Read The Linnet Bird by Linda Holeman Online


In the claustrophobic, mannered world of British India, Linny Ingram seems the perfect society wife: pretty, gracious, subservient. But appearances can be deceptive. Linny Ingram was born Linny Gow, an orphan raised in the gray slums of Liverpool. Sold into prostitution by her stepfather when she was only eleven, Linny clung to the belief that she was meant for something mIn the claustrophobic, mannered world of British India, Linny Ingram seems the perfect society wife: pretty, gracious, subservient. But appearances can be deceptive. Linny Ingram was born Linny Gow, an orphan raised in the gray slums of Liverpool. Sold into prostitution by her stepfather when she was only eleven, Linny clung to the belief that she was meant for something more, something better, than life on the cold, dangerous streets.A stroke of luck granted Linny the chance to re-create herself as a proper middle-class young lady, allowing her to join "the fishing fleet" -- young women of good birth who sailed to India in search of husbands. India, with its exotic colors, sights, and smells, is a world away from the cold back alleys of Linny's childhood. But even there, she is haunted by her past, and by the constant threat of discovery. Soon she finds that respectability and marriage bring a new kind of imprisonment. But having come so far, Linny is not about to surrender easily. In the lush tropics of India she finds not only the means of rebellion ... she finds that she may be capable of feeling love and freedom after all....

Title : The Linnet Bird
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781400097401
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 432 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Linnet Bird Reviews

  • Claire Grasse
    2019-03-29 08:24

    So far I'm about 2/3 of the way through the book, and I confess I'm only continuing to read because of the time I've already invested in it. Sort of like throwing good money after bad. The main character, Linney, is forced into prostitution in Liverpool at the age of eleven. I'm assuming the raunchy (and crudely executed) descriptions of child (and later, teenage) prostitution are the reason this book made it past the editor's desk. Perhaps someone at Crown Publishing was so taken with the images that they failed to notice how painfully two-dimensional the stock characters are (fervid, religious old woman; kind, crippled son who loves Linney from afar; evil, scheming Englishman whom she's forced to marry, etc. I won't pain you further). This book should be a lesson on character cliches. Also, the voices don't match. The narrator (Linney) tells her story in one (boring) voice, and then writes long letters to her friend in a completely different, stiltedly elegant voice. It's like two different people talking. There are also several vernacular terms (too crude to reproduce here) that I'm fairly certain would not have been in use in the 1820s and early 1830s. Nothing about this book rings true to me.I'd better stop now. When I began this review I felt mildly antipathetic toward this book, but now I'm feeling downright hostile. Read it at your own peril, but don't say you weren't warned.*****Edited to add, I've decided I'll never finish this book. Life is simply too short to waste on some things, and this wretched book is one of them.

  • Gaile
    2019-04-10 03:40

    I did not expect to read such another good book so soon after reading "The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton!!!!"This book is more it is excellent!Linnet Gow is born in the slums of Liverpool. Orphaned early, her step father sells her into prostitution. How she gets out of her desperate situation, ends up in India and Afghanistan, again loses her freedom and struggles to re-gain it is the main plot of this novel. She does fall in love once but is all too soon forced to leave him.I highly recommend this book as it is a PAGE TURNER!

  • Bettie☯
    2019-04-05 02:27

    (view spoiler)[The Linnet Bird by Linda Holeman 9780755322916 (this isbn is not available here on Goodreads) 376 pages Headline Book Publishing, a division of Hodder HeadlineWithdrawn from Calderdale LibrariesDedication:For Holly Kennedy, who had faith in this story.Opening Quote:A linnet in a gilded cage,A linnet on a bough,In frosty winter one might doubtWhich bird is luckier now.But let the trees burst out in leaf,And nests be on the bough,Which linnet is the luckier bird,Oh who could doubt it now? Christina Rossetti 1872 (hide spoiler)]Opening:Calcutta 1839Smoking opium is an art. I look at my tray and its contents - the pipe covered in finely worked silver, the small spirit lamp, the long blunt needle, the container of chandu, and my row of pea-sized balls of the dark brown paste.What was it called again - that victoriana erotica doorstep made into a TV series?The Cake and the Floorbrush?The Banana and the Chimneysweep?The Pincushion and the Melon?Well, this is like that, and I prefer this. At the end: so very nearly a 4*["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Allison
    2019-03-22 08:28

    Hahah! I can't believe I actually finished this book. It was an easy read, I'll give it that.To put it simply, this book reads like a 16-year-old girl's first attempt at novel-writing. The characters are very two-dimensional, formulaic, and not particularly endearing, even when they're meant to be. I guess it's cool that about half the book takes place in India -- that grants it a measure of uniqueness, but hardly enough to make up for the painfully overdone prostitute-turned-Scarlett-O'Hara-esque character that Holeman was going for. I remember laughing over the attempt at a colloquial-sounding English accent (and an inconsistent one, at that) -- again, it struck me as the kind of mistakes an inexperienced, young writer might make. Those bits were clearly not written by a British native. All of the foreshadowing is very heavy-handed, and that's coming from someone who can rarely predict events to come in a book. All of this... and then to find out the author has taught creative writing. Taught. I'm not sure what to make of that.To sum up: it was easy, and stupid. I can't believe it's got the rating on Goodreads that it's got.

  • Vekah Darkstar
    2019-03-31 06:48

    Even though I gave this book five stars, I must warn anyone that reads it that it is a very dark book. I gave it five stars because it's themes are true to its time period. The author did not gloss over the horrors of growing up poor in the backstreets of England, nor the sigma of marriage outside of one's place in society. More times than not, I almost hurled this book across the room because the moment you think that the author would turn around and let the characters save themselves... well, I'll let you read it for yourself. This isn't romance. This is historical fiction at it's most real and most disturbingly brilliant. This isn't a story about a beautiful woman defying all odds to get her happy ending, and her friends along the way don't inspire her to greatness. What this is, is a story of survival and achieving personal peace no matter what stands in your way. It was a breath-taking read, and though it made me break down and sob in a few places, I will find myself reading it again and again.

  • Rebecca
    2019-04-02 08:21

    i thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction so much that it still resonates with me years later. not only do i want to re-read this book, but i occasionally search out the author for anything else she has written. the story, the character, and their struggles are gripping all the while the settings picturesque and phenomenal.

  • Julia Drosten
    2019-04-05 07:42

    Linnie Gow wächst zu Beginn des 19. Jahrhunderts in den Arbeiterslums von Liverpool auf. Es ist ein von Armut und Entbehrung geprägtes Leben. Ihren Vater kennt sie nicht und ihr Stiefvater verkauft sie nach dem frühen Tod der Mutter bereits mit 11 Jahren an Freier. Viel später, Linny ist 17, hat jede Abscheulichkeit gesehen und geht seit Jahren auf Strich, als sie eine Fehlgeburt erleidet. Das tragische Ereignis leitet eine Wende in ihrem Leben ein, denn Linny bekommt Hilfe von Shaker, einem jungen Bibliothekar, der lieber Arzt geworden wäre. In den folgenden Monaten lebt sie bei ihm und seiner Mutter. Die beiden geben sie als Cousine aus, geben ihr Obdach und eine gutbürgerliche Erziehung. Shaker würde sie auch gerne heiraten, doch Linny sieht in ihm den Bruder, nicht den Liebhaber oder Ehemann.Als Linnys Freundin Faith sie einlädt mit ihr nach Indien zu reisen und sich unter der dortigen -männerlastigen- englischen Kolonialgesellschaft einen Ehemann zu suchen, sagt Linny zu, und beide Frauen treffen nach monatelanger Schiffsreise in Kalkutta ein. Dort, im Indien des Jahres 1830 trifft Linny ihr Schicksal in Gestalt zweier Männer, des englischen Kolonialbeamten Somers Ingram und des Paschtunen Daoud.Das Buch hat mich von der ersten Seite an gefesselt. Linda Holeman versteht es, sowohl die bedrückende Armut und Hoffnungslosigkeit der Arbeiterslums des 19. Jh. als auch die Exotik Indiens wiederzugeben. Sie schildert die Scheinheiligkeit der Gesellschaft, die Frauen in ein Korsett aus Regeln und Moral presst, ebenso wie die unsägliche Hochnäsigkeit der englischen Kolonialherren Indiens und die weitreichende Unterdrückung und Abwertung der einheimischen Bevölkerung. Auch Beschreibungen wie die für Europäer kaum erträgliche Hitze, die Heftigkeit der Monsunregen, die Düfte und Farbenvielfalt der Märkte oder die klare Schönheit des Himalaya sind so anschaulich, dass ich mich mitten in der Geschichte fühlte.Trotzdem hängt über dem Buch ein Hauch von Schwermut, was daran liegt, dass Linnys Leben von Geburt an schwer verläuft. Dieser Frau wird nichts geschenkt, ihre Andersartigkeit (das Leben als Prostituierte) inmitten der englischen Mittelschicht und ihre Weigerung vor dem Leben zu kapitulieren lassen sie immer eine Außenseiterin sein. Romantikerinnen werden vermissen, dass die Liebesgeschichte im Roman, auch wenn sie wunderbar beschrieben ist, so kurz ist und das das Buch wenn auch ein versöhnliches so doch kein wirkliches Happy End hat.

  • Ava
    2019-03-26 01:31

    This book was breathtakingly beautiful in its own way. I was gripped from the beginning. This is the type of book that you cannot simply put down and it is an addiction that when it runs out, you simply want, crave more and more. I am fourteen years old and everytime I would read this book in bed, I could not put it down. My father would have to pull the book away from my hands and close my lamp because it was so late at night. I kept thinkig of it. At the end, you will turn the last page with deap regret. The Linnet Bird stands alone one of the best books ever written. Linda Holeman gets you involved and paints you a picture of the beautiful 1800's and leaves you speechless. She is a very talented author. I enjoyed this book, and I will cherish this beautiful piece of litterature.

  • Betita
    2019-03-20 03:41

    Um bonita história de coragem, que como não podia deixar de ser, tem episódios bem tristes e dolorosos, mas que são superados e no final recompensados da melhor maneira possivel!Adorei as descrições sobre a India e os seus costumes ;) e também as curiosidades sobre as suas inumeras especiarias."A mirra (commiphora mukul) tem uma resina perfumada que é extraída e aplicada nas pessoas inchadas com os seus fluidos, e também no inchaço doloroso das articulações."Adorei!

  • Sabrina
    2019-03-30 07:19

    Amazing! The heroine Linnet Gow (Smallpiece-Ingrahm) was endearing, lovable and oh so human. I found myself at times cheering her on and at others wanting to shake some sense into her. I applaud Linda Holeman for her vivid description of India.

  • Andreia Silva
    2019-04-01 08:35

    Muito bom mas acho que faltou qualquer coisa.

  • Kaava
    2019-04-17 05:46

    Is it bad that I whished Linny a horrible, horrible death? She is one of the most annoying characters I've ever read about. No matter what good happens to her, how sweet and caring people around her are, she's still unsatisfied and she pouts ALL THE TIME! And after turning in a english upper class lady, she's often mentioning how good was to be a whore. A WHORE! She becomes a lady and misses her whore times! Good God, this book is awful! Okropna książka. Sama w sobie (styl) nawet nieźle napisana, ale główna bohaterka... Praktycznie po 1/4 tekstu tylko czekałam aż ktoś pobije/zgwałci/zabije Linny. Wiem, że to straszne, ale już dawno nie czułam takiej niechęci do postaci. W magiczny sposób z przekonanej o własnej wyższości prostytutki staje się damą, ale mentalność k*rwy zostaje. UCH! No bo jak inaczej zareagować na przemyślenia typu "och, praca w bibliotece jest taka mało płatna, na ulicy zarabiałabym, lepiej", albo "te kolacje u niezwykle bogatych i ważnych ludzi są takie nudne, lepiej było w obskurnej garkuchni, na pogaduszkach z innymi dziwkami". NO TO WRÓĆ DO PROSTYTUCJI, IDIOTKO! Gdyby Linnet została nawet królową angielską, nadal nic by jej nie pasowało! Jeśli natraficie kiedyś na ten tytuł, nawet nie dotykajcie książki. Jej czytanie to ból.

  • Sara
    2019-04-05 04:34

    This is really gritty historical fiction, the kind that makes you feel grateful for not being born in the 1800s. One terrible thing after another happens to the main character. Things get bad. And then they get worse. And then things get really, really bad. And then they get worse.Despite all that, I didn't really find it a depressing book. There was something about it that felt hopeful to me, something about the way that the main character was stronger than her circumstances, getting up again every time she was knocked down. I thought it was great that improved social standing didn't automatically lead to a better life. And I loved the way that though she might try, she could never really fool the people around her into thinking that she fit into their inflexible and stifling way of life. I guess we really can't hide our true selves. All in all, I liked the book. It's definitely one that will stick with me.

  • Jessica Jamison
    2019-04-01 06:49

    A historical romance opens in Calcutta but quickly flashes back to 1823 Liverpool, England, where its heroine, Linny Gow, is turned into a prostitute by her father shortly after her 11th birthday. Surrounded by poverty and brutality, Linny clings to her dead mother's assurance that she has noble blood, a distinction that solidifies her determination to escape from her sexual slavery and break into the genteel class. Holeman excels at painting the different milieus of the time-from the clammy docks where the whores ply their trade, to the stuffy drawing rooms where the ladies gossip over tea, to India, where a "fishing fleet" of poor young well-bred women go in search of husbands.

  • Collsells
    2019-03-20 02:30

    This book was difficult to get into at first, but I pushed through and am *so* glad that I did!It can be quite graphic with scenes that not all people would read through...In all it was a great book! I stayed up until 2am finishing it. I love it when that happens. : )

  • Alexandria
    2019-04-01 04:41

    this is a very good read. when i began reading this book i couldnt put it down. this young womens journey is truly filled with obstalces and through her wit, street smarts, and charm gets to places she would have never imagined,

  • Susan Bright
    2019-04-12 05:40

    I absolutely loved this book. It is one of the few books that everyone in our book club loved! This is the first time we gave a book 5 Omelets. I know it is corny, but we are The Friday Morning Bookclub!http://fridaymorningbookclub.wordpres...

  • Michelle
    2019-03-28 08:21

    Outstanding . Couldn't put it down

  • Julie Brown
    2019-03-21 06:41

    The Tea Rose meets The Secret Keeper meets India. A great sage about resilience, deception, love and survival.

  • Coco
    2019-03-31 06:23

    Eine tolle Geschichte mit einer unglaublich starken Protagonistin.

  • Viivi
    2019-04-10 09:48

    I've read one other book from Linda Holeman, The Moonlit Cage. I fell in love with it and so I ended up finding other books from Holeman as well.The Linner Bird wasn't a dissapointment even though I had very high expectations. Holeman has very unique way of writing. It's creative and at the same time describes well characters' thoughts and feelings.I love the way that these both books (Linnet Bird and Moonlit Cage) have started with a little girl and ended to a grown woman. During The Linnet Bird the main character, Linnet Gow, grows step by step from a girl to a woman through so many different experiences and changes.One both good and bad thing in the book is that you can never know what's going to happen next. Or at least I never had an idea how the book was going to end or what even was going to happen next. I have to admit that it's good that the book is unpredictable but the bad thing at least in my opinion is that many of the sudden turns in the plot are not something I like. Especially the ending isn't at all how I had thought it to be. But different people like different things and when I actually start to think about it, maybe it's a good thing to not to have everything the way you want.One other thing that bothered me through the book was the name of one of the main characters, Somers Ingram. In The Moonlit Cage one of the main characters had the same surname and it was really confusing to read. These two characters have some things in common but are some ways so different from each other and at first I kept mixing them up with each other all the time.On the whole the book was very good though. I very much love 19th century London and India where the book is based and the way Holeman describes the things plainly the way they are. I would've liked to give this book 4.5 stars but sadly it's not possible...

  • Julie
    2019-04-08 04:19

    At age 11 Linnet Gow is forced into prostitution by her evil stepfather and after one terrifying night that leaves her scarred but with new determination Linny escapes to freedom.Reduced to doing the only thing she knows how to do, sell her body, Linny joins a group of prostitutes and saves her money to eventually buy herself passage to America so she can build her life there, free from the rough and nasty English streets that she has only known.After working an overly rough customer one night however Linny finds herself hurt and falls into the kindly hands of Shaker, a would-be-doctor who has nothing left to offer but his kindness. By passing her off as his cousin, Linny manages to escape poverty and makes a name for herself as a lady, if a low-bred one.After making friends with Faith, a plucky, free-spirited and well-off girl, the two ladies head for India, their goal, for Faith at least, to find husbands. India however turns out to smother Linny despite its beauty and exoticness. Through a chance encounter with a ghost from her past Linny soon finds herself in a loveless marriage and though it threatens to crush her spirit, she finds a way to survive and eventually, thrive.Despite an admittedly cliché plot: Spirited girl can't conform to society, "The Linnet Bird" was engaging. Holeman's descriptions and plot twists keeps the reader wanting more. I was genuinely sad when this book ended. I'd built a relationship with Linny and always wanted more for her despite the fact that she was a less-than-loveable heroine.Holeman truly does have the ability to create pictures with words, and this is reason enough to pick up "The Linnet Bird."

  • Elizabeth
    2019-04-15 09:27

    If you like your highs soaring, your lows depraved and your girls plucky, this might be the book for you. It's 1839 and that puts us squarely in the historical fiction genre. Your bodice will be ripped, you will meet scoundrels and your Victorian sensibilities will be put to the test.Linnet Gow aka Linny is as plucky as they come. Her trials and tribulations through life will probably make your problems look trivial in comparison. Things are rough from the start. She's born poor in Liverpool as a bastard child and working her tiny hands at the book bindery. Her outlook - drudgery and grime. Everything is grimy back than. Her stepfather sells her into prostitution at the tender age of 11, so yeah, things aren't looking up. But she's plucky, smart and her mom taught her a few things. As she gets older she catches a few breaks and pulls herself up to a respectable lady level. But this is Victorian times where etiquette is strict and always on the look out for false intruders, at any time her secret past could ruin her. All this culminates in a voyage and than a life in India. Suspense is weaved deftly throughout.The story, and it is a rich story, is dramatic and the descriptions of the surroundings are the one thing I truly enjoyed. It's like you're in the filth of Liverpool and the oppressive heat in Calcutta. The majority of what happens in the story will be predictable, that's not to say that you still cannot enjoy the ride.

  • Tara Chevrestt
    2019-04-13 02:24

    I had some doubt about this novel, as I have grown tired of the prostitute tales. More often than not, they are shallow and predictible or have characters the reader cannot relate to. Not so, this fine novel by Linda Holeman. The heroine of this story is the mother of the kind "knight in shining armour" of The Moonlit Cage. The reader becomes acquainted with her around the age of eleven, living in Liverpool in the year 1823, being pimped out by her stepfather. Unlike cage, this story is not all misery, as Linny often tells of her customers with sometimes sympathy or amusement. After a particular rough evening with a brutal customer in which something horrific occurs, Linny sets out on her own and the real adventure starts, introducing both kind and caring people as well as cruel and vicious. She also experiences passion and love in more ways than one. The ending is quite a shocker. The one thing I did not care for was too much description here and there about the weather, the bugs, the trees, or one's illness.

  • Bethany
    2019-04-15 03:23

    Re-read for Library Book Club; October 17, 2008I've found an increasing enjoyment in reading historical fiction, and The Linnet Bird surely satisfies! Set in 1830's Liverpool and Calcutta, this book is truly unique. Linnet Gow, or Linny as she prefers to be called, is growing up on the rough streets in Liverpool's riverfront area. Pimped out by her step-father at the age of 11, it seems that Linny future is set to follow a sad path.But through a twist of fate, and the generous care of a stranger, Linny's life is changed dramatically and her path to living in Calcutta, India begins. The book begins with Linny in Calcutta and she goes back to the beginning to bring the reader into her life. The writing is suberb, bringing you right onto the back alleys of Liverpool and the choatic markets of Caluctta.I very much enjoyed this book and was sad to see it end.

  • Lisa
    2019-04-04 09:26

    Requested this from the library well before Christmas, and at long last went and got it from the library. Due to my Kindle being poorly, I decided to pick this book up and see what it was like, well, I'm very suprised! Expecting to pick up this book and only read about 20 or so odd pages, I'm now on 160 pages. This book is most pleasing. It starts in the 1850's with a little girl named linnet,otherwise, named as Linny. It goes through the turbulent and poverty stricken times of the Victorian era, right through to the time she sets food on Indian soil.After finishing work today I'm going to go and actually sit in the library and read a few more chapters. The library is like my Nirvana for the stressed soul. Please pick this book up you will be most pleasantly surprised, like most people who have read it have been and me too.

  • Jane Kessler
    2019-04-20 01:37

    I have mixed feelings about The Linnet Bird. On the one hand, it was engrossing. Not a "couldn't put it down" book but one that I was pleased to open when I had a moment. The action and drama do pull you along and you wonder how it will turn out for the main characters. Descriptions of scenery and natural beauty were a particular strength of the writing.On the other hand, the characters often seem like stereotypes: the prostitute with a heart of gold, the devoted Indian servant, the cruel husband, etc. Especially in the part of the novel where Linny stays in a Pathan encampment, I had to roll my eyes at the "Harlequin Romance" feel of the plot.On the whole, I'm not sorry I read The Linnet Bird but I found the author's earlier book, The Dress Lodger, to be a much more sophisticated and satisfying read.

  • Sherry Chiger
    2019-03-30 07:26

    The first two-thirds of The Linnet Bird are fast-paced, engrossing--the stuff of page-turners. Then the protagonist, Linny, makes the decision to travel from Liverpool to India. The decision is a mistake for Linny, and for the novel.With the shift in locale, the book shifts from a brutal but believable tale of life in the underbelly of 19th-century society and the possibility of redemption to a second-rate bodice-ripper complete with improbably coincidences and cardboard characters. It's as if the heat the enervates Linny and her acquaintances weighed down on the author's imagination as well.Nonetheless, the writing is nothing less than first rate throughout--evocative without being verbose--and Linny is a likeable, engaging character. So while the last section of the book is, in my opinion, the weakest, it's still stronger than so many other historical novels out there.

  • Christina
    2019-04-16 04:27

    Five stars! I instantly fell in love with the setting and the characters. I especially loved the main character, Linny - a very strong woman who has nothing but horrible things happen to her. I found myself wanting to just give her a big hug and hope that she will someday experience joy. The story, however, is very dark, and although it has a satisfying ending , the story as a whole is very sad (but i like stories like that). Halfway through the book, I found myself looking up the author to see what else she has written, because I want to read more by her. If you are a fan of historical fiction, and don't mind your stories on the sad side, this one's for you.

  • Lacey
    2019-04-13 05:43

    Wow! This was one of the best historical fiction novels I have read to date. It immediately went to my 'favorites' shelf and all of Linda Holeman's other book went on to my to-read shelf. The book reminded me a lot of Slammerkin by Emma Donaghue, one of my ultimate favorites in historical fiction. This was the first book that took me to India and I was amazed to learn about the culture, both the native people's and the European's living in India. It was great in many ways. The characters, the settings, the historical intrigue, the different cultures. I love it all. I would highly recommend to anyone that loves historical fiction.