Ryan's Bakery, Liverpool, is run by Kathleen, who loves her quiet husband, Michael, and is proud of her close-knit family. When a difficult pregnancy blunts Kathleen's ambition her middle daughter, Liz, takes over. Liz discovers untapped talents and a dream is born - to become a famous baker.
Ryan's Bakery is at the hub of Liverpool life in the late thirties: its driving force, Kathleen, who loves her quiet husband, Michael, and her family, and is fiercely ambitious for them all - Rita, soon to be a teacher; stage-stuck Shirely Anne; Chris, a baker like his dad, and carefee young Joey. Then a late and difficult pregnancy blunts Kathleen's ambition and presents her bright middle daughter, Liz, with a challenge. In meeting it, the enthusiastic sixteen-year-old discovers untapped creative talents, and a dream is born - that one day she will be Elizabeth Ryan, renowned for quality pastries and home-made chocolates. With her first small success, Liz makes an enemy - Alec Mannings, son of a rival baker. But she also finds an invaluable friend in Fritz Lendl, and Austrian confectioner, driven from his homeland by the Nazis. When Leigh, the dashing American flyer, first captures Liz's heart, he sees her only as an endearing gutsy kid, and she is enough of a realist to know it. Besides, there is Jimmy, the boy she has promised to marry. But during the Second World War, fate brings them together once more, and Liz is no longer a child. There are agonizing choices to be made, as time and again their love seems destined to be denied - until tomorrow.
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Shelia Walsh was born in Birmingham, but has lived in Southport for many years and has been a writer for some sixteen of those years, during which time she has written eighteen historical novels, of which the seventh, A Highly Respectable Marriage, won the 1983 RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award. She is a past chairman of the RNA, Life President of her local Writer's Circle, and is happily married to a jeweler, now retired. She has two daughters, one married - and a Burmese cat.
Until Tomorrow by Sheila Walsh
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