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  • Ashes on the Moor

  • By: Sarah M. Eden
  • Narrated by: Justine Eyre
  • Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (230 ratings)

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Ashes on the Moor

By: Sarah M. Eden
Narrated by: Justine Eyre
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Summary

When Evangeline is sent to live in a small mill town in Northern England as a schoolteacher in 1871, she finds herself struggling to fit in with an unfamiliar culture. Raised with the high-class Victorian values and ideals of a sophisticated upbringing, she is unprepared for the poverty she finds in the gritty factory town of Smeatley, where the locals speak with a hard-to-understand Yorkshire accent and struggle to thrive with few resources or opportunities.

Though she has no training as a teacher, she must prove herself successful before her grandfather will release her substantial inheritance to her and allow her to be reunited with her younger sister, the last remaining member of her family after a fever claimed the lives of her parents and brothers.

Evangeline's sudden change in circumstances is complicated when her aunt - a woman who values class distinctions more than her family relationships - forbids her from acknowledging any connection to her or to her grandfather, Mr. Farr - the man who owns nearly the entire town. For the first time in her life, Evangeline is truly alone.

Heartbroken, she turns to the one person in town who has shown her kindness - an Irish brick mason, Dermot, and his son, Ronan. Despite the difference in their classes and backgrounds, Evangeline and Dermot become friends, due in part to her ability to connect with Ronan, whose behavior requires special attention. The boy is uncomfortable around strangers and rarely even speaks to the other children in town. He often fixates on details other people ignore, and he adheres to specific, self-made rules that give his life order and structure; for example, Dermot's coat must be hung on a specific peg next to the door.

Evangeline attempts to prove herself a worthy teacher and earn the respect of her hard-to-understand students. Determined to find a way to introduce them to "proper English" while still honoring their unique language and culture, she enlists the help of a local family to write down familiar stories in the Yorkshire vernacular. Because of her efforts, the students and their families warm to Evangeline and she continues to look for ways to give the children a chance to become more than factory workers in the local cotton mill.

When the town learns of her upper-class status, Evangeline must work twice as hard to win back their trust - especially Dermot's. In the end, Evangeline and Dermot discover that, even though they come from different social spheres, together they can overcome social prejudices, make a positive difference in the lives of even the humblest people, and enjoy the strength that comes when two hearts find each other.

Ashes on the Moor is the inspiring love story of one Victorian woman's courage to fight against all odds, and the man whose quiet strength gives her the confidence to keep trying.

©2018 Sarah M. Eden (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Ashes on the Moor

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Lovely story ruined by abysmal narration

The story was quite good, a little short of content past the initial burst at the beginning. Lots of potential to have padded out the story as subplots were glossed over. Quite unimaginative and lacking detailed description. The narration was absolutely appalling bordering on offensive. As a Yorkshire lass the God awful attempt at pronouncing our traditional dialect was incredibly grating. Surely employing a narrator familiar with our accent and dialect would have done more justice to the author’s work when they had gone to the bother of making the dialect a character in itself. I don’t know how the producers/editors have the nerve to allow such a bastardisation beyond the first recording session, unless they too are clueless.

2 people found this helpful

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Awful accents

Please, if the narrator must speak in regional accents, then at least she should learn some pronunciation. The “Yorkshire” accents sounded more like Irish and even some of the words (thee, tha, thesen) were used in the wrong context. It was excruciating to listen to and I can’t bring myself to download the second book.

1 person found this helpful

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Where was the Yorkshire Accent?

The story isn't bad and the narrator speaks well, but considering that the whole book is set in Yorkshire, it would great if the person chosen to narrate could have had at least some knowledge of the Yorkshire accent. it was almost unintelligible at times, at others, sounded more like a mixture of Irish and some other unknown accent. It's a shame as it spoiled an otherwise decently read story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • LB
  • 27-08-22

Great story, terrible narration!

A lovely heart warming predictable story, read by a Canadian who does an excellent prim British accent, a fair Irish accent but a diabolical Yorkshire accent (i would liken it to Indian Irish!) which was quite off putting… but a lovely story nonetheless!

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Who on earth signed off the narration?

Never have I felt so compelled to write a review on an Audible book! I am only on chapter 14 and really want to finish the book as the story so far is quite good. However, as others have said, the narration is absolutely diabolical! I am sure there are plenty of books out there that Justine Eyre would be well suited to narrating, but one with Irish and Yorkshire accents and dialects most certainly isn't one of them! I'm from Derbyshire and our dialect is fairly similar to that of Yorkshire, but even I don't know what the locals are saying when the narrator speaks their lines! I'm now pretending the book is set somewhere in Ireland to account for their strange, almost Irish accents. If I was the author of this book, I'd feel incredibly let down by this performance. Who signs the finish products off as acceptable?? Thank goodness it was free!

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Voice

I did not like the voice intonation, I could not finish listening to it. A great pity probably missed out on a good book.

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A good listen

A good listen and predictable ending
but for a bit of escapism while driving to work it's the ticket.

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Beautiful, romantic, heart warming story.

My only reservation is that I found out difficult to believe towards the end.

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Easy to read and listen to

A lovely easy to listen to and read story that is well narrated highly recommended

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It was a little boring.

It started well, but I got a little bored half way through and admit I skipped quite a few chapters, rather predictable. Just couldn't take the narration, it was poor, the accents were bad. Glad it was a freebie.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • GrannyGoose
  • 26-03-18

Excellent read

I wish I could give it more than five stars. Loved everything about this book. This brings to mind the quality of writing in North and South.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Yara N.
  • 13-07-19

A story about kindred spirits

This is the first novel I’ve read from Sarah M. Eden and it belongs to the Proper Romance sub-genre of books.

It was a delightful book that reminded me a bit of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South. The book begins with Evangeline Blake’s grief at having lost most of her family to a terrible fever. Only her and her sister survived and they are almost immediately relocated to go from the south of England where they’ve lived all their lives to the fictional mill town of Smeatley located in the north of England where her aunt lives. Evangeline is soon separated from her sister who is sent to boarding school while Evangeline must prove that she’s capable of being independent before she can be given access to her inheritance. To prove to her grandfather that she’s capable she’s given the job of teacher to the small town. Evangeline who has no idea of how to be a teacher must learn quickly without the help of anyone as her aunt who seems to hold an old grudge against her mother has transfer her antagonism onto her nieces. The only help Evangeline finds is from her neighbor Dermot who at first is reluctant of his fine southern neighbor. Dermot who is Irish had received harsh treatment from the people of Smeatley when he first arrived and even though most have come to respect him, he, like Evangeline is still an outsider there.

The story has several important elements. We see the social differences between Evangeline and the people of Smeatley she grew up in a fine family (upper middle class) while the people of Smeatley are struggling with poverty even as they work hard to survive. But we see them find a common ground and we see the distrust of strangers pass as they see Evangeline as an ally who wants to help their children succeed and gain knowledge that can help them in the future.

Evangeline and Dermot’s relationship has a lovely and natural progression from friendship to love. Dermot is a kind and generous person and he finds a kindred spirit in Evangeline as they both seek to help others. Although, he’s gruff with her at first he never denies her his assistance, which is a good thing because Evangeline can’t cook! Dermot also find a connection with her because of how well Evangeline connect with his son Ronan (who we in modern times can identify as mildly autistic().

In the end it’s a story about finding your place in the world, about helping other even when you yourself have not gotten much help, about finding a kindred spirit and about finding your purpose. Love and strength come along the way.

Score 4.5

16 people found this helpful

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  • Marti Garnett
  • 14-03-18

Fantastic

Steeped in history, Sarah beautifully weaves the traditions of that time into a compelling love story.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Seasons Dental
  • 02-04-18

Usually an avid fan...

I have always been a huge fan of Sarah M Eden, but this book seemed very long and depressing to me. The end was ok but I had a hard time getting through the book, where I usually can’t put it down!

10 people found this helpful

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  • Lori Merritt
  • 25-03-18

Another wonderful story

I loved the characters and the setting. I loved the story. The narrator did wonderful with the language. I’m only sorry I’m finished.

10 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • HC
  • 25-07-21

Not for anyone seeking light hearted or uplifting

I do not understand all of the great reviews for this book. It was well written and narrated very well, but it's a lot of unhappiness, hurt, and death for the majority of the book. Even when things turn around, it was an unsatisfying victory for me because (Spoiler alert) none of the bad actors ever change/learn/are punished and all the good things come from, essentially, one powerful person's actions. Sure, the MC gets their HEA (it couldn't even be called a romance otherwise) but it took so much misery to get there it didn't feel happy enough in the end balance. It left me feeling emotionally heavy through the vast majority of the read which isn't what I'm looking for. Can't recommend it.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Joan Paskas
  • 24-03-21

Romance, empathy and morals.

Loved the story of two strangers from different worlds coming together by chance of fate and bringing out the best in each other. Family drama and romance, without erotica, enhanced the tale and the narration was excellent. The Yorkshire accents were most challenging. Looking forward to more books from this author.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KO
  • 18-08-18

Beautiful Story, Masterful Narration!

I highly recommend this book! The love story portion is sweet and pure. I especially love Justine Eyre's masterful narration of so many different types of characters ... upper class British, Yorkshire & Irish folk, young and old, male and female. She is obviously blessed with an amazing gift for accents!!

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Patiotoole
  • 01-05-18

Impossible to Share How Much I LOVED This!

If you love historical fiction; if you loved North & South (BBC), if you LOVE a guy with an Irish brogue and the unique sound of the Yorkshire people, please read this book....or, better yet, listen to it on Audible <3

4 people found this helpful

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  • Linda
  • 15-05-21

one of the best..

Great story telling with historic accuracy, The narration is stellar. I can't imagine it done better. The story unravels naturally and the characters are so believable you lose yourself in the tale. Just get it.!

3 people found this helpful