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The Scarlet Sisters

My nanna's story of secrets and heartache on the banks of the River Thames
Narrated by: Annie Aldington
Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

‘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. It's a story full of surprises and scandal - a death in a workhouse, a son kept in a box, a shameful war record, a clandestine marriage and children taken far too soon. It's as if there is a family curse.

But Helen also finds love, resilience and hope - crazy wagers, late-night Charlestons and stolen kisses. As she unravels the story of nanna and her scarlet sisters, Helen starts to break the spell of the past and sees a way she might herself find love again.

©2015 Helen Batten (P)2015 Random House AudioBooks

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when a book finds you

Sometimes a book finds you when you're least expecting it. I needed this book about strong females who overcome life's challenges, love, lost, and multiple generations rolled into one. I love the prospective of the characters as well makes you feel like your in their kitchen having tea and learning their secrets.

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  • Susan
  • 04-02-17

best regards

loved it emotional yet funny in places excellent five stars narration to

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alison Taylor
  • 11-29-18

Totally Absorbing and somehow cathartic

I never imagined that from a story about a mother and her daughters I should learn so much about my own family, their actions and history. Thankyou Helen Batten, for removing the scales from my eyes and helping me understand my own family.

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  • steph
  • 11-14-16

the scarlet sisters

I found this book .boring in .bits it would seem to jump from one person to another too many time.