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Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite
Although Aggie's life was no fairy tale, she cherished her childhood like a distant dream. When her teacher recommended her for a scholarship exam, she believed herself to be one step closer to becoming a teacher. However, her mother decided that it was "o'er time" that she left school. Despite her reluctance, fourteen-year-old Aggie was sent off to Alder Lodge as a maid-of-all-work. This is where she found love. She could not put her foot down to protect her ambition of becoming a teacher, but in the matter of marriage, she did not succumb to her mother's resistance. Thus, she married William, a soldier with enchanting tales of travels far and beyond. Little did she know that this very man would put her through life's horrific turmoils. The White Apron by Christine Eyres is a testament to a woman's resilience and devotion.
The remarkable growth of Aggie, aka Agnes, from a little girl, who thought of her first period as a sign of being pregnant, to a dignified woman will entrance readers. Loneliness and poverty claimed her life, but could not break her spirit. When her husband surrendered to self-pity, she took charge and faced the many hardships of life with a commendable inner strength. As the plot traverses the gloomy path of numerous deaths and diseases, the audience holds their breath for something better to transpire in Agnes' life. Christine Eyres' Agnes does not give up and that aspect of her character shines through the darkness. Whether our heroine is talking to herself while scrubbing the floors or retorting to her husband's illogical claims, each dialogue is just as engrossing as the others. The White Apron does not present life through rose-tinted spectacles. That would have been a false portrayal of an era when unknown diseases were killing new-born babies, among many other disasters. Instead, the story encourages readers to face the disorienting chaos of life head-on. The White Apron by Christine Eyres is a perfect book for readers who look to the past for inspiration.