At the age of 19, Kitty McCarthy has decided she is going to live a life less ordinary. What she does know is that she doesn't want to get married and raise children in Liverpool like her sisters.
It's 1925, and Patricia, Tara and Aideen couldn't be more excited to be starting a new life in Liverpool. Yet it soon becomes clear that all is not as it seems, for the girls are hastily swept onto a huge ocean liner heading to New York. When their father vanishes midway across the Atlantic, the grieving sisters prepare themselves for a new life in the big city. For whatever their father was running from has every chance of catching up with them....
For Josie Flynn, the war was just the start of a journey that began in heartbreak when she was sent to live with her aunt and uncle. But the dark shadow that her uncle cast over her life is lightened by the bubbly Lily, who lives along the street and becomes her life-long friend. But Josie has itchy feet, and it is in New York that she falls in love with Jack Coltrane.
Victoria Macara is 27 and lives alone in the old house on the corner that was once home to the family removal business. When the land is sold, she finds herself surrounded by a small estate of new properties called Victoria Square. The newcomers who move in around her bring with them their own dramas.
"Warm book with many interesting characters"
Millie Cameron is furious when she finds herself obliged to sort through the belongings of her aunt Flo, who has died recently. She hardly knew her aunt, and besides, she has her own career to think of.
Young, pretty, full of confidence - or so she likes to pretend - she wants nothing to do with a dull spinster aunt whom her family refuses to talk about. But when she arrives at Flo’s basement flat, Millie’s interest is awakened.
It is the heady 60s in Liverpool, and the Flowers, the Baileys, and the McDowds are three very different families bound together by music. The children are determined to be part of the glamour that surrounds the city, so when Sean, Lachlan, and Max form The Merseysiders and Jeannie and Rita become part of The Flower Girls, they put their hearts and souls into achieving success.
Pretty Alice Lacey couldn't be more different from her sister-in-law; bitter, ambitious Cora. Alice is happily married to John Lacey, Cora to his hapless younger brother, Billy. Both women give birth to sons on one chaotic night in war-torn Liverpool, but Cora's jealousy and resentment prompt her to swap her puny baby for Alice's beautiful son...
Pretty Amy Curran was just 18 years old when she met Barney Patterson, the love of her life, on Southport pier in 1939. Their romantic, passionate marriage was made in heaven, or so they both believed. But when Britain declared war on Germany, Barney volunteered to fight and the couple were eventually separated for five long years. When he returned to Liverpool after VE Day he wasn't the same person - and neither was Amy.
As Britain stands alone against a monstrous enemy, the inhabitants of Pearl Street face hardship and heartbreak with courage and humour. The war touches each of them in a different way: for Annie Poulson, a widow, it means never-ending worry when her twin boys are called up and sent to France; Sheila Reilly's husband, Cal, faces the terror of U-Boat attacks; Eileen Costello is liberated from a bitter, loveless marriage when her husband is sent to Egypt.
It's 1944 and Flora Knox is enjoying a beautiful spring morning in the Swiss mountains, waiting on a railway station platform for a train. As Flora watches, a cattle train draws closer to the station, pulling a fleet of slatted trucks behind. But the trucks don't contain animals. From within come the sounds of humans, groaning, pleading, on a desperate journey across the Swiss countryside.
"Maureen Lee does it again"
Queenie is only 14 and has been deserted by her mother. Set in Liverpool and Wales at the outbreak of World War II, this story explores themes of female friendship and betrayal from the perspective of a group of women of widely different ages.
Pearl Street, Liverpool, Christmas 1942. Despite the drama and tragedy of the War, the street’s spirit and friendship in adversity binds them together. Since her husband was injured, Eileen has worried about the growing distance between them. Lena Newton longs for a baby but with her husband posted in the Navy, it's looking unlikely. And Kitty has hidden away since she discovered her lover was married, too ashamed to return in disgrace with her baby.
"Not this authors best"
As the summer break begins, lifelong friends Norah and Daisy are looking forward to one last summer together. That is until they fall under the spell of charismatic newcomer Jack Hannay. But as the summer draws to a close, Daisy refuses to accept that it is over. She insists on one last visit to Jack's boat, where something so horrific happens, it leaves them suffering the effects for years to come....
Liverpool, 1945. Three women, the strongest of friends, return home, trying to fit back into their old lives after they've been demobbed. They've been thrown together by the war and shared all sorts of good and bad times. Now their old lives seem dull in comparison. But not for long.... Maggie and Nell are both 21 and full of hope and excitement. Iris, on the other hand, is feeling apprehensive about returning to civilian life. At the age of 30, her only wish is to have a baby, but sadly this wish is yet to come true.
After the death of their mother, Mollie and Annemarie decide to escape from their tiny Irish village and head to Liverpool to board a ship to New York. But in a cruel twist of fate, the girls are separated when the boat leaves without Mollie.
Brodie Logan had thought her marriage to Colin was a match made in heaven. But now her once-loving husband is distant and unfriendly so she makes the life-changing decision to leave him. She moves into Chestnuts, a ramshackle old house in Liverpool inherited from her mother. Deciding to let out the rooms to lodgers, three very different women come to join Brodie. Life at Chestnuts seems idyllic. But nothing lasts forever....
Liverpool, 1915. Martha Rossi lives in a tenement with her husband and their five children. Despite working all the hours she can, the family doesn't have much money. So when Martha’s 14-year-old son, Joe, proudly enlists to fight for his country just to earn his mother an extra shilling, Martha is horrified. Despite her pleas and protests, Joe is dispatched to France within weeks. Unbeknown to them all, Joe’s act of selfless heroism will have huge implications for Martha and all the family.
Liverpool, 1937. Jessica is married to Bertie, a mean, patronising man who she has stayed with purely for the sake of her two young children. To make up for the love and passion that is missing from her life, she spends the occasional afternoon at the local cinema, lost in romantic films. But when an unexpected glass of champagne is offered to her in a Liverpool hotel, the consequences turn out to be shattering. When Bertie discovers his wife's deceit, he is ruthless in his revenge. He sells their house and disappears....
On 3 September, 1939, Amy Browning decided to start a diary. It was a momentous day for so many reasons: It was Amy's 18th birthday, her sister had just given birth, and on the radio it was announced that Great Britain was now at war. As the months went by, things began to change. The bombing started, and Amy's fears grew for her boyfriend, Ian, in the RAF....
It is a cold February night in 1925 when two teenage sisters - Mollie and Annemarie - escape from their home in a tiny Irish village. Their beloved mother has died and the girls have suffered shocking abuse at the hands of their father.