Laughter is expressly forbidden at Haddington Hall, which is where Minnie O’Sullivan is whisked off to as a wayward girl. When the hall’s ruthless founder, Mrs Haddington, takes an instant dislike to her, life becomes even more difficult. Minnie, however, has never gone down without a fight and isn’t going to start now.
If this hasn’t whet your appetite enough, then I am here to share with you a sneak peek at this fabulous book. Read on to find out more about Minnie’s story:
Extract from page nine of The Runaways of Haddington Hall by Vivian French, published by Walker Books, November 2021.
“Mam, Mam! I had a dream – a monster did eat me all up.”
The song and the mangling came to an abrupt stop. Minnie’s little brother Bobby gad got out of bed and come to find Man, and was standing dangerously near the glowing embers beneath the copper tub.
Mam, her arms tangled in heavy wet sheets and shirts, froze. “Quick, Min, get him!”
Minnie let go of the mangle handle and ran to grab Bobby and lift him away from danger.
“You’re not allowed in here, Bobs,” she scolded. “It’s dangerous” You knows that.”
Bobby began to cry. “I didn’t do nothing …” He held out his arms. “See? The monster eated me all over!”
His arms were covered with angry red sports, and Man sighed. “That’s bedbugs, Bobby pet. Just bedbugs, that’s all.” With a heave, she extricated herself from the washing and squelched across the muddy brick floor to pick Bobby up and cuddle him. “There, there, my love. Mammy will find you a piece of bread, and tuck you up tight.” She looked at Minnie over Bobby’s curly head. “You didn’t need to shout at him. He’s only little.”
As Mam stomped away, Minnie scowled at the mangle. It has been terror for her little brother that had made her snap at him, and she was angry that Mam hadn’t understood. She gave the handle a vicious twist to relive her feelings; the mangle responded with a dribble of water and an unpleasant ripping sound.
“Oh”” Minnie went pale. Nervously she peered at the washing and yes: a sleeve had torn.
Minnie’s heart fluttered, and her mouth went dry. Shirts were Mam O’Sullivan’s pride and joy; she was famous for sending them back to their owners spotlessly white and crisply ironed. The possibility of damaging a shirt was spoken of with a hushed voice – it would ruin Mam’s reputation … and now Minnie had done just tha.
If you like the sound of this book, you can buy it here.
📚 Book gifted by publisher