Set in the 1930s, this stand-alone sequel to Mary's Child follows the fortunes of Chrissie Ballantyne and her family, which she is determined to hold together, despite her husband facing bankruptcy and the rapid approach of World War II.
Sunderland-born Chrissie has worked her way up from the back streets with unstinting determination to give her children the opportunities her never had. But in the summer of 1923 her husband's shipyard is staring ruin in the face: Chrissie vows to hold her family together, come what maY, for the sake of her children. Sophie, cocksure and flirtatious, is determined to become a singer like her amoral grandmother. Matt, a dreaming loner, intelligent, artistic, is devoid of ambition. Tom, the eldest, adopted at birth, is destined to inherit the shipyard but so becomes the target of a scheming woman. Then there is Sarah, who comes from the poor streets down by the river and in whom Chrissie sees more of herself than her own daughter. And finally Peter, the young street-fighter living on the earnings from his bare fists. But in spite of Chrissie's determination, the winds of war will tear the family and their loved ones apart, and threaten to destroy everything Chrissie holds dear. 'Colourful . . . authentic . . . in the bestselling tradition of Catherine Cookson.' Middlesbrough Evening Gazette