In the backstreets of Liverpool, Eileen Watson lives with her mother Nellie, daughter Mel and her three tearaway sons. Life isn’t great, but they have each other, and family can get you through anything. Or can it? Then Britain declares war on Germany and their lives change forever. The children have to be evacuated, but Mel refuses to go, and so Eileen says goodbye to her mother and sons, moves away from the street they love and faces a future without her precious family.
Now that her family is grown, content in the knowledge that she loves them, Lucy Henshaw decides she is free to leave. She secretly purchases a beautiful house overlooking the Mersey, and there she plans to start afresh. Within hours, she has met some characters: her new neighbour Moira, who is dying, and sees Lucy as the ideal new companion for her husband; Shirley Bishop, cleaner extraordinaire; and Dr David Vincent, who is grieving for the loss of his young son.
What possible connections might exist between an aged man who used to sell shoes, some ladies of the night, a serial killer, Lime Street Station and a mansion in Southport? The answer lies in love, friendship and the determination to endure all the way to the winning post. Eve, owner and madam at Meadowbank Farm, is keen to secure a deal that keeps her in pocket. But is she a match for Babs, a 'Baby Girl' in this house of ill repute?
Andrew Sanderson, brilliant surgeon and renowned musician, is still grieving the death of his wife Mary when his younger daughter turns up on the doorstep having left her philandering husband. It’s not long before the house is overrun with daughters, grandchildren, sons-in-law and a boisterous stray dog called Storm. At Andrew's time of life, is this really what he needs? One thing is sure, home is a lot more interesting than it once was, and things have certainly changed from when he was a boy.
"English Storytelling, Telling Story"
In 1955 Scotland Road residents fear for their futures when government plans threaten to demolish their road. Polly’s Parlour café is the centre for action, where strategies are formed to fight back. But when local priest Father Brennan attacks little Billy Blunt, minds are instead turned to vengeance. Frank Charleson, business entrepreneur turned local hero after saving Billy’s life, finds himself increasingly fond of Polly Kennedy. Polly has a hard enough life as it is.
Headmaster Theodore Quinn has lived in Liverpool since coming over from America to fight for Britain in the 1940s. Over ten years later, he is harbouring two secrets and scars that are both physical and emotional. Where women are concerned, he and his secrets are a closed shop, until Tia Bellamy walks into his life. Tia cuts through Theo’s reserve, and the first of his secrets is shared with her.
Agnes Makepeace has always been courageous and strong-minded. On the surface, she couldn't be more unlike the chilly, reserved Helen Spencer. Agnes knows her background is a mystery and believes that the key to the secret lies with her husband's employer, Judge Zachary Spencer of Lambert House: a mean-spirited widower. Judge Spencer has long neglected his daughter, Helen, and notices her even less when he takes a new wife.
The O'Neils, who have lost brothers and sons into the bowels of London's East End, keep watch over their one remaining young male, Seamus. Meanwhile, Rosh Allen mourns the loss of her husband. Aided and impeded by her mother, she struggles to raise three fatherless children. With the help of a kind-hearted neighbour, her wounds begin to heal. Tess and Don Compton are on the verge of separation. But what really lies behind her desire to live on the posh side of the street? Behind the three families, two men are at work.
Anna MacRae is only five years old when her mother dies in childbirth one day in 1940. She is left with twin baby sisters and a father fighting in Europe. They are taken in by the Dixons and moved to the countryside for the duration of the war. Anna is a gifted child, with a warm personality to match, but not so her sisters. Over the years, as their harmless pranks turn to stealing, bullying and worse, Anna has to learn to distance herself from them.
"who reads this pap?"
The Chandlers had been making candles in Bolton for 500 years, and had given their name to the village of Chandlers Green. The dynasty, now in decline and ruled by Richard Chandler, is reduced to an unhappy household and a few tenanted properties. But Richard continues to behave as though he were lord of the manor.
When Matthew’s beloved wife Molly died, long before her time, her son Mark grieved as much as anyone. Mark had always been a disappointment to his father – while the family business, a prosperous antiques and junk shop in Manchester, gradually went into decline during Molly’s illness, Mark was more often out stealing than helping out at the store. Tilly Povey, famous for her whiplash tongue and her copious ironing, watched the boy’s decline with a heavy heart from her house across the street.
Harriet Compton-Milne can’t remember a time when she wasn’t worried. Just 21, the qualified jeweller feels old before her time. She can match stones and mend a watch – but she can’t leave Bolton because her brother Ben, an OCD-riddled genius, wouldn’t be able to cope without her. Her eccentric parents aren’t much help: her boffin father is more interested in toy trains than his family, and her mother Lisa’s face is so full of botox that she can no longer express any emotion.
Leanne Chalmers has been forced to leave her television career behind, and start again as Lily. No-one in the village of Eagleton has a clue about Lily, but it's a small place, and Lily and her friend Babs are swiftly embraced by the locals: Mike, the handsome Catholic priest; Eve, a mouthy Liverpudlian with a heart of gold; the hairdressers Paul and Maurice; and Dave and his love, Philly.