‘Oh my goodness - another girl, Mrs Swain!' Clara's normal iron composure broke, and she screamed, ‘No! That's not the bloody deal!' And that was how my nanna, Bertha Swain, entered the world. When Helen Batten's marriage breaks down, she starts on a journey of discovery into her family's past and the mysteries surrounding her enigmatic nanna's early life. What she unearths is a tale of five feisty redheads struggling to climb out of poverty and find love through two world wars.
‘A second’s silence and then an almighty scream. It was the most moving thing I had ever seen … A baby, a real live baby, another human life had entered the world. It didn’t seem possible and yet I had witnessed it with my very own eyes.’ Born into a happy working-class North London family in the mid-twentieth century, Katie is determined to ‘do something’ with her life. Working in the impoverished East End in the 1950s, she meets the Sisters of St John the Divine – a community of nuns dedicated to nursing and midwifery.
"Okay but not what I expected"