Marilyn Freeman


Marilyn Freeman, Author

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Visit my Blog about my latest book, Coalbrookdale, Book One of The Bangham Trilogy

If you would like a signed copy of any of my books, please drop me an email at:

Want to know more about me? Check out my interview here.

Telephone: 447792251737

Coalbrookdale successfully on its way!

The launch of my latest book, Coalbrookdale; The Bangham Family Story’, was a great success. We had readings from myself as well as from David Paterson, the narrator and producer of the audiobook of Coalbrookdale, due out in a few weeks time. David kindly posted this review on my Goodreads page:

Goodreads Review by David Paterson

I should declare an interest here. I have just finished recording the audiobook version of Coalbrookdale. The project has given me great pleasure. I have never read a novel quite like it, out loud or to myself.

We begin in 1713. For generations the Bangham family have been producing charcoal to fuel the iron furnaces dotted around the Severn Gorge. Living in a squatter’s cottage built by grandfather Bangham with his bare hands, they are as rooted to the district as the wood which has come to bear their name. In their close-knit hamlet, never visited by doctor or midwife, the crises of birth and illness are shared with neighbouring families, along with the water pump and the communal hog, spectacularly slaughtered each year.

But the days are numbered for this way of life. Abraham Darby, the pioneering ironmaster, has developed a new way of smelting iron, using coal instead of charcoal. Joe Bangham, the forward-looking eldest son, is not sorry. Realising the market for their charcoal is about to shrink, and hoping to make an escape from a life of drudgery and toil on the land, he strides optimistically across the river to apply for a job at Mr Darby’s fledgling ironworks. As he approaches the kindly principled Quaker, he little suspects he is enlisting as one of the first industrial proletariats. He will receive scant reward from the company to which he dedicates his life.

Meanwhile other members of the family, as much by marriage as hard work, ascend the social ladder. Brother Will, a hot-headed adventurer, even makes it across the Atlantic to the New World. Mixed fortunes await the three sisters who go into service up at The Hall, whose villainous under-butler is the catalyst for much of the novel’s action.

This is “The Bangham Family Story” and (it is no disparagement to say) reads more like a history book than a novel. Adopting a reportage approach free of literary affectation in which concurrent storylines and diverse themes are effortlessly interwoven, Marilyn Freeman (herself a Bangham) chronicles thirty years to 1743 in one smooth sweep. This family is not a patriarchal organisation held together by authority and obligation so much as a network of love and kindness (and occasional jealousy) which, while it loosens over time, survives the early upheavals of the industrial revolution.

Although based on the author’s ancestors, it is a work of fiction, elegantly plotted with some good emotional rollercoastering and a grisly climax. But Freeman maintains an extraordinary level of realism by steadfastly keeping her finger on the pulse of family life. The imaginative recreation of the world of these people lost to history reads as if it were all fact meticulously researched.

A river runs through it. Repeatedly crossed and re-crossed at the Buildwas Bridge for weddings and funerals, bustling with an ever-increasing traffic of cargo vessels as the Darby works expand, sometimes glittering in the sun, occasionally a deadly torrent, the River Severn abides as the representative image of this fast-flowing poignant novel.

Coalbrookdale; The Bangham Family Story

The book is available as paperback, hardcover and ebook/kindle editions from most online bookstores such as Gardeners, Barnes and Noble, Waterstones, and Amazon

SECRETS and LIVES

The elegant Georgian city of Bath forms the backdrop to my latest novel Secrets and Lives.

A domestic thriller offering a gripping insight into the unintended consequences of one mother’s decision to give up her child.

Audiobook of Secrets and Lives
Narrated by Virginia Ferguson

Click image to listen free on Audible

Check out the latest review on Audiobookreviewer

Some Secrets Are Deadly!

Secrets have a way of coming out and they don’t affect just one person but like a pebble tossed in water, there is a ripple. This ripple can cause devastating harm, or it could be the most wonderful occurrence ever. During the 1970’s Joan had to make a decision; she chose to put her firstborn son up for adoption and then move forward with her own life. That one fateful decision haunted her until her death … by murder! After her mother’s death, Sophie discovers she has the older brother she always wanted and goes in search of him. The story centers around the secrets and lives of each person in this tale of murder, loss, and life.

The author, Marilyn Freeman creates a tale that explores the effects of decisions, outcomes, and emotions that is realistic and rich in its messages. The son, Peter, is abandoned in his mind but in his mother’s mind, she gave him what she could not – a new life that she believed to be open to possibilities. As listeners, we are given a deep insight into the thoughts and emotions of Peter which result in some devastating and deadly outcomes. Freeman continues to weave the story around these emotions, and we see a change come over Peter as he embraces Sophie for his sister. We witness the depth of love and acceptance he has always longed for in his growing relationship with Sophie and her family.

The narrator, Virginia Ferguson brings this thriller to life. Her performance is rich and clear. She injects the right amount of emotion around the decisions and the unfolding drama. She brings the story to life through her talented voice and accents.

This is a well-done story that shows the depth of emotions and what they can do when one is abandoned and choices one makes.

There were no issues with the quality or production of this audiobook, it was clear and well produced.

Disclaimer: This Audiobook was provided free of charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher in exchange for a non-bias, honest review.

The audiobook is now available, narrated by Virginia Ferguson. Listen to a sample of Secrets and Lives here, or the complete book here (UK) or here (US).

The ebook, hardback and paperback editions of Secrets and Lives is available from all major online bookstores, including:

Amazon, Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Gardners Smashwords and Kobo

Karma a Mystery in Paris

Listen to the AUDIOBOOK of Karma: A Mystery in Paris now available FOR FREE!

Click image to listen free on Audible

REVIEW by Audiobookreviewer:

KARMA: A MYSTERY IN PARIS

by Marilyn Freeman
Narrated by: Virginia Ferguson

Mystery and More!

Adrienne has made a decision that has haunted her for years.  She is going to try to find her missing mother!  However, before she can leave for Paris (the last place her mother had been headed), a gentleman visits her and claims to be her father …

This is not your typical mystery, it is a mystery that spans years and involves Nazis, conmen, police, and more.  This is an adventure filled with suspense and several twists.  The author, Marilyn Freeman engages the listeners by giving insight into Adrienne’s thoughts and feelings.  It was not all about adventure or suspense – it was about a young woman whose mother left her and while it was not touchy-feely – one did grasp somewhat how this young woman felt mentally and emotionally.

The characters, like the twists and plot, were well developed.  The dialog was realistic, and the story flowed smoothly.  Virginia Ferguson, the narrator, gave a solid performance with a consistent narration, distinct voices, and authentic-sounding accents.  Her voice was soothing, and she interjected the right amount of inflection.

This is a good book for anyone looking for a good mystery with twists and one that draws in the listener.

There were no issues with the quality or production of this audiobook, it was clear and well produced.

 Disclaimer: This Audiobook was provided free of charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher in exchange for a non-bias, honest review.

The ebook, harback and paperback editions of Karma are available from all good online bookstores including: AMAZON: Apple ibooks: KOBO BARNES & NOBLE: GARDNERS SMASHWORDS STORE

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