is sure a fun story to read!
Jun 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
Very long, very sweet story about a plucky young Irish woman who grins her way through adversity. Even in bad times, she grins. Her friends grin. Everyone grins, showing just how plucky they are. Seriously, the word 'grin' appears on almost every page.

I liked the story, but didn't finish the book - it all felt too naive and simple.
This was an enjoyable read. I liked the characters and the story was fun. It was very Cinderella-ish and Ivy was pretty much a living saint. For me, it's a very solid 3 star read with room for improvement. I'm wondering if the next installment in the series is a bit better written but not sure if it'll get a priority spot on my TBR.
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