The Tangling of the Web is the latest Leith based book from Edinburgh’s popular Millie Gray.
And in that opening I have probably committed a sin in Millie’s eyes. Leith born, she never fails in her books, to drop in a mention of the fact that Leith was taken over by Edinburgh against the wishes of its people.
Politics aside, this is another heart-warming tale based on the lives of the people Millie knows best, women who have struggled through post war Leith. Sally left home to escape her selfish mother and cruel step-father, being taken in by her future mother-in-law. For years they muddle along, bringing up three children, scrimping to get a bigger house and helping out friends and family who need it along the way.
Then, suddenly, on the day of her daughter’s wedding, her beloved husband leaves her for her (supposed) best friend and she, her children and mother-in-law find themselves homeless. But in Leith there is always someone down on their luck and always someone to extend a helping hand. Sally is offered the chance to turn around a business. She takes on the drunks and the prostitutes â€“ and the rats â€“ and does just that, enabling her two remaining children to have the education she didn’t.
Life could never be that simple, however, and Sally finds herself being asked to put aside her hurt and hate and to help some of the people who have treated her badly. You can, of course, never escape from your past and a few surprises are in store for Sally. While they may not be welcome, and come from unexpected people and places, they do at least help Sally to better understand her own upbringing and the feelings, decisions and actions of those who have helped or hurt her.