Return to Jarrow by Janet MacLeod Trotter
Catherine (Kitty) McMullen, is seventeen, restless and rebellious. Resentful of her mother Kate's new husband, she yearns for stories of the father she never knew and when her gossipy aunt divulges that he was a wealthy gentleman, Catherine's discontent with grimy, impoverished Jarrow grows. Taking a job at the workhouse laundry, her young eyes are further confronted with the horrors and indignities of poverty, and she becomes even more determined to rise above her wretched surroundings by educating herself. Braving the ridicule of fellow staff, Catherine embarks on a quest for knowledge. Soon the ill-educated and streetwise Kitty McMullen is a ghost of the past, and the well-spoken, well-read Catherine leaves the north-east to follow her dreams. But hardship and heartbreak are not far behind, and there are battles to be fought and won for this plucky and romantic heroine. RETURN TO JARROW concludes the bestselling trilogy that began with THE JARROW LASS and continued with A CHILD OF JARROW.