If you’re interested in the rise of feminism, interlaced with themes of friendship, secrets, loss and love, Crossing the Line by Laura Wilkinson might be the book for you…
Which lines would you cross for love?
Yorkshire, 1983. Miner’s wife Mandy Walker lives a quiet life. She’s hopeless at everything apart from looking after her boys and baking. Life is fine. But she knows it could be better.
Her husband’s a drinker, and her best friend Ruth is busy with a teaching career. Mandy dreams of a different life – an impossible, unachievable life. Only Ruth’s husband Dan believes in her but, after serving during the Falklands War, he has problems of his own.
When the men come out on strike, Mandy joins a support group. She finds friends and strength in surprising places. And secrets and enemies where she least expected them…
A quick and insightful read
This definitely wasn’t the type of read I was expecting, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. Instead of being a thriller (the type of vibe I got from the synopsis), it’s more about the journey of a woman during tough political times and the rise of feminism.
It really gives you an insight into what times were like in the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher’s service, especially in a northern country, as well as discussing important topics such as how women were portrayed, trade unions (referenced quite heavily in reference to Thatcher), and the Falklands War, linking to signs of PTSD.
I guessed where Crossing the Line was heading quite early on, but this didn’t seem the be the main focus of the book overall. I did think, about 200 pages in, that the book was going to fall flat, as at this point I was still expecting a huge plot twist, but once I’d told myself that this isn’t the gist of the book, I was excited to see where it was going to lead.
It was a refreshing read, with lots of conversation and also, because it was in first person, you were really drawn in to the main character – it felt like you were taking this journey alongside them. The dialogue took me a while to get into, as some words were omitted to show the character’s voice, but other than that, a quick and insightful read.
Some of the characters were great, and their personalities really shone through, despite not reading their thoughts or emotions (other than what is conversed or noted). The other characters were not great based solely on their personality – they would definitely not be my pals, but the others I’d happily have round for a cuppa.
I loved the ending – I would’ve liked a little bit more feistiness from the protagonist, but I’m so happy with how it played out.
Crossing the Line is a wonderful story, showing friendship, secrets, and most importantly, the rise of one woman in so many different ways.
P.S. Not ashamed to say I cried at the end.
Crossing the Line, Laura Wilkinson, RRP £8.99 (paperback); Book Depository
Publisher: Accent Press