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Author: June Francis
Genre: Women's Reads
Pub. Date: 1st March 2011
1952. Orphaned as a young child, Emma Booth was raised by her grandparents in a Lancashire village. When she stumbles across a letter written in 1940 from a certain Mrs Lizzie Booth, the revealing contents make Emma realize everything she believed is a lie – her widowed father had, before his death at Dunkirk, married again, and left Emma with a half-sister, Betty Booth.
Determined to find her, Emma is drawn away from the countryside to the austere city life of post-war Liverpool. Discovering her sister’s house was bombed in the war and is now derelict, she enlists the help of policeman Dougie Marshall to find Betty in the city. Even then, she still has to overcome dogged obstruction from Betty’s Aunt Elsie in order to establish a relationship with the sister she never knew she had.
Despite the different lives the women lead, they discover common ground and get along well. That is until Emma’s friendship with Betty’s cousin Dorothy, who with a difficult stepfather and a brother missing in Korea harbours her own familial pain, threatens to reveal secrets in Emma and Betty’s parents’ past that may disrupt their newfound relationship and life.
When trouble inevitably comes, Emma rises to the challenge, and in doing so finds love and romance, taking her life in a whole new direction; meanwhile, Betty has to overcome devastation before her dream can come true.
'June Francis writes a good saga, and she's written a good many. Popular with readers, her sagas are easy, comfy books to read at bedtime, telling an engrossing story about ordinary people. For those who like cosy family sagas this is a must read, and the historical details are neatly slipped in to give colour and a taste of the time.'Historical Novels Review
'Few people have the talent to bring [the 1950s] to life in quite the spectacular way that June Francis does...This a beautifully told story and for once you're not sitting on tenterhooks waiting for something terrible to happen to the principal protagonists. It's heartwarming, comforting and an essentially accurate depiction of life in that transitional period after the second world war.'Booksmonthly