The Tuppenny Child - Glenda Young | Blog Tour

It's my stop on the blog tour today and I'm excited to be sharing an extract of The Tuppenny Child by Glenda Young! If you've been looking for a new book to read, check out the rest of this post. 
May 1919

‘Where to, miss?’
Sadie glanced behind her to ensure she hadn’t been followed. Her heart hammered in her chest.
‘Ryhope, please,’ she said, snatching another look behind her, just in case. ‘Third class.’
‘Single or return?’ the ticket clerk asked.
‘Single,’ she replied. She had no intention of ever coming back.
‘That’ll be one and six, please.’
She lifted her small blue bag to the wooden counter. Her hands were shaking as she spilled the coins from it to the counter top. As the clerk expertly flicked each coin towards him, totting them up one by one, Sadie looked around the ticket office. It was a neat and tidy little place, with timetables and schedules pinned to the walls, a clock ticking above an oak desk, and a small coal fire burning in the hearth. There was a quiet hush about it, a sense of order that helped calm her racing mind.
‘You’ll be needing the Sunderland train for Ryhope. It’s due at half past the hour,’ the clerk said as he handed over her ticket. ‘You can wait in the ladies’ room if you wish.’
‘Me, sir?’
‘Yes, miss. West Hartlepool railway station is proud to open its waiting room to all ladies, whatever their ticket class.’
Sadie walked out of the ticket office, relieved to see that the platform was clear apart from a porter gathering a pile of wooden crates, laying one on top of the other. He whistled as he worked, a tune that she didn’t recognise. She turned and saw the sign for the ladies’ waiting room and quickly walked towards it. She’d never been inside one before, but she knew it was the safest place, somewhere she could hide. Her heart continued to thump as she glanced behind her one final time to be certain she hadn’t been followed. Then she took a deep breath and reached out her hand. The doorknob was cold to her touch but turned easily, and the green wooden door swung open.
It was the fire she noticed first. The roaring blaze in the huge blackened fireplace dominated the small room with its noise and heat and its musty, smoky smell. In front of the hearth was a black iron guard, wrapped around the fireplace to protect skirts and bairns. Sadie felt drawn to the fire; she wanted to walk towards it, to lift her coat and warm her backside. But a quick glance around the room at the three ladies already seated suggested that this was not the thing to do.
All eyes turned towards her as she hesitated by the door.
In the centre of the room was a large table, scattered with worn magazines and a copy of The Hartlepool Northern Daily. On the wall high above the fireplace, the waiting room clock loudly ticked the minutes until the next train arrived.
‘Shut the door, pet,’ the woman closest to the fireplace barked. ‘You’re letting in the wind.’

Glenda’s second novel The Tuppenny Child is out now in paperback with Headline



back to top