Spinners Lake starts in 1860 in Bilsden, the Lancashire mill town, where Frederick Hallam is dying. But as he weakens, he makes secret plans to smooth the future path for his beloved wife Annie. Her sister, Joanie, is fed up with life until a dashing new admirer crosses her path. But a spurned suitor is determined that Joanie will be his, whatever the cost. And he is not the only one who wants to harm the Gibson family.
Meanwhile the Civil War in America cuts off cotton supplies and causes a Cotton Famine. Times are hard in Lancashire and unemployment is rife in the small town of Bilsden. Annie has to rebuild her own life after her husband's death and prevent her workers from starving. She plans to build Spinners Lake, an extraordinary project that will keep her workers in employment.
Tian Gilchrist, who fell in love with Annie in the previous book, Hallam Square, goes to visit America and gets caught up in the war there, nearly losing his life. Injured, he fights his way back to Bilsden, to Annie, whom he has never forgotten.
And the plans that Frederick made for Annie gradually change her life in unforeseen ways, bringing her hope and happiness once again.
Spinners Lake was published by Hodder & Stoughton UK, and has come out in hardback, paperback, large print, audio book and now ebook formats. The paperback reprints intermittently, so if you want a copy, order it from a bookshop and keep repeating the order till you get it.
We didn't learn about the Cotton Famine at school. We learned lists and Prime MInisters and history didn't interest me then. When I started writing about Lancashire, where I grew up, and learned more about ordinary people's history, I became fascinated. Then the Internet came along and I'm now able to extend my knowledge still further. This series ends with the Cotton Famine. I've written another series in this era, which starts with 'Farewell to Lancashire'.
Buy from Amazon UK or from The Book Depository which doesn't charge postage to most countries in the world.