The Jarrow Trilogy

The three books in The Jarrow Trilogy are The Jarrow Lass, A Child of Jarrow, and Return to Jarrow.

The Jarrow Lass

1906, The Ravensworth Arms, Lamesley, Gateshead.  Kate Fawcett, a barmaid, fell into the arms of a mysterious stranger and conceived an illegitimate child.

The child grew up to be Dame Catherine Cookson OBE.

Heavy with the shameful sin that a child out of wedlock would bring to her family, Kate agreed that her mother Rose would bring Catherine up as her own. This book tells Rose’s story.

The story is set in the 1870s on Tyneside. She is brought up in her parents smallholding in Jarrow but dreams of the world beyond the grime of the town, a world she glimpsed at a fairytale wedding on the Ravensworth Estate during a visit to her grandmother.

Marriage brings a beautiful home and a brood of daughters but heartache and poverty are just waiting around the corner.

The Jarrow Lass is available in paperback and in e-book editions for Kindle (from and, and e-Reader

Feedback from readers:

“I have just finished reading “The Jarrow Lass”, I couldn’t put it down, it was nice to read a book with hardly any bad language and no graphic sex details in. I have picked up from my local Public Library “Child of Jarrow” and I cannot wait to start reading it.  Thank you for a wonderful read and a gruelling insight to history, (made me appreciate what I have got in my life).”

I live in North Shields so I’m not far from Jarrow! I hadn’t read a book for a couple of years, at least not fiction, too busy working. However, my cousin gave me your book to read (The Jarrow Lass) and I just couldn’t put it down, you must be sick of hearing this I bet. What a marvellous creative writer you are!! I do hope you write a sequel to this book and let everyone know how kate and Alexander got along.”

I’ve just finished reading your latest book, the Jarrow Lass and thought it was excellent. Like all your books I enjoyed it immensely. I can’t wait for the next one!”

I have just finished reading A Jarrow Lass and thoroughly enjoyed it, I had a look on the net as I was sure there would be a sequel to A Jarrow Lass and was elated when I found A Child of Jarrow, I rushed out to my local library but they do not have it, I would greatly appreciate it if you can let me know if and when it is going to be available in Australia. Thank you”

“My penpal, Olive Taylor from Newcastle-upon-Tyne sent me your book “The Jarrow Lass” for my birthday in July. I finished reading it recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. It made me laugh, it made me cry.

Since I read your Jarrow Lass I meant to write and say how much I appreciated it. It’s really excellent. I found it most impressive. You are a wonderful champion for the courage of the people of the North East. Thank you so much. And may you write many more sagas as challenging and enthralling!”

I thought the book was wonderful and could not put it down.

“I loved the Jarrow Lass – felt like a fly on the wall of all the characters’ walls. Cost me a fortune in packets of biscuits and crisps. Look forward to reading more.”

Your research for the book is fantastic – it was such a good read I could not put it down, the local history was excellent.”

The Jarrow Lass is available in paperback and in e-book editions for Kindle (from and, and e-Reader

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A Child of Jarrow

To escape the malign interest of her possessive and drunken step-father, Kate Fawcett is sent away from teeming Tyneside and finds work at Ravensworth Castle. She soon attracts the attention of charming, headstrong Alexander Pringle Davies, a distant cousin of the Earl, who risks incurring the wrath of his family by courting lowly Kate.

But when Kate finally succumbs and allows herself to be seduced, Alexander is forced into an unwanted betrothal by his father and disappears abroad.

Discovering she is carrying Alexander’s child, Kate goes home to face the wrath of her step-father and the censure of their neighbours and resigns herself to a lonely life of drudgery. But it is her daughter Catherine who gives her life meaning and keeps Kate from giving up – that and the hope that Alexander might one day return to claim her and their lively child …

A Child of Jarrow is available in paperback and in e-book editions for Kindle (from and, and e-Reader

Feedback from readers & reviewers:

This is the sequel to The Jarrow Lass, which chronicled the tribulations of Rose McMullen, Catherine Cookson’s grandmother. That effort was certainly worthy of the talent and stature of Wor Kate, and A Child of Jarrow is just as compelling.

“The Jarrow Lass was inspired by Catherine Cookson’s grandmother. This follows into the next generation, with Cookson’s mother and the childhood of the great novelist herself. It is a winner.

I’ve read Jarrow Lass and A Child of Jarrow which are both brilliant.

Loved your book! What an insight for character you have. Moved me to tears in parts.”

I have just finished reading this book and once again I found myself moved by the depth of feelings portrayed. I have learned more about the history of the last 100 years from your books than I ever did from a history lesson.”

I buy your books for my mum – just to let you know the last book was terrific according to my mum, she couldn’t put it down and has really enjoyed it.

I have just bought two more of your books and cannot put them down.

No words to explain – just excellent.

A Child of Jarrow is available in paperback and in e-book editions for Kindle (from and, and e-Reader

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Return to Jarrow

Tyneside, 1923: Catherine McMullen, or Kitty as she is known, is seventeen, restless and rebellious. Resentful of her mother Kate’s new husband, she yearns for stories of the father she never knew. Catherine is sure he must have been special as her mother risked everything for him. But when her gossipy aunt divulges that he was a wealthy gentleman, it only serves to heighten Catherine’s discontent with Jarrow – the grimy, impoverished town she calls home.

Eager to catch a glimpse of the lifestyle that might have been hers, Catherine takes a position as a lady’s companion in a grand house. But her illusions are shattered when she realises she has been employed as no more than a skivvy. She decides to try for a job as an officer in charge of the laundry at the notorious workhouse. There her young eyes are confronted with the horrors and indignities of poverty, and she becomes even more determined to rise above her wretched surroundings.

Braving the ridicule of fellow staff, Catherine embarks on a quest for knowledge. Soon the ill-educated and streetwise Kitty McMullen is a ghost from the past, and the well-spoken, well-read Catherine leaves the north-east to follow her dreams. But hardship and heartbreak are not far behind, and there are battles to be fought and won before the child of Jarrow finally comes home.

Return to Jarrow is available in paperback and in e-book editions for Kindle (from and, and e-Reader

Feedback from readers and reviewers:

 “An excellent period work

Her finest yet – a wonderfully moving, deeply emotional tale

Penmanship of the highest quality … This is a story of warmth and despair, based on facts and places and with excellent characterisation. It is a delicate yet strongly-woven book of biography and imagination. Rich in narrative, which twists and turns on every page. It touches many raw nerves of human experience. It should satisfy both the Cookson addict and those lovers of a good story.”

If anyone can claim to be the new Catherine Cookson then it must surely be Janet MacLeod Trotter. Her new powerful saga of a restless, rebellious working-class girl of 17 who experiences the horrors of the workhouse and the harshness of life in service and whose one desire is to escape the impoverished town of Jarrow, is inspired by Cookson’s early life. And her writing, like Cookson’s, can inspire laughter and bring a tear or more likely make you rage at an age when destitution and degradation were considered to be the lot of the common people. This is a story to burn itself into your mind.

This is a powerful and compelling saga.

It is powerfully and skilfully written, and keeps you interested until the end

I have just finished the last book and didn’t want that to be the end! I felt I had lived the whole experience, it was so real.”

Dear Janet OH I am so glad I have found you, my husband has been very ill and YOU have helped me over the last six weeks to take my mind of things, ONLY the dear late Catherine could have done that BEFORE I met you, I have all her books, now you are my new wonder I am telling all my friends about, MOST say OH haven’t you read her before.

“THANK YOU you are a wonder with the pen, I am into genealogy so every thing your write gives me a vision of how life must have been for people in that far off days .”

I have been searching for an author I can enjoy reading since my beloved Catherine Cookson’s life came to an end. I am so pleased to have found you, I have everything she wrote and am now starting a new collection …… your books ….. Long may your writing skills last Janet, there is nothing better than a really good read, I am approaching 70 and have always loved reading, thank you for providing lots of material for me to go at. All that is good for you and yours.”

Return to Jarrow is available in paperback and in e-book editions for Kindle (from and, and e-Reader

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