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Two Women

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Danger and violence have always been part of Sue Dalston's East End upbringing. Unloved by her mother, abused by her father, and brutalised throughout her entire marriage, she's convicted of smashing her husband's skull in a final act of desperation. All that keeps her sane is knowing that she's done it to protect her four children. At last, they are safe from harm. When s Danger and violence have always been part of Sue Dalston's East End upbringing. Unloved by her mother, abused by her father, and brutalised throughout her entire marriage, she's convicted of smashing her husband's skull in a final act of desperation. All that keeps her sane is knowing that she's done it to protect her four children. At last, they are safe from harm. When she is celled up with murderess Matilda Enderby, their fates become inextricably linked. And no one - least of all Sue - could have predicted the consequences . . .


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Danger and violence have always been part of Sue Dalston's East End upbringing. Unloved by her mother, abused by her father, and brutalised throughout her entire marriage, she's convicted of smashing her husband's skull in a final act of desperation. All that keeps her sane is knowing that she's done it to protect her four children. At last, they are safe from harm. When s Danger and violence have always been part of Sue Dalston's East End upbringing. Unloved by her mother, abused by her father, and brutalised throughout her entire marriage, she's convicted of smashing her husband's skull in a final act of desperation. All that keeps her sane is knowing that she's done it to protect her four children. At last, they are safe from harm. When she is celled up with murderess Matilda Enderby, their fates become inextricably linked. And no one - least of all Sue - could have predicted the consequences . . .

30 review for Two Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Baba

    “Life’s a big present from God but what you do with it is up to you. You get one crack at it, it’s not a dress rehearsal as me mother used to say.” Martina Cole, Two Women What would make a woman kill her husband by hitting over 150 times with a claw hammer? This and many other questions are answered as Sue Dalston recounts her East End upbringing whilst serving her sentence in prison, from waiting fearfully some nights to be abused by her father as a child; waiting for her crush as a 14 year old “Life’s a big present from God but what you do with it is up to you. You get one crack at it, it’s not a dress rehearsal as me mother used to say.” Martina Cole, Two Women What would make a woman kill her husband by hitting over 150 times with a claw hammer? This and many other questions are answered as Sue Dalston recounts her East End upbringing whilst serving her sentence in prison, from waiting fearfully some nights to be abused by her father as a child; waiting for her crush as a 14 year old, on a 19 year old wannabe gangster to be reciprocated; waiting for the assaults from her husband to abate; to waiting for her many years prison sentence to end so that she can be with her children again! This is easily one of Cole's best books, with its unrelenting hardcore, and I mean hardcore travesty, injustice and a dearth of any non-amoral male characters in the East End world of the 'underclass' in an era when police didn't get involved in 'domestics'!. Trigger warnings abound for some of the extreme scenes, in this, which is also probably one of her darkest books! The ongoing theme of (female) durability and strength is taking to the utter limits, until you do a bit of Googling and realise that many women and children have lived such hard lives at the hands of men and 'the system'. 8 out of 12.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lee

    This is a long book at 672 pages but I have to say I enjoyed it very much. Two Women opens with us being introduced to Susan Dalston who is now locked up in prison for the murder of her husband. How far would you go to protect yourself and your children? Susan loves her kids more that life itself and she will do everything and anything in her power to keep them safe. This is quite a depressing and brutal story but is very well written. Susan's life is full of sadness, married to a man that abuse This is a long book at 672 pages but I have to say I enjoyed it very much. Two Women opens with us being introduced to Susan Dalston who is now locked up in prison for the murder of her husband. How far would you go to protect yourself and your children? Susan loves her kids more that life itself and she will do everything and anything in her power to keep them safe. This is quite a depressing and brutal story but is very well written. Susan's life is full of sadness, married to a man that abuses and torments her daily and basically has no regard for her at all, she is virtually trash to him. He also rapes his own daughter and leaves her with a venereal disease for life, what more can be said. Eventually Susan kills her husband and she has no quarms about his death and admits she was fully sane when she committed the act and if she had to she would do it again. The story then moves back to the present where Susan is in prison. Enter the second women. This was really quite a strong drama with a bit of mystery thrown in, the characters are strong and the plot well put together. I will now look at Martina Cole's other books.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Wow! Wow! Wow! The story starts off with Susan being locked up and starting her jail sentence, we are then taken back to when Susan is a child and how her life was growing up and to events to where she finds herself back in the present day. Now this book won't be for everyone. Solely because it deals with abuse. We are talking sexual, physical and mental abuse. It really does make for some uncomfortable reading yet at the same time it was heart breaking and made me soooo angry. Sadly it is somethi Wow! Wow! Wow! The story starts off with Susan being locked up and starting her jail sentence, we are then taken back to when Susan is a child and how her life was growing up and to events to where she finds herself back in the present day. Now this book won't be for everyone. Solely because it deals with abuse. We are talking sexual, physical and mental abuse. It really does make for some uncomfortable reading yet at the same time it was heart breaking and made me soooo angry. Sadly it is something that happens to far too many people every day. This isn't just a story about abuse though. It's about women who no matter what, never give up. It's about friendships and that mother and child bond.  There are some fab characters throughout this novel. Some I loved, others I loathed and others who I very much had a love/hate relationship with. One in particular really shocked me and I loved how the author could make me feel so many emotions when it came to all these characters.  Two Women was a powerful and hard hitting story that had me go through an array of emotions. At times I didn't want to carry on at the injustice of what Susan has to put up with from the men in her life. I felt I owed it to her to carry on and read her story though and I am so glad I did. The author's writing skills will have you well and truly hooked while you get totally immersed in Susan's life. A truly gripping and brilliant story that has made me want to devour the rest of the authors books.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    I really wanted to enjoy this book. It had so many great reviews. Intact all of Martina Coles books do. However she's just not for me. This was the first and last book of hers that I have read. I actually didn't even finish the book. I hate how it would jump to things happening or certain things would be said in the book and I had no idea how the characters got there and I had no idea what was going on. I can read a lot of gruesome stuff but I cannot read child rape. It's just too much for me. I I really wanted to enjoy this book. It had so many great reviews. Intact all of Martina Coles books do. However she's just not for me. This was the first and last book of hers that I have read. I actually didn't even finish the book. I hate how it would jump to things happening or certain things would be said in the book and I had no idea how the characters got there and I had no idea what was going on. I can read a lot of gruesome stuff but I cannot read child rape. It's just too much for me. I know that there are children being raped everyday and I cannot bring myself to read about it!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Felicia

    [Two Women] being the first book I have read by author Martina Cole has made a great impression on me. I now have a new author to read who's books shed light on other parts of society that some of us are blind to. The book begins with an introduction to Susan on her way to a new prison while she works on her appeal with her Solicitor. It is revealed that Susan is in prison for the murder of her husband, Barry, and that she does not regret what she has done. After the Prologue [introduction] the b [Two Women] being the first book I have read by author Martina Cole has made a great impression on me. I now have a new author to read who's books shed light on other parts of society that some of us are blind to. The book begins with an introduction to Susan on her way to a new prison while she works on her appeal with her Solicitor. It is revealed that Susan is in prison for the murder of her husband, Barry, and that she does not regret what she has done. After the Prologue [introduction] the book goes back in time to when Susan was twelve years old. As the book follows Susan through life we see the hardships of her life. This book takes us into the world of living in the East End. Martina Cole has written a fantastic novel that allows us to see the world in a different way, truly showing the meaning behind 'you don't know what happens behind closed doors', connecting you with the characters in many ways. From happiness, to sadness, to heartache, to anger, to pain, to hate, and to love you feel everything that Susan feels through out her life. An excellent book that is a must read for everyone!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    This is a meaty book with 552 pages it is a investment on your time but such a surprisingly easy read it really didn’t seem to drag at all. With believable characters and a strong storyline this novel treated sexual, physical and mental abuse with realistic brutality and yet the characters kept their dignity and respect throughout. Some passages are truly awful in their depiction but the reader has to go on. I loved the East End connection and it resonated with me being a Londoner myself. A cleverl This is a meaty book with 552 pages it is a investment on your time but such a surprisingly easy read it really didn’t seem to drag at all. With believable characters and a strong storyline this novel treated sexual, physical and mental abuse with realistic brutality and yet the characters kept their dignity and respect throughout. Some passages are truly awful in their depiction but the reader has to go on. I loved the East End connection and it resonated with me being a Londoner myself. A cleverly crafted novel and immensely worthwhile read. Has to have 5 stars. Read it you won’t be disappointed. I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    The titles misleading as the story isn’t about the 2 woman at all. It did take me a while to get into but once I did I really enjoyed it. I love Martina’s style of writing and found the storyline gritty and interesting although hard to read at times.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tegan

    This is by far the best Martina book I have read so far. Totally gripping, raw and heartbreaking!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephenson Holt

    Susan Dalston, the prologue tells us, has murdered her husband, is in prison and is being transferred between prisons pending an appeal against her sentence. This is an appeal that she doesn't intend to go through with, it's just a means of getting closer to her family for a few weeks to make visits easier. As is quite usual with Martina Cole novels, we find out the ending, or near ending, in the prologue and the rest of the novel takes us from an early point, through a desparately hard life to Susan Dalston, the prologue tells us, has murdered her husband, is in prison and is being transferred between prisons pending an appeal against her sentence. This is an appeal that she doesn't intend to go through with, it's just a means of getting closer to her family for a few weeks to make visits easier. As is quite usual with Martina Cole novels, we find out the ending, or near ending, in the prologue and the rest of the novel takes us from an early point, through a desparately hard life to the point where we meet the prologue again. In this case, Susan as a child, is unloved by her mother, disparaged by her gran and abused by her father. On marrying her childhood sweetheart (not giving anything away here as the marriage is mentioned in the prologue) life goes from bad to worse. There are disturbing and black scenes in this novel, to my mind the blackest of Cole's novels that I have read so far. Women reading this book will relate to Susan and will feel for her from start to finish. Men reading this novel will look for the lovable rogue, or the bad son that still looks after his family - but will be disappointed as no such character exists. There are no nice men or partly nice men with any major role in this novel, perhaps a deliberate ploy on Cole's part to make the reader, male or female, relate to Susan and nobody else. Choosing a typical passage is difficult without giving the plot away so, from the prologue we have.......... Matilda left the cell and came back with two large mugs of tea. She opened a packet of digestives and placed a few on the bunk beside Susan. "Did you really hit your old man......." Susan interrupted her acidly "One hundred and fifty two times with a claw hammer? Yes, I did, I counted the blows, it gave me something to focus on." I don't think I could read two Martina Cole's novels in succession and after "Two Women" had to have a break from reading completely, such was the power of the novel, leaving the reader shocked in most chapters. http://www.StephensonHolt.com

  10. 4 out of 5

    Book Addict Shaun

    An absolute doorstop of a book but what else would you expect from Martina? But unlike some of her other work not a single page was wasted and after a slow couple of days I went from 30% read on my Kindle on Saturday morning to finished early this morning (not in one sitting!) because I couldn't stop reading and wanted to see how everything turned out and I was not disappointed. The ending of this book was fantastic. After reading Mandasue Heller's Two Faced and being left disappointed I wanted An absolute doorstop of a book but what else would you expect from Martina? But unlike some of her other work not a single page was wasted and after a slow couple of days I went from 30% read on my Kindle on Saturday morning to finished early this morning (not in one sitting!) because I couldn't stop reading and wanted to see how everything turned out and I was not disappointed. The ending of this book was fantastic. After reading Mandasue Heller's Two Faced and being left disappointed I wanted to read a book by the original gangland author and what a book to pick. The worlds Martina portrays never fail to shock and make you glad not to be a part of that world, however glamorous certain parts of it may appear. I really felt for Susan but couldn't help being frustrated at times, I suppose to an outsider it's easy to want to tell her to get out and leave her husband but I suppose until you're in that situation it's near impossible to do so. I have to say that I've read many character similar to Barry and Joey but these two vile human beings have to be my most hated characters in a book by far, absolutely despicable characters with no remorse and nothing nice about them at all. Usually villains in these books have something about them that you can like, but not these two. I enjoyed the prison setting too, it was like a nice version of Bad Girls in that it seemed like an okay place to live, perhaps a little too nice? There didn't seem to be a Jim Fenner character lurking around anyway. A mammoth book that covers many years, absolutely brutal as you would expect from Martina and an excellent read. One of my favourites by her anyway, enough for me to give 5 stars anyway and I've been trying to save that rating for amazing books.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jillean Whyte

    Giving it 2 stars as the title is misleading, as it really focus on the horrific story of Susan Dalston, raped and abused by first her father, then her husband. She is a product of her own environment living in the east end (Eastenders it ain't). The story is horrific and gripping and I'm sure even today 2014, there are many Susan Daltsons living the same kind of life today. You cannot help but feel sorry for Susan but at the same time screaming at the choices she makes. However she finds the st Giving it 2 stars as the title is misleading, as it really focus on the horrific story of Susan Dalston, raped and abused by first her father, then her husband. She is a product of her own environment living in the east end (Eastenders it ain't). The story is horrific and gripping and I'm sure even today 2014, there are many Susan Daltsons living the same kind of life today. You cannot help but feel sorry for Susan but at the same time screaming at the choices she makes. However she finds the strength and courage not to let history repeat itself in the upbringing of her children. She ends up in jail, twist at the end, half way thorough the book we meet the 'second woman' who in my opinion does not majorly conceive a character to allow her to be named as the title, merely just a cell mate. I saw and loved first work of Martina Cole called 'The Take' and so this was my first book of hers to read. Don't know if this is her style throughout her books, but similar abuse, horrific, family fueds etc. I was expecting more, something missing can't put my finger on.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    Someone suggested I read Martina Cole for her 'gritty realism'. If this is gritty realism, then I have clearly led a very sheltered life! I found the non-stop violence and rape secenes repulsive, and the book did not have many other redeeming features. Are East End gangsters and prostitutes really all cliched cardboard cut out characters? And everyone seemed to undergo radical personality changes in order to bring the story to a happy ending. But worst of all, the story was supposed to be about Someone suggested I read Martina Cole for her 'gritty realism'. If this is gritty realism, then I have clearly led a very sheltered life! I found the non-stop violence and rape secenes repulsive, and the book did not have many other redeeming features. Are East End gangsters and prostitutes really all cliched cardboard cut out characters? And everyone seemed to undergo radical personality changes in order to bring the story to a happy ending. But worst of all, the story was supposed to be about Susan and Matilda (Two Women), but very little of Matilda's back story was given, whereas we had Susan's early life ad nauseam. Despite all this, the story did sustain my interest enough to finish the book, and on that basis I have given it two stars.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Raymond

    After reading half a dozen Martina Cole books one recognizes that the Author writes her books according to a template: - Young girl from a poor background in London - Abusive father who sexually molests her or instigates molesting - Mother apathetic to child and permits molestation - Siblings who mother and/or father prefer - Father mixed in thuggery or gangsters - Partner abuses her, has numerous “sexual partners” also into gangsters and crime - Girl now adult takes action and inter acts with police After reading half a dozen Martina Cole books one recognizes that the Author writes her books according to a template: - Young girl from a poor background in London - Abusive father who sexually molests her or instigates molesting - Mother apathetic to child and permits molestation - Siblings who mother and/or father prefer - Father mixed in thuggery or gangsters - Partner abuses her, has numerous “sexual partners” also into gangsters and crime - Girl now adult takes action and inter acts with police or prison - Girl makes friend of similar interest who takes part in “saving” her - Ends up with kindly considerate male friend - Much profane language, alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Tennant

    At first I felt I wouldn't get into and enjoy the book but I was very wrong. Its brutality is hard to take, I don't think it will be for everyone, and I felt it was a little formulaic at times. However by telling the story and developing the characters in such a way the end was incredible, I struggled to put it down. The story is about so much more than the brutal side of life, which it first appears about. The characters are real, it was about the good that come from depravity, the lengths peop At first I felt I wouldn't get into and enjoy the book but I was very wrong. Its brutality is hard to take, I don't think it will be for everyone, and I felt it was a little formulaic at times. However by telling the story and developing the characters in such a way the end was incredible, I struggled to put it down. The story is about so much more than the brutal side of life, which it first appears about. The characters are real, it was about the good that come from depravity, the lengths people will go to to protect their children and friendships. A thoroughly enjoyable read, though the title and blurb may be a little misleading! I will be trying another by Martina Cole.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Debasmita Dey

    When the book is above 650 pages and mostly filled with the lives of criminals and their menacing deeds, there is only one thing that keeps you absorbed-- the writing. Hands down to the absolute brilliance of the author. On one hand, you may feel disgusted with the sheer violence of a certain section of society at a certain time, their brutal nature, selfishness, narrow-minded thoughts. While on the other hand, you wonder how much selfless a mother can be when most of the people around her canno When the book is above 650 pages and mostly filled with the lives of criminals and their menacing deeds, there is only one thing that keeps you absorbed-- the writing. Hands down to the absolute brilliance of the author. On one hand, you may feel disgusted with the sheer violence of a certain section of society at a certain time, their brutal nature, selfishness, narrow-minded thoughts. While on the other hand, you wonder how much selfless a mother can be when most of the people around her cannot think of anything other than themselves. There have also been examples of strong friendship, transitions of characters over time. In one word, you can have a set of experiences with this book.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Louise Jennings

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is a really good book about a young girl who is abused by her dad only to go on to marry a man exactly like her dad who abuses her and then her husband abuses his eldest. Susan then gets sent down for murder after hiding the truth from everyone only for us to discover her daughter had killed him first Susan was just covering for her the lawyers are determined to get her out without disclosing this info but how do they do it?

  17. 5 out of 5

    Loraine

    This is the first Martina Cole novel I have read and I will most definitely be reading another. She painted a very vivid and brutal picture of life in the east end with powerful characters that kept me turning the page. I didnt even notice the thickness of the book because I was too immersed in the story. Not for those of you who are easily offended by violence and extreme bad language.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Maunsell

    Loved it, loved it, loved it! I couldn't put it down- read the whole thing in 3 days! Completely gripping, Martina draws you right into the story. Loved it, loved it, loved it! I couldn't put it down- read the whole thing in 3 days! Completely gripping, Martina draws you right into the story.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Fiona

    Absolutely brilliant, the twists and turns made this a really good read. What a woman will go through for her family...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Read it in 4 days, loved it, i always feel like Martina Cole gets right into the nitty gritty of the underworld

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pol

    I,'ve have reread Two women. It is my Favourite book I,'ve have reread Two women. It is my Favourite book

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tammi Ashbee

    Fantastic. Another great story. I'm slowly becoming addicted to Martina Cole. Fantastic. Another great story. I'm slowly becoming addicted to Martina Cole.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kimberley Jo

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was going to be delved into a world of intriguing crime of two  womens brutality,the brutality being their husbands death when in fact I was delved into a past of the childhood of Susan,a 1960's backdrop of Eastend fullness of crime,prostitution and sevre violence. It had everything you wanted within a crime fiction and more,not forgetting heart. It had your senses of anger and hope,each character fuelling every turn.You may hate and loathe them but they are written with great purpose that fool I was going to be delved into a world of intriguing crime of two  womens brutality,the brutality being their husbands death when in fact I was delved into a past of the childhood of Susan,a 1960's backdrop of Eastend fullness of crime,prostitution and sevre violence. It had everything you wanted within a crime fiction and more,not forgetting heart. It had your senses of anger and hope,each character fuelling every turn.You may hate and loathe them but they are written with great purpose that fools you into thinking of their worth,they are outstanding in terrible ways of humanity and that is what makes this book bloody incredible.It's not often you meet such people that you hate but also give great gratitude in knowing because without these people that are so true,you don't have the purpose of this book and without this read you wouldn't have known the voices of east end,we all know an Ivy and a Doreen,we all hear the stories of Susan sadly,this novel gives us it's trust to know it's life behind doors of People we only here about and know from afar,this gives us a gift of looking in. What I loved about this book is it had pace,it glided with drama and history,it took us gracefully from the 1960s to the modern age of the 1980s to where the books ends in millennium,a double celebration of a book ending just as it begun with style and depth. The only thing amiss within in this book is I would of liked to see the courtroom build up along with the case presented. As much as i'll miss this book,i was very much looking forward to the final chapter and it didnt dissapoint,i liked that they were no pretenses,it was just them,these people i grew to know,often hated and felt dispair over them along with frustration and hope. I felt like I have known Susan and I wanted to have her peace, see her off and leave her be,Martina created these characters but made these people real and that is something very rare within a book,to feel so connected. Some books you can't part with,I will always love this book but I will be happy to leave them all to their lives.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Darci Harding

    Danger and violence have always been part of Sue Dalston’s East End upbringing. Unloved by her mother, abused by her father, and brutalised throughout her entire marriage, she’s convicted of smashing her husband’s skull in a final act of desperation. All that keeps her sane is knowing that she’s done it to protect her four children. At last, they are safe from harm. When she is called up with murderess Matilda Enderby, their fates become inextricably linked. And no one — least of all Sue — could Danger and violence have always been part of Sue Dalston’s East End upbringing. Unloved by her mother, abused by her father, and brutalised throughout her entire marriage, she’s convicted of smashing her husband’s skull in a final act of desperation. All that keeps her sane is knowing that she’s done it to protect her four children. At last, they are safe from harm. When she is called up with murderess Matilda Enderby, their fates become inextricably linked. And no one — least of all Sue — could have predicted the consequences... This book sets the scene with Sue in prison and starting her sentence. We are then transported back in time to 1960 where Sue’s upbringing gives reason and understanding to everything that led up to her being in prison. All the physical, sexual and mental abuse is hard to read but makes me so angry that those things happened. It may make others uncomfortable reading it. This book shows the perseverance and strength of women. It’s about friendships and the bond between a mother and a child. The author gets you so immersed in Sue’s life and grips you from the start to carry on reading. I will look into Cole’s other books, definitely. 4/5*

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    Susan Dalston is in prison serving a four year sentence for murdering her brutal husband Barry after he raped their oldest daughter Wendy. During the nighttime lockdown, Susan thinks back over the years of her childhood and adult life till the murder. She remembers what happened to her in detail and these events shaped her life into what it became. Susan MacNamara had seen Barry Dalston as her knight in shining armour, who would save her from her abusive father, Joey. Instead of rescuing her, Bar Susan Dalston is in prison serving a four year sentence for murdering her brutal husband Barry after he raped their oldest daughter Wendy. During the nighttime lockdown, Susan thinks back over the years of her childhood and adult life till the murder. She remembers what happened to her in detail and these events shaped her life into what it became. Susan MacNamara had seen Barry Dalston as her knight in shining armour, who would save her from her abusive father, Joey. Instead of rescuing her, Barry doomed her to a life of drudgery, fear and harsh beatings. He also had other women in his life, the main one being Roselle Digby. Susan knows about these women, but she becomes firm friends with Roselle, who is instrumental in persuading a top barrister to take on the appeal case. Susan doesn't want this, but she's persuaded by Roselle and her own daughter Wendy to go ahead. Susan gets the result she deserves and her life takes a fantastic turn for the better.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mandy Smith

    This was so good! It was toxic and horrific and I wanted to cry a few times but it was hard to stop turning pages! You already know at the start that Susan has killed her husband but then it goes back to when Susan was a child and you follow her through her childhood in to adulthood. I was waiting and wanting her to hurry up and kill her husband,I can’t explain how awful him and her dad were to her. Her whole family were disgusting and I felt so sorry for Susan and was rooting for her the whole This was so good! It was toxic and horrific and I wanted to cry a few times but it was hard to stop turning pages! You already know at the start that Susan has killed her husband but then it goes back to when Susan was a child and you follow her through her childhood in to adulthood. I was waiting and wanting her to hurry up and kill her husband,I can’t explain how awful him and her dad were to her. Her whole family were disgusting and I felt so sorry for Susan and was rooting for her the whole way. Domestic violence was not taken seriously until recently and I hope it gets stamped out even more. People are still living lives like this and have lived lives like it. I really liked Roselle and Doreen and it was also interesting to see how strong Susan became and all the twisted storylines. Really good read!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kingfan30

    The first time I read a book by Martina Cole, I loved it, but that was many years ago. I picked this one up as it fitted with a challenge on Bookcrossing and it's been on my shelf for a long time. So first off, the title of this book! The back implies that Matilda (Matty) is the second woman, but you don't get to meet her until well over half way and she doesn't really add anything to the story, they would have been better of with Roselle as the second woman. This also felt very familiar, so I'm The first time I read a book by Martina Cole, I loved it, but that was many years ago. I picked this one up as it fitted with a challenge on Bookcrossing and it's been on my shelf for a long time. So first off, the title of this book! The back implies that Matilda (Matty) is the second woman, but you don't get to meet her until well over half way and she doesn't really add anything to the story, they would have been better of with Roselle as the second woman. This also felt very familiar, so I'm not sure if I've read it before, if it's just because Cole follows a pattern in the way she writes her books. The abuse is a pretty hard to read at times but overall a fairly quick read, not sure I'll be picking another up in a nutty though.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Eirlys

    Another Martina Success. A saga that tells the story of women who lived lives that were very different and yet shared a bond. Susan, a woman who was born into poverty and parents who didn't care about her. Married to a outwardly loveable rogue, she kills him and ends up in prison. Susan shares a cell with Matty, a middle class woman who is also in prison for murdering her husband, but there the resemblance ends. I loved the bonds between some of the female characters and the wat that their childh Another Martina Success. A saga that tells the story of women who lived lives that were very different and yet shared a bond. Susan, a woman who was born into poverty and parents who didn't care about her. Married to a outwardly loveable rogue, she kills him and ends up in prison. Susan shares a cell with Matty, a middle class woman who is also in prison for murdering her husband, but there the resemblance ends. I loved the bonds between some of the female characters and the wat that their childhoods had shaped their lives. I've read several of Martina's books and they are always fantastic reads.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    The first half of this book, i.e. the first 300 pages are about Sue Dalston’s childhood. It was such a harrowing read as it is about the most awful women and child abuse. I nearly dumped this book, as it upset me so much, but then it changed to her being in prison and the end of all the abuse. I don’t know why they called it Two Women, as to me, Matilda Enderby is not a main character. I enjoyed the second half of the book but I have read that many of this author’s books are about child abuse – The first half of this book, i.e. the first 300 pages are about Sue Dalston’s childhood. It was such a harrowing read as it is about the most awful women and child abuse. I nearly dumped this book, as it upset me so much, but then it changed to her being in prison and the end of all the abuse. I don’t know why they called it Two Women, as to me, Matilda Enderby is not a main character. I enjoyed the second half of the book but I have read that many of this author’s books are about child abuse – I don’t think I want to read another one of her books.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lesley

    This is a complex read with violence , rape and murder in the East End of London . The main character Susan tells the story of her life and the author writes very graphically about life in the East End for many families. The reader is taken into prison life when Susan is jailed for murder , heart broken to leave her 4 children in care. This is a long book , but it is well written and I found myself reading into the night to reach the conclusion Anyone who enjoys a family saga/ thriller will find This is a complex read with violence , rape and murder in the East End of London . The main character Susan tells the story of her life and the author writes very graphically about life in the East End for many families. The reader is taken into prison life when Susan is jailed for murder , heart broken to leave her 4 children in care. This is a long book , but it is well written and I found myself reading into the night to reach the conclusion Anyone who enjoys a family saga/ thriller will find this a good read.

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