Claire McGlasson: The Misadventures Of Margaret Finch

This review is written with thanks to pPigeonhole for the opportunity to read and review The Misadventures Of Margaret Finch.


Blackpool, 1938. Miss Margaret Finch – a rather demure young woman – has just begun work in a position that relies on her discretion and powers of observation. Then, her path is crossed by the disgraced Rector of Stiffkey (aka Harold Davidson), who is the subject of a national scandal. Margaret is determined to discover the truth behind the headlines: is Davidson a maligned hero or an exploiter of the vulnerable? But her own troubles are never far away, and Margaret’s fear that history is about to repeat itself means she needs to uncover that truth urgently. This deeply evocative novel ripples with the tension of a country not yet able to countenance the devastation of another war. Margaret walks us along the promenade, peeks into the baths and even dares a trip on the love boat in this, her first seaside summer season, on a path more dangerous than she could ever have imagined.


The Misadventures Of Margaret Finch is not the type of book I usually read, but nevertheless I really enjoyed it. Claire McGlasson is a brilliant writer and her words took me to a time and place with which I am relatively unfamiliar. She describes abstract concepts and emotions in such a visceral way that is impossible not to sympathise with the characters and be drawn into their lives. 

The novel is based upon real events and the author’s research is immaculate. It was very tempting to check details using a search engine as some of the tricks done by the artists in Blackpool is fascinating, but I would suggest not doing this as there will be spoilers! I was totally enthralled by this story and could hardly wait for the staves each day.

The strength of The Misadventures Of Margaret Finch is in the characters. Margaret, in particular, has such wonderful character development over the course of the novel. She does not follow the conventional course of a woman of the period and this made me root for her the whole way through. Her interaction with other people, especially Harold and James, really gives us insight into her personality. I loved spending time with her. The character of Harold is based on a real person and the element of mystery surrounding his past enables us to see both sides of him, which are brilliantly drawn. 

I will miss Margaret now that I have finished reading and I look forward to seeing what the author does next! 

The Misadventures Of Margaret Finch is available from Amazon.

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