Emma Blair once again richly evokes the setting and characters of Scotland during the 30s. Continuing the story she began in Flower of Scotland, Emma invites the listener back into the lives of the Drummond family, who are still dealing with the aftermath of the First World War but now must also face up to the horrors of the Second. Andrew and Rose are running the distillery and have given a job to Jack's son, Tommy.
Sadie Smith would love to do the things that other children can, but a degenerated hip prevents her from walking. On her way to a Dr Barnardo's home, her mother buys her a pair of scarlet ribbons which bring Sadie solace in the difficult years ahead.
It is May 1926. Glasgow is crippled by the General Strike and the future looks bleak for John Forsyth. Made redundant from his factory job and with no prospect of employment, he and his family only hold together through the determination of his ambitious wife, Madge. Even though this means a dramatic move to the farthest reaches of England - to Devon.As the family begin a new life in the village of Atherton, their fortunes change.
Flower of Scotland tells the story of a family of whisky distillers from Perthshire: Charlotte, who gets engaged to Lieutenant Geoffrey Armitage as World War I breaks out, her sister Nell who has visions, brothers Peter and Andrew - who gambles, and cousin Wonky. Their mother is dead and their father, Murdo, has a heart condition. The war takes its toll on them all, as the men become soldiers and the women nurses. Andrew is in Ireland and involved in the 1916 Easter uprising.
For 16-year-old Lizzie McDougall, life in Glasgow tenements comes as a culture shock after her sheltered upbringing in the Highlands. But for her father, who has just lost his job, Glasgow offers employment. It also enables Lizzie to work in a factory as a seamstress, and it opens her horizons to new friends as well. Especially Pearl, who introduces Lizzie to her boyfriend, Willie, and her cousin, the handsome, happy-go-lucky Jack. And Jack is a real bobby-dazzler.
"Lovely, easy listening."
Georgie Mair's idyllic life in Glasgow is shattered by the death of her beloved husband, John. It's Georgie's close-knit family who helps her get through that terrible time. But three years after John's death, love comes once more into Georgie's life. Charlie Gunn saves her life after an explosion in the factory where they work. As their relationship blossoms into marriage, it seems to Georgie that this second chance is almost too good to be true. It is.
Maizie is struggling to keep the Paris Hotel open whilst her husband is in the army during World War 2. A French soldier stays at the hotel after Dunkirk, they fall in love...and she becomes pregnant. After he leaves for France, she realises she can't follow him.
Life in the Glasgow tenements was never easy, but life for Beth is becoming increasingly harsh. In wartime, everyone grabs what brief happiness they can and, in Beth's case, she finds herself drawn to Steve, a flying ace. Their relationship blossoms, but fate deals Beth a cruel hand when Steve is killed in action, leaving her pregnant.
The Seatons, affluent members of the Protestant gentry, own The Haven, a lush, opulent estate in the Scottish countryside. The Flynns, proud Catholics to the core, spend their working days in the factories and laundry houses of industrial Glasgow. Divided by class, wealth and religion, two families could not live more different lives. However, as the Great War fades from memory and discontent seeps in, both the Seatons and the Flynns grow restless and allow temptation to gain hold...
When Cully Stewart died, his family were devastated. For without Cully’s steadfast spirit, Meg, his wife, and their children all found that life was much more difficult.Meg, lonely and distraught, struggled to keep the family afloat through her sewing business. Then larger-than-life Vincent McQueen, Cully’s cousin, appeared and made Meg think there might indeed be life after Cully. The children were less convinced by Vincent, but soon they had other thoughts to occupy their minds.
When most of Maggie Jordan’s family are killed in a freak flood in the small coastal village of Heymouth, she is forced to find work in one of Glasgow’s carpet mills. She becomes engaged to Nevil Sanderson, who suddenly decides he must go to Spain and join the Republicans in their fight against Franco. Although she struggles on without him, Maggie eventually realises her place is by his side and journeys to Spain to join him. But the newly promoted Nevil has become distant and ruthless, and is fiercely jealous of her new friendship with American journalist Howard Taft.
July 1940, and Holly learns that her fiancé, Martin, has been killed at Dunkirk. Working as a nurse on Nazi-occupied Jersey, and forced to work alongside the race responsible for Martin’s death, she struggles to cope with her grief. Peter, a German doctor, befriends her as they work in the hospital’s operating theatre, and as friendship turns to love, Holly wrestles with her loyalty to Martin’s memory.
The first time Jessie laid her eyes on Tommy McBride was in July 1947, when they were still at school - and long before she knew anything about heartbreak or pain. Then she was the sheltered, dreamy minister’s daughter, determined to take a bite out of life. And he was the fighter from the wrong side of the tracks, hell-bent on proving himself in the world. They had nothing in common, separate destinies. But in 1947 the world was about to move into new decades of turbulence and change - and it was only the fighters and the dreamers who would make it theirs….
Sheila Beattie knew exactly what her future would be. She would marry her sweetheart Eric, a fisherman like her father, and they would raise their family and dream their simple dreams in the village in which they’d been born. Her life lay before her, happy, safe and secure. But she was sixteen - and about to discover in this world there is nothing certain but change. After all, no one and nothing can be trusted - except the voice of your own heart...
When Devon farmer's daughter Roxanne Hawkins attends a local summer concert, the 14-year-old is blindingly stage-struck. On the day of St Petroc's autumn fair, Roxanne runs away to seek fame and fortune in the bright lights of London. There she stumbles across suave and sophisticated music-hall fixer Harry Bright, who persuades her to adopt the stage-name Annie Breeze. The popular double act Bright and Breeze is born.
Minna runs a small boarding house in Torquay and brings up her son, Tim, who becomes a journalist until the the Great War disrupts his life. Sent home after a breakdown, he discovers his true love, but she is pressured to marry another.
When Pee Wee Poston and his wife, Beulah, are offered the chance to swap New York for London, they jump at the opportunity. But life for a black family in inter-war London isn't easy. And when the Nazi bombs arrive, life gets tougher still.
Glasgow, 1942. To please his father, Sandy Mclean is training to be a surgeon. But Sandy's real passion is for painting. And when he meets Sophie, the stunning French girl who models for the local art school, he spies a second reason to become an artist.
From the author of The Daffodil Sea comes this post-war saga of love and loss. Corporal Reith Douglas loses his memory after sustaining a head injury. Desperate to recover his past, he little realises that things are never quite what they seem.