Source- Review copy
Publisher- Knox Publishing
Publication date- 8th March, 2012
Synopsis: 1898 Yorkshire – Aurora Pettigrew has it all, a loving family, a nice home, a comfortable life. She’s waiting for the right man to offer her marriage, and the man for her is Reid Sinclair, heir to the Sinclair fortune and the love of her life. But, Reid’s mother, Julia, is against the match and her ruthlessness unearths a family secret that will tear Aurora’s world apart. Unwilling to bring shame on her family and needing answers to the allegations brought to light by Reid’s mother, Aurora begins a long journey away from home. She leaves behind all that is familiar and safe to enter a world of mean streets and poor working class. Living in the tenements of York, surrounded by people of a class she’d never mixed with before, Aurora struggles to come to terms with the way her life has changed. By chance, she reconnects with a man from her past and before he leaves with the army to war in South Africa, he offers her security through marriage. Aurora knows she should be happy, but the memory of her love for Reid threatens her future. When tragedy strikes, can Aurora find the strength to accept her life and forget the past?
Review: Set in 1898, Yorkshire, Aurora Pettigrew dreams of marrying her childhood best friend, Reid Sinclair. Reid’s mother is completely against this because she feels Aurora is of a lesser class to her wealthy, first born-son. With Reid’s father on his death-bed, he promises Aurora that he will marry her when his family troubles subside. Before he leaves, Aurora and Reid have an intimate encounter that will surely consumnate their love.
When Reid’s mother learns of their encounter via intercepted letters between the couple, she puts a plan in to action to shame Aurora and drive her away from Reid once and for all. A family secret is unveiled and Aurora flees her family home and the life she had known in search of a lost relation on the streets of York. Of course, Reid is completely unaware that any of this is happening and returns home to find Aurora has disappeared and her mother gives him a vague explanation for her disappearance.
Everything that could possibly get in the way of Aurora and Reid’s happiness does, in the form of births, deaths, marriages, and Reid’s horribly controlling mother. For the most part of the story, Aurora and Reid are separated and I felt frustrated throughout this time. The lack of communication between the characters, Reid’s naivety and Aurora’s stubborn pride had me clenching my fists in the hope that they could just all sort it out and live happily ever after.
Aurora grows from the young woman who is used to being waited on and living among a reasonably respected class, to living on the streets and working hard to make a home for herself. She finds inner strength from the difficult situations situation and plans a future without Reid in her life. I was more understanding of Reid’s obliviousness to his mother’s behaviour because he was away so much and grieving for his father. But even when he did find out what was going on he seemed to take his time to go to Aurora.
To Take Her Pride is a suspenseful (and frustrating!) story of forbidden love between best friends who will do whatever it takes to defend their pride in a class-driven society.