Edinburgh, 1937. Attractive, dark-eyed Jinny Hendrie is happy enough in her job in the accounts office of a large bakery - until handsome Viennese cake expert Viktor Linden walks into her life. Although her father and her kindhearted boss, Ross MacBain, warn against it, Jinny is determined to marry Viktor, but when war is declared, all her plans are in ruins. Austria has joined forces with Hitler; Viktor has become an enemy and must return home to fight.
When attractive redhead Lorna Fernie is taken on to play saxophone in a post-war Glasgow dance band, she is at first over the moon – especially when she and likeable trumpet player Rod Warren fall in love. But then disaster strikes. Things go wrong between her and Rod. He leaves her life, she loses her job, and it only when she forms her own band – the Melody Girls – that the future gradually brightens.
1935: The Depression bites; beautiful Lindy Gillan dreams of getting away from her boring life in Edinburgh’s impoverished Old Town. At least there is dear Neil, a young writer from the same tenement block, whom she has known for years. But when handsome Rod Connor walks into the shop where Lindy works one day, her world is turned upside down.
Soon she has a difficult choice to make between two men - but once made, will she live to regret it? A new arrival, unexpected opportunities, and war clouds on the horizon all have unforeseen repercussions for Lindy, leading to much soul-searching and heartache before she can hope to find lasting happiness.
Intelligent, ambitious Elinor Rae, maid at an exclusive ladies’ club in the idyllic Primrose Square, dreams of a better future. Encouraged by her kindly manageress, Elinor enrols in an evening course, where she soon falls for her handsome tutor, Stephen Muirhead. But it is her attraction to charismatic Barry Howat that turns her life upside down. Breaking Stephen’s heart is bad enough, but when Barry signs up to the war effort and reveals his true feelings, Elinor is devastated.
. She is content there until, suddenly, she must make decisions that will change everything. Fraser Kyle, the owner of the florist’s, proposes marriage. Should she accept, or renew her childish love for Mark Lindsay the doctor from the orphanage who first showed Shona the Handkerchief Tree that inspired her?
"Beautifully read, good storyline"
When sisters Lynette and Monnie accompany their father, Edinburgh widower Frank Forester, to the Highland village where he is to be a youth hostel warden, they find the change from city life traumatic…until they find jobs, new friends – and love. Handsome fisherman Torquil captures Monnie's heart, while Lynette, after a fiery start, falls for stern but vulnerable hotel manager Ronan. When Frank, too, finds unexpected happiness with Ishbel, of the village shop, all promises well. But storm clouds gather, and there are choices to be made…
Eva Masson longs to escape the poverty of her Dundee childhood. She doesn't want to end up in the city's jute-mills where her mother and sister are spinners. Clever as well as pretty, Eva is selected to stay on at school after the age of 14 and trains as a teacher. When she falls in love with Nicholas North, the privileged son of the jute-mill owner, she embarks on a life very different from that of her family.
When Shona MacInnes qualifies to train as a vet, she meets prejudice not only from her father and brother, but also from handsome Ross MacMaster, a fellow islander who is to become a vet himself. Shona is determined to succeed, doing so well that Ross offers her a job in his Edinburgh practice, where their fiery professional relationship develops into love. A wonderful future seems to beckon until, on a trip home, things go wrong. Ross returns to his lucrative practice, and Shona starts working for the local vet.
1949. Attractive and spirited Roz Rainey, who lives in post-war Edinburgh with her widowed mother, her sister, Chrissie, and brother, Douglas, enjoys working in a lawyer’s property office where she dreams, not of love, but of one day having a beautiful house of her own. After all, why shouldn’t she be ambitious? Then the unexpected happens when she falls in love with her new boss, the charming Jamie Shield. Full of happiness, it seems as though a blissful future beckons for Roz. Fate, however, has other ideas…
Jess Raeburn lives with her widowed mother and beautiful sister in a small flat in Leith. Though reasonably content in her job in a department store, Jess dreams of a more exciting life.
Kilt maker Kirsty Muir finds life hard in 1960s Edinburgh, where money is tight and excitement hard to find. When a charming Scottish fiddler, Jack MacIver, comes into her life and introduces her to a glamorous new world, it seems she has finally found her way out. But Kirsty is left broken-hearted, when he disappears off on tour. Her heart is mended by Andrew Macrae, owner of the kilt shop, and it seems as though Kirsty will find happiness after all.
Maeve O'Donavan has arrived in Edinburgh from County Cork, trying to forget her unrequited love for the man who has since married her cousin. Shocked by the prejudice she encounters, Maeve finds life in a strange city difficult. When she loses her job as a maid, she is delighted to find a job as an assistant in the wardrobe department of the Queen's Theatre.
"Senior ISIS Strategist and Spokesman Is Reported Killed in Syria" is from the August 30, 2016 World section of The New York Times. It was written by Anne Barnard and Douglas Schorzman and narrated by Corey M. Snow.