Maggie Rowan by Catherine Cookson
There were plenty around Fellburn who said she was as plain as a pikestaff, but Maggie Rowan more than made up for it by her dogged determination to succeed. They reckoned that once a miner's daughter like Maggie had tasted power, she'd be like a beggar on horseback - and ride straight to hell. Maggie's two main desires in life were a child she could love, and one of those big houses on Brampton Hill - which was what she had in her sights when she asked Christopher Taggart to marry her. And she meant to have them both, despite the scorn of some folk who thought they knew what Maggie Rowan deserved, better than she did herself.