From the best-selling author of Miss Appleby's Academy comes a gritty saga perfect for fans of Dilly Court, Maggie Hope and Nadine Dorries. Prue's heart beat hard - she had heard of the low seams of the mines of Northwest Durham, and she had always had a fear of being enclosed. This was her job, she told herself; this was what she had wanted. She must do it. So she picked up her bag and followed them to the cage which carried the miners belowground, praying that the man did not die, that she need not produce some miracle....
All Mary wants to do is protect her family. But how can she, when their father keeps tearing it apart? Grieving for their mother and abandoned by their father, Mary and her siblings seek refuge at the foundling school. But the school has its own struggles, short-staffed since Hilary married. When the nuns hire Mary's father, and he arrives with the pregnant 16-year-old he left their mother for, Mary's newfound world is shaken. Can she make a new life for her siblings when their father is set on disrupting it?
Alice Lee, middle-aged and unmarried, is the only volunteer when the minister asks his congregation to help young Zebediah Bailey. Zeb is in prison for a ghastly crime, and the townspeople would rather forget than forgive this local lad who lost his way. But Alice dutifully writes to him every week, sending him sweets from the little shop that is her livelihood: Alice Lee's Confectionary. She won't admit she's lonely, but since her parents' deaths, making and selling sweets has become her whole world.
A heart-wrenching family saga for fans of Dilly Court and Val Wood. Kath walked for so long that she wanted to lie down in the snow and sleep, but she thought of her sister and knew she must go on. Soon the snow was so deep that she couldn't move. She could feel her shoes disintegrating, and her feet were numb. The sky cleared, and a great big moon came out, and there were so many stars. She remembered what her mother had said before she died, that each star was one of her people.
1915. As a child it never mattered to Blake that he had no mother, that no one knew who his father was. He was secure in his grandparents' love, happy on their farm in the Yorkshire dales. But when his grandparents die suddenly, Blake's world collapses. Taken in by a neighbouring farmer as hired help, Blake's life becomes focused on the land--and on his secret love for Annie, his employer's daughter.
Emma Appleby's arrival in the County Durham village of Tow Law is sudden and mysterious, provoking deep suspicion in the locals. And because she has a child with her, seemingly out of marriage, they want nothing to do with her - except for pub landlord Mick Castle. When Emma opens an academy and sets herself up in competition with the local school, she provokes a savage response from the community.
1920, Durham. Since she was a child, Lucy Charlton has dreamed of working with her father in the family solicitor's firm. But a scandal shatters her dreams and, when her father disowns her, she finds herself on the streets, fighting for survival. Joe Hardy has returned to London after the Great War to find his life in tatters - his father is dead and his pregnant fiancée has disappeared. Then Joe learns he's unexpectedly inherited an old river house in Durham from a stranger called Margaret Lee.
When little Ella's grandmother dies, she is turned out of her home and forced into a life of cruel labour. Even her own mother won't help, too busy with her new husband. Seeking refuge at the Foundling School for Girls, Ella meets Julia, who has been torn apart from her twin, Ned. They must take matters into their own hands if they're to stay together despite their parents' wishes. In a world of hardship and betrayal, three children begin a search for belonging.
After Ruth Dixon's mother deserts her on Christmas Eve, her father comes home drunk and commits an unthinkable act. Without money or friends she has nowhere to go, but when he hurts her a second time, she knows what she must do. She is rescued by Jay, a businessman, who takes her to the convent where she meets Sister Madeline. Along with the rest of the nuns, Maddy provides food, shelter and education for orphans. Ruth comes to see her new friends as family, and things are finally looking up.