After losing her beloved family in the Great War, Nell is grateful to marry Stan Hibbert, believing that with him, she can recapture the loving family feeling she has lost. Five years on, she is just another back-street housewife, making every penny do the work of tuppence and performing miracles with scrag-end. When she discovers that Stan is leading a double-life, she runs away to make a fresh start elsewhere.


Two years later, in 1924, Nell has carved out a fulfilling new life for herself and her young children in Manchester, where her neighbours believe she is a respectable widow, as do her fellow-workers in the garment factory where she is a talented machinist. Even her children believe their father is dead. Nell lives for her children and tries hard not to fall in love with Jim Franks, the handsome window cleaner who does so much to help her. After all, she is really a married woman.


When a figure from the past turns up, Nell has to face a court case. Will the respectable life she has fought for be enough to allow her to keep her children or will her lies mean she will lose them forever?

UK hardback  

UK ebook  

UK paperback    (November 8th)


US hardback      (July 27th)

US ebook   

US paperback    (February 2nd 2019)


Canada hardback     (August 30th)

Canada ebook   

Canada paperback   (January 24th 2019)


Australia ebook  

The audio version of A Respectable Woman was recorded at the end of May. The reader is Julia Franklin, who read The Deserter's Daughter.


It will be released on August 1st.


As soon as I have one, I will share a snippet of the recording with you.

More About A Respectable Woman:


To find out more about the plot and characters, click here to read two more blurbs I wrote for the book. See which of the three blurbs you like the best.





To find out how Nell, the heroine, came by her name, click here. Why the picture of books by Victoria Holt? Click the link and find out!



Publishers Weekly

"...Bavin's character-driven narrative, peppered with colloquial dialogue, rings with authenticity.... the sweet attraction between [Jim] and Nell gives the story heart, while Bavin’s finely sculpted cast of secondary characters, most of whom are struggling with postwar poverty, give the story true substance. The focus on historical and emotional authenticity will leave readers heartily satisfied."