Book Review: Fate by Design by M.J. Walsh

It’s historical fiction time again today on Joyful Antidotes. Are you ready?

Goodreads Blurb

Fate by Design by M.J. Walsh

A mining town in Britain in 1951. Cassie’s husband Eddie disappears, leaving her to raise their young son. Despite no contact, maintenance payments are made. Cassie returns to work, supported by friends, and tries to build a new life. She is introduced to books and embarks on a journey of self-development and political activism. Trust is a barrier to new relationships – will that ever be resolved? While post war optimism continues, pit closures herald the town’s demise, leaving her decisions to make. The 1960s bring social change and unresolved issues reach a climax with dramatic revelations, concerning identity and fate.

Fate by Design Book Cover


I don’t read many actual history books. The amount of information dumped on you is too much so I find myself skimming and not taking in much at all. That’s why I read historical fiction instead. I enjoy learning about a particular point in time through an engaging story and interesting characters. Fate by Design didn’t fail me here.

I always find the 1960s period very interesting. What should have been a time of hope and progress for many people was still nearly as difficult to get a job or make a living as it was just after the war. I also like reading about this era and industrial towns as I feel the same story repeats itself throughout time (think of the factory workers in Peaky Blinders and the steelworks factory that closed in The Full Monty). The author tells a similar story of hardship here but in a way that doesn’t feel repetitive and, at least for me, makes you learn something new about past lives.

However, the best part of Fate by Design for me was Cassie. I’m loving books with strong female leads at the moment and she certainly fits the bill. Characters like Cassie also open my eyes to who can be considered a strong female. I tend to get frustrated with female characters in historical fiction and the classics as I find them too submissive. However, the more I read the more I learn what was progressive for the time and I appreciate the characters more. I really appreciated Cassie as a character and the fact that she was into books make me like her all the more.

Sounds like something you might enjoy? Fate by Design is available to buy now.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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