Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The Sixpenny Tiger by Jeanette Taylor Ford - a review by Diana Milne.

 The author is generously giving away a traditionally printed copy of the book and if the winner lives in the UK, it will be signed by the author! To be in with a chance of winning, simply comment on the blog (below) or comment on the Review or Review Blog Facebook page. It is worth winning!

If you are not fortunate enough to win it, you can buy it here  The Sixpenny Tiger

About the book:

When Sally Golding achieves her dream job, to work caring for children in a 'home', she becomes deeply involved with the children. One in particular, Davey, touches her heart. The older brother to John, he is often blamed for John's misdeeds by his housemother, Marjorie, who seems to have taken a great dislike to him. Davey's problems become much worse when Marjorie marries his father, Tony Adams and the boys go home to live with them. Marjorie subjects Davey to violent abuse; Davey dreams of finding Sally and her becoming his mother.

But Sally has problems of her own. Now in an abusive marriage, she needs all her strength to cope. And Joe, who is in love with Sally, is struggling to keep his life together having lost her to Evan, her husband.

However, fate has things in store for all of them. Will Davey manage to escape from his personal hell? Will Joe finally achieve his dream to be with Sally? And what of Marjorie - what is it that happened in her life to make her the way she is with Davey?

This story shows the great power of love - and that of forgiveness.

It is always a puzzle to me why Jeanette Taylor Ford's writing is not better known and more widely read. With her brilliantly thought out storylines and believable characters she should be topping the Indie charts every week. This book, The Sixpenny Tiger, is no exception and gripped me from page one, conjuring in me every emotion known to the human psyche. Any book that can raise genuine feeling for a character has to be considered by me to be story telling at it's best.

The story is prefaced by a beautiful and meaningful poem by the author, another discipline in which she excels.

The book reads easily and freely and makes the reader keep the pages turning. Although the style at times seems almost lightweight, this seeming naiveté is deliberately used - the book is in the third person so consequently the simplistic style and language mask, as intended, the horror and fear the boy endured and keeping it as 'his' story. Using her unique style, Taylor Ford vividly describes the pain of a child, Davey, who feels he is to blame for the actions and failings of his or her adults and the words "he felt as if he was dead and nothing mattered" so accurately sum up the utter desolation of a child after abandonment. Unfairly accused of things his younger brother has done and even more unfairly charged by his father of looking after the younger child, a burden with which an older child is often lumbered by a well meaning but misguided adult, Davey suffers silently and copes as best he can.

The description of the back ground life and times of the era, late 1960s and early 1970s, are very well researched, realistically portrayed and accurate forming a reliable backdrop on which we can see the story unfold. Wait till you get to the description of a loaf of bread! The 'golden brown and crispy' top of the cottage loaf will have your mouth watering! I could almost smell it!

Adult emotions and lives are equally as well described and the characters very well portrayed. Without giving too many spoilers, by the end of the book, the reader understands why Marjorie acted the way she did and throughout this charming book, a feeling of hope persists, even in the darkest moments.

I think this quote, near to the end of the book, sums it all up perfectly:

“Well love, you will be with me until you grow up and leave to live a life of your own. But the tiger will remain with me for ever because it will always remind me of you and how I love you and you love me, even when I am very old! That tiger represents how love can help us overcome our problems; we just have to believe.”

What other people said:

By Sue Harris on 21 Sept. 2015. Format: Kindle Edition         
"The Sixpenny Tiger is a real page turner, but be warned, you will need a box of Kleenex at hand.
At the core of the story is the sensitive issue of child abuse, where the main character, young Davey finds himself an innocent victim of a sustained and unjustified campaign of physical abuse.
Jeanette takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, with unexpected twist and turns. Davey remains positive, believing in the love and compassion of the one person in his life who he knows can, and will, help him. A deeply moving read with a highly charged and complex story-line, delivered with skill and empathy.''

About the author:

"Jeanette Taylor-Ford is a retired Teaching Assistant. She grew up in Cromer, Norfolk and moved to Hereford with her parents when she was seventeen. An undiagnosed Coeliac, Jeanette was a delicate child and missed great deal of schooling, but she had a natural ability to write good stories, even at the tender age of nine or ten. When young her ambition was to be a journalist but life took her in another direction and her life’s work has been with children – firstly as a nursery assistant in a children’s home, and later in education. In between she raised her own six children and she now has seven grandchildren. Jeanette took up writing again in 2010; she reasoned that she would need something to do with retirement looming, although as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, she is kept busy. She lives with her husband Tony, a retired teacher and headmaster, in Nottinghamshire, England.

In Jeanette's words: I am a born story teller. From my school days I have loved making up stories. One teacher I had said he always left my work until last to mark because he knew he would get a good read from me after he'd ploughed through all the bad work! I loved doing bedtime stories with my children and, in my last position as a Teaching Assistant, from which I am now retired, my favourite thing was reading to the children when I got the chance, also helping them to make up stories of their own. Those who have read my stories have enjoyed them, so I finally decided to inflict them upon the world in general. Some of them are ghostly tales, combined with loveable characters and interesting situations which make them ghost stories with a difference. However, I also write children's stories and other genres, which are not yet published

Click on this link for Jeanette Taylor Ford's other books please.

You may read my 'Diana Talks' interview with Jeanette Taylor Ford by clicking here: Diana talks to Jeanette Taylor Ford

© Diana Milne, March 2017


  1. this sounds like a must read book

  2. What a lovely, thoughtful review. Would love to win a signed cooy. Fingers crossed. ☺

  3. I always love your reviews

  4. I would love to read this.