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Sally Worboyes was born and grew up in Stepney with four brothers and a sister, and she brings some of the raw history of her own family background to her East End sagas. She now lives in Norfolk with her husband, with whom she has three grown-up children. She has written several plays which have been broadcast on Anglia Television and Radio Four. She also adapted her own play and novel, WILD HOPS, as a musical, THE HOP-PICKERS.
The East End of London brought vividly to life by an author who draws on family history to bring authenticity to her gutsy and passionate tales. She is one of the best in the area. Comparison: Gilda O’Neil, Maggie Hudson, Kimberley Chambers.
Set in the 70s with the atmosphere of the time really coming across, this is a tale of infidelity and betrayal which, although a little slow to start, soon gets you hooked.Comparison: Lesley Pearse, Lynda Page, Maureen Lee.
An authentic and moving romantic saga set against the backdrop of the docks, streets, markets and pubs of Whitechapel, from the author of Wild Hops and The Dinner Lady. Young Kay Armstrong wants to break away from her tough East End background, where her friends are turning to crime. A job in the City seems like the perfect answer - but when she plans a holiday to Spain that involves forging her passport, she takes a step too far... Meanwhile her dad, Jack, is spearheading the great dock strike. He and his wife Laura worry about their headstrong daughter, especially the new set of friends introducing her to fashionable restaurants and the pleasures of drinking. And when Zacchi, the handsome gypsy boyfriend of her past reappears, Kay has some hard choices to make...
An enthralling romantic saga and a vibrant tale of illicit love, firm friendships and the indomitable character of the East Enders. It is 1959 and the Armstrong family - Jack, Laura and their daughter, Kay - are setting off on their annual hop-picking holiday. Far from the bustle of Stepney, the Kent hop fields offer hard work but fresh clean air and lively social gatherings around the campfires. But picking by hand is becoming a thing of the past as mechanisation takes over. While Jack leads the protest against the machines, Laura is otherwise preoccupied: will this mean the end of her seasonal love affair with the farm owner? And what of Kay who, on the brink of womanhood, craves adventure and creates turmoil when she and the handsome gypsy lad, Zacchi, meet in secret? As tensions grow between the cockneys and the local Romanies, it becomes clear that this summer will change lives for ever . . .
In the East End, war brings gas masks and the terrifying prospect of air raids . . . Jessie Warner has married Tom Smith and their baby is almost due. Settling down into their new home in Bethnal Green, Jessie looks forward to her new life - even though Tom is continually getting into mischief that borders on the downright criminal. But then the grim outside world intrudes. When war begins and Tom is called up almost at once, Jessie is left to cope with the baby alone. Jessie's twin, Hannah, has been recruited to help at Bletchley Park and, immersed in her work decoding German messages, has no idea of Jessie's desperation. But things are about to get worse. When Tom does a runner and goes AWOL, Jessie will be left in a dire situation . . .
The Second World War is over and the troops are coming home in this compelling family saga - but so much has changed . . . The war is over and the soldiers are coming back to the bomb-ravaged East End. Tom Smith is one of the thousands who are returning home. It's been an eventful war, what with a spell of desertion, and Tom can't wait to see his wife Jessie, their son Billy and the new baby daughter he hasn't even laid eyes on. But life back home wasn't easy either, especially when Jessie's army pension was stopped. So when she was told to put Emma-Rose into a home for her own good, she thought it was best. But how will Tom take the news? There is worse to come, when Tom learns that Jessie's old boyfriend has been helping her during the war. A compelling family saga set in the aftermath of the Second World War, from the author of Time Will Tell and Where Sparrows Nest.
In the turbulent East End of London in the thirties, Jessie Warner is growing up . . . Blackshirts are marching through the streets of Stepney and the Jewish community is under threat of violence. In the midst of this, Jessie discovers a family secret and turns to her mother for answers, but Rose is reluctant to reveal the past - for there is something that Jessie must never know. In Bethnal Green, Hannah Blake is being forced by her cold-hearted mother to join the Blackshirts, despite her deep misgivings. Next-door neighbour Emmie knows of the darkness surrounding Hannah's wretched past, but is bound by a vow of silence not to reveal it. And meanwhile, Emmie's son Tom, chipper and handsome, has just fallen for a blonde girl he wants to bring home to meet Emmie and Hannah. Her name is Jessie Warner... A romantic saga full of life and set against a dramatic backdrop, from the author of At the Mile End Gate and Over Bethnal Green.
A dramatic family saga set in the East End of 1958, with a spirited heroine determined to fulfill her dreams of becoming a dancer - and put her brother's killers away for good. Rosie Curtis is distraught when her brother Tommy is viciously murdered after dabbling in the criminal underworld. Life at home won't be the same again and without Tommy's support, her dreams of becoming a dancer are shattered. Powerless to avenge her brother's death, Rosie throws herself into saving a local music hall from closure and planning a musical spectacular, despite the misgivings of her family. But then Rosie comes face to face with her brother's killer, and she decides she will stop at nothing to see the criminals punished. While she fights to stage her show and put Tommy's killers away for good, her brother's smiling face appears in her thoughts, telling her to keep on dancing . . . Can she find the strength without him?
A gripping family saga from Sally Worboyes, author of Wild Hops and Docker's Daughter. Years ago, Patsy Hemmingway gave her son up to his natural father Jack and his wife Laura because a baby didn't fit into her lifestyle. But now Jac is six years old and Patsy is on her own. Cunning and ruthless, she is laying plans to get her boy back . . . Jac is fiercely loved and protected by his parents, and by his half-sister, Kay. Blissfully unaware of Patsy's schemes, the Armstrongs have other concerns - such as Kay's marriage to the handsome, high-flying Steve and setting up home as lady of leisure. But Kay has the added distraction of Zacchi, her gypsy boyfriend from the past, igniting passions and turning her world upside down. Meanwhile, the warning signs about Jac go unnoticed - and it's going to take every bit of the Armstrong strength of character and resourcefulness to tackle the obstacles ahead . . .
A gripping saga evoking the spirit of the 1970s East End, from the author of Room for a Lodger and Banished from Bow. Sandy Brent's life is blown apart the day her husband offers to drive her to work. On the way he tells her that their marriage is over and that he's seeing someone else. Sandy's refusal to believe that it's finished sends Roy into a frenzy - and the car into a head-on collision. When she wakes in hospital, Sandy is alone, and must start her life over from scratch. She decides to head back to her roots in the colourful East End and set up her own boutique. But someone is set on bringing her down: her own sister, Ruth. Deeply angry towards Sandy because of a childhood secret, Ruth is determined to see her sister run aground. Gathering her new friends and neighbours around to combat Ruth's warped machinations, Sandy needs to draw on strength she never knew she had. Then disaster strikes again...
A captivating romantic saga from Sally Worboyes, author of Banished from Bow and Jamaica Street. It is 1970 when 20-year-old Cathy falls in love with Johnny Dean, and becomes pregnant. A young docker, Johnny offers to marry Cathy - but what she doesn't know is that his gambling has got out of hand. He owes favours to the wrong sort and to clear his debt gets involved in a serious theft at the docks... Though Cathy is supported financially by Johnny's family, looking after a baby as a single mother isn't easy, and she's beginning to get lonely. When she meets a handsome young antiques dealer, friendship might not be enough for either of them. But will she be able to stop Johnny finding out?
A historical East End saga that will enthrall readers, from the bestselling author of Whitechapel Mary and Over Bethnal Green. In 1876, the homes of the poor working class in the East End are being replaced by splendid houses for the rich. When Kelly's Yard comes under threat, Maria Bertram inspires her neighbours to rebel against eviction. But when a woman is found murdered in Tobacco Dock and the young man Maria loves is arrested, she must do everything in her power to prove his innocence and save him from a public hanging. Without realising it, she puts her own life at risk when she stumbles across a web of deceit in the planner's office. It seems the murderer is much closer to home than she thinks...
In the late summer of 1952, amidst the turmoil of people moving out of their war-damaged homes, Edie Birch and her only child Maggie must say a sad farewell to old friends and neighbours. A new start is always daunting but helped along by the enthusiasm of her flamboyant Aunt Naomi, new friendships are forged and a brighter life begins for Edie. She even meets a new man. Outside of her happy orbit, however, a dark secret threatens to destroy her world. Aunt Naomi and her not-so-law-abiding friends must join forces to shield Edie. But can they stop the cruel hand of fate from delivering a blow which could expose the shameful truth?
September 1953, London's East End. Edie Birch, who believes herself to be a war widow, has finally allowed herself to fall in love again. Engaged to be married, she is happily planning her wedding day. But fate has a blow in store - her 15-year-old daughter, Maggie, is pregnant. A plan has been hatched to stop her daughter from falling from grace. Hidden away above an Italian cafe in Islington until she is ready to give birth Maggie works long hours behind the scenes while her mother Edie feigns pregnancy. The charade works until the baby arrives and hard decisions are to be made. Can Maggie return home and cope with the pretense of her own child being her brother? And will the truth out once Edie's first husband turns up to demand his rights as grandfather?
A romantic saga that will have you gripped, from the author of Time Will Tell and Banished From Bow. When Errol Turner, a handsome and determined young man from Jamaica, came to London's East End in the summer of 1955, his only assets were his father's old sewing machine, a few pounds in his pocket and a faith in the greatness of Britain. Four years later, in love with the charismatic Rita, he is making his mark as a tailor - but in the aftermath of the race riots, racial hatred still simmers throughout London, endangering all their hopes. Rita's best friend Maggie and her flamboyant great aunt Naomi try to ease the couple's fears. But far more sinister activities are going on under their own roof. When a woman is found murdered, vicious rumours and suspicions explode. It will take grit and cunning to bring the killer to light - and a true testing of friendship.
A gripping romantic saga full of secrets and intrigue from the author of Time Will Tell and Jamaica Street. After being abandoned as a child in 19th-century London's East End, a ragged and terrified Harriet was eventually found and taken into Mary Dean's house in Bow. There it was decided she would be brought up as a sister to Mary and her younger brother Arthur. But seventeen years later, Harriet and Arthur have fallen in love, and Harriet is pregnant. Driven out of Bow by neighbours who spit at them, the pair are forced to seek refuge in Stepney where, for a time, they are happy. But it is not long before Harriet is forced to protect a dark secret once more. She has kept something she stole as a child: the diary of a criminal who committed terrible acts. Now the owner of the diary has returned to the East End in search of it, and will stop at nothing to get it back . . .
The queen of the East End saga is back with a story of family secrets in 1960s London. London, 1960. Patsy Lamb is turning seventeen at the start of a decade that will change everything. The slums of the East End are making way for the new modern lifestyle that is being promised to Patsy's generation. But as Patsy looks to the future, her world is rocked by a secret from her past. It changes everything she thought she knew about her family. As Patsy struggles for answers, she turns to her grandmother. Molly, after all, has always been there for her. But Molly has problems of her own. Desperate to escape her abusive husband, Molly wonders if she's got the energy to fight any longer. These two women, generations apart, must both search their hearts for the strength to overcome their problems. And as Molly discovers that you're never too old to follow your dreams, Patsy must learn whether in the end, love is all you need. With grit and passion, Sally Worboyes' heartfelt and honest writing leads you right into the vibrant heart of East End London.
Sally Worboyes is loved and renowned for her gritty, enthralling sagas of East London life. But the story of her own family life in post-war Stepney is no less engrossing and dramatic. Here for the first time is Sally's account of her childhood and her family's history - the two-up, two-down with the outside lavatory and no hot water where her parents raised six children, carol-singing for the Kray twins at Christmas, the story of her grandfather's tragic early death...Full of memories both warm and less welcome, this autobiography paints a vivid picture of Sally's childhood, her days spent 'raking' the East End streets or crowding into her family's small parlour rooms for hard-earned Saturday tea, the tribulations of being part of a poor family, and the deep love she felt and still feels for her childhood surroundings. Warm, affectionate yet clear-eyed, this is probably Sally's most gripping saga yet - and it is all true.