Emily was only five years old when she was sent away from her ma and pa and her brother Joe to go and live with old Granny Edwards. A loving and hard-working child, she goes into service when she is twelve at the house of Roger Francis, whose connections with Emily’s own family prove to be closer than she could ever have guessed. Roger’s daughter Deborah takes a great fancy to Emily, and when Emily has moved to another household in Hull she finds that her new employer’s son Hugo is to marry Deborah.
Rosa grew up an orphan in a remote, watery island fastness on the wild East coast of Yorkshire. Taken in as a small child by the motherly Mrs Drew, she realised as she grew up that this large and seemingly close farming family contained many troubled souls. Mr Drew, whose religious fervour held a dark secret; Jim, the eldest son, who was terrified of something from his past; Delia, longing to escape from the island; and tall, handsome, confident Matthew, who wanted only one thing – Rosa herself.
When Laura Page returns to the remote Holderness village of Welwick, it is to try and discover the mystery of her mother Susannah’s early life. Now a local property owner in Hull, Susannah never speaks of her childhood, when she was brought up with the terrible stigma of bastardy – of being nobody’s child. Born into poverty, living in a tiny labourer’s cottage with her father, Susannah’s mother had caught the eye of the local landowner’s son.
"Truly nobody's child"
When Georgiana and her maid, Kitty, make the long sea journey from their native East Yorkshire to America, they are seeking a new life of freedom. But in New York Georgiana encounters a man passing himself off as her brother-in-law Edward Newmarch, a local mill-owner’s son who has abandoned her sister and fled to America. Edward himself seems to have vanished....
In the slums of Hull, at the turn of the 18th century, lived Will and Maria Foster, constantly fighting a war against poverty, disease and crime. Will was a whaler, wedded to the sea, and when tragedy struck, crippling him for life, it was John Rayner, nephew of the owner of the whaling fleet, who was to rescue the family. Will had saved the boy's life on an arctic voyage and they were offered work and a home on the headlands of Holderness, on the estate owned by John Rayner's wealthy family.
"Relaxing, dramatic historical listen"
For Amelia and her brothers and sisters, the grim past that their mother, Emily, had endured seemed very far away. As pretty as a picture, and now learning to be a teacher in York, Amelia looked forward with pleasure to becoming acquainted with the young men clamouring to get to know her, and especially the two gentlemen who had come all the way from Australia to meet her family.
Young Mikey Quinn, scavenging on the streets of Hull, is thrown into prison for stealing a rabbit from the butcher. His chief accuser, a well-to-do lawyer, has a daughter, Eleanor, whom he badly mistreats. When Mikey is released he finds that his mother has died and his brothers taken into the workhouse - determined to find a better life for his family, he walks all the way to London to seek his fortune.
Hull, 1874. Clara had always wondered about the beautiful, mysterious Jewel Newmarch, who was adopted as a baby and turns heads wherever she goes - her exotic looks point to her origins far away from the streets of Hull. Even at her twin sister Elizabeth’s wedding, Clara knows that Jewel is the belle of the ball. And as Jewel looks on at the happy, newly-married couple she feels a restlessness and intense longing to know her own roots.
Poppy Mazzini, born in Hull over her father’s grocery shop, lives up to the promise of her fiery red hair and Italian ancestry. Her lovely singing voice and good looks lead her to her great ambition - to go on the stage and see her name top of the bill. She becomes a music hall star both in her native town and in the south, after an appearance in the theatre at Brighton.