Step into the world of ‘The Simplicity Chronicles’ by Shelagh Taylor, a captivating series of books that will transport you back to 1960s Huddersfield.
Shelagh’s debut novel ‘My Sister Maggie’ explores the complex relationships between the women of the Ryan family after the tragic loss of a child.
The second book in the series ‘Simplicity and Complexity’ takes a deeper dive into the younger characters and their growing dominance within the family.
It’s a tale of forbidden love, violence and retribution, all linked to a Huddersfield gambling club that threatens to tear them apart.
Shelagh was born in Kilner Bank to an Irish Catholic father and an English mother who struggled to feed and clothe their three daughters.
Tragedy struck when the eldest child was killed aged of four. Talking about the death of Shelagh’s sister was taboo within the family as she grew up, and the pain was suppressed until Shelagh decided to immortalise her sister in a book.
The rest of the story develops in and around Oakes and Lindley, with many references to Wellington Mills, where numerous members of Shelagh’s family worked over the years.
The Wellington pub and the schools the children attended – Reinwood, Lindley and Oakes – also feature regularly.
Writing this series has allowed Shelagh to develop her characters through fact and fiction.
She said: “I cried throughout writing most of the first book, unburdening the sorrow silently mourned for the past 60 years.
“Yet still, I laughed when I remembered the conversations between my nanna and her sister and the bizarre events of our family life.”
Shelagh grew up and married in Marsden and has four children. Her love of the northern dialect, with terms like ‘ear-wigging’, is evident throughout the series, adding to the authentic feel of the stories.
Shelagh now lives and works in New Zealand but her children in the UK are still the draw that pulls her back to Huddersfield regularly.
Join the Ryan family on their journey through tragedy, love and family in ‘The Simplicity Chronicles.’
With the third book in the series currently in the works, there’s no better time to get invested in the captivating world that Shelagh has created.
Sheila’s books are available from Amazon HERE