A Cuckoo in Candle Lane by Kitty Neale
When Elsie and Bert Jones move with their children, Ann and Arthur, to Candle Lane, a modest street in Battersea, they miss their comfortable house in Wimbledon. Their move is to enable Bert to finance his new removal business. They are a warm-hearted family and Elsie soon befriends her neighbour Ruth Marchant whose husband Ken has never allowed her to forget that their daughter Sally is the result of her indiscretion while he was away during the war. This friendship between the two women changes their lives and Ann and Sally also become friends, growing up as teenagers together in the South London swinging sixties. Family life is at the heart of Candle Lane; the ups and downs of marriage and the parent-child bond - ranging from the worst excesses of childhood sexual abuse to a maternal love so devoted that a mother will collude to break a young girl's heart in order to protect her own son.
This is a wonderful debut novel. Kitty Neale is a superb storyteller. She explores the theme of love, showing it at its best, brightest and very darkest moments.