Gwenda and Douglas Brady were among the millions of British children sent to live with new families for their own safety during the Second World War, leaving behind their parents, their friends and all that felt familiar and safe. Evacuation could be a scary experience, but five-year-old Gwenda and her brother were lucky enough to be housed with a kindly schoolmaster and his wife, and soon the realities of the war felt very far away.
'In my dreams, I was always in some vast landscape on a long, straight road. Driving. Always driving.' Gwenda had always loved the open road, but her home town of Newcastle didn't really offer the sort of adventure she longed for. So, in 1957, with friend and fellow nurse Pat in tow, she left the dismal British winter behind and embarked on an amazing American adventure.
"What an adventure!"
In the heart of Ashington - a bustling Geordie mining town - a handsome red-brick vicarage, surrounded by rambling gardens, stands proudly among the rows of terraced houses. It is the perfect place for playing games, keeping secrets and chasing the ghosts of previous occupants, and it will be nine-year-old Barbara's new home now that her father is to be vicar in this strange new place.
A little book about the friendship between Jenna, the actress trying to adjust to life as a widow, Natalie, who chose a career instead of marriage and Liz, wife/mother/grandmother/volunteer/former cabaret singer. They think their lives are settled; they don't expect any drastic changes but they are in for some surprises. Travel, Internet dating, family problems, new friends, computer classes, a career change, a romance, and more give them a lot of things to discuss and plan at their weekly luncheons.