I wish I could find a master list of every library book I've ever checked out.
September 13, 2010 9:43 PM   Subscribe

Help me identify this book from my childhood, please. It's set in a fictional (?) city with a canal system.

Today my family and I were having a conversation and the topic of canals came up. I thought back to when I first learned about how canals worked and remembered a book I read when I was a lot younger, probably about 10-15 years ago.

The story was set in the past and involves a young girl who lives in poor conditions with her older sister, her older sister's abusive/drunken husband, and her sister's children. The girl has to work in a factory everyday and has to rush to make sure she isn't late. If she is late, the supervisor/gatekeeper will shut her out and she'll have to go for a day without wages.

The real story starts when she is late and gets shut out. Instead of going home to face an angry brother-in-law, she wanders over to the city canal system, where she eventually ends up working on an old lady's boat, essentially running away from home.

At some point in the story, the girl visits her sister. She discovers that the abusive brother-in-law is meeker and her sister explains that after she left, she grew a bit more aggressive and decided not to take any more crap from him.

I can't really remember any more and it's been so long that there are probably some inconsistencies in the storyline I've related. But I know for certain that the story involved a young girl who worked with a boat in a canal system.

The book is probably a young adult book.

Any help identifying it would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you!
posted by joyeuxamelie to Media & Arts (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Gate in the Wall?
posted by iconomy at 9:53 PM on September 13, 2010

Yes! That's exactly it!
Thank you so much! I thought I was going to have to sit here for days trying and trying to remember. OMG, You are so amazing!

The book is super cheap, too. I think I will buy it and read it again~
posted by joyeuxamelie at 10:08 PM on September 13, 2010

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