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Audrey Howard was born in Liverpool in 1929. Before she began to write she had a variety of jobs, among them hairdresser, model, shop assistant, cleaner and civil servant. In 1981, while living in Australia, she wrote the first of her bestselling novels. She lives in St Anne's on Sea, her childhood home.
A compelling saga which straddles World War I. Sheâ€™s a star in this area, one of the best.Comparison: Beryl Matthews, Elizabeth Elgin, Ruth Hamilton.Similar this month: Mary Jane Staples,
The bittersweet story of twin sisters set in Lancashireâ€™s glass works. I think she is one of the best saga authors around.Comparison: Catherine Cookson, Ruth Hamilton, Josephine Cox.Similar this month: Pip Granger, Margaret Dickinson.
Rose Beechworth is mistress of a charming country house - her own, left to her by her wealthy father. In the summer of 1914, she is not even looking for love. Alice Weatherly turns Rose's world upside down. The loveable young heiress longs to kiss Captain Charlie Summers goodbye - she takes Rose to Liverpool's Lime Street station and into the heart of Charlie's brother Harry. Even though they are neighbours, they have never met, for Rose ignores the social round, while Harry's time is taken up desperately attempting to keep his father's ramshackle estate together. When he inherits Summer Place, a magnificent mansion with a proud history, he gladly lets it become a hospital for wounded soldiers. As the war takes its terrible toll and Charlie disappears into the fog of battle, Alice - the spoilt runaway heiress - becomes a heroine, while Rose finds herself running two great houses. It seems impossible that any of them can ever find happiness again. 'Her thousands of fans recognise the artistry of a true storyteller' Lancashire Life
Charlotte Drummond knows she has a duty to obey her father. Girls, especially well-bred upper-class ones, are expected to be submissive to the men in their lives. But Charlotte's father is a cruel man, viciously beating her and her brothers for the slightest reason. He even wants to marry her off, at just sixteen years old, to a man she does not love. Lion-hearted Charlotte wants to defy him - but to protect her brothers from his fury she agrees to become the wife of Brooke Armstrong. Charlotte does not understand that Brooke adores her, and that he would never have forced his enchanting new wife to agree to the match. As they begin their ill-starred marriage, Brooke welcomes her brothers into his home and sets out to make her love him. And when Charlotte turns her back on her social duties to turn the Dower House into a home for Wakefield's fallen women his patience is tested to the limit. Only when tragedy strikes will she will be able to admit that she loved him from the moment they met. But will it be too late?
Amy Pearson's family is desperately poor - even by the standards of Edwardian Liverpool - but they have each other. Until Amy is torn from her home by her rich aunt, a woman obsessed by religion and snobbery who wants a girl she can mould as she wishes. Clever and pretty, ten-year-old Amy is perfect for her purposes. It is the beginning of a long journey for Amy, as she desperately searches for the family she lost, and a home where she can be free at last from her aunt's possessive tyranny. But she will have to endure a forced marriage and a tragic war before she can at last find what she seeks.
Rose Alley is one of the city's worst slums - a place where hunger, filth and violence are a way of life. It's no place for proud Queenie Logan and her daughter Gillyflower. And it seems Queenie's dreams of escape will come true. Transformed by Miss Hunter's School for Girls, Gilly opens a successful dressmaking shop. And though she always thought she would marry the boy next door, soon she is courted by one of the richest young men in the city. But they have made a terrible enemy, who lurks in the Liverpool slums and seeks his chance to destroy them. And in the respectable new world they have joined someone else will prove even more dangerous to Gilly and those she loves.
When Abby Murphy discovers she's heiress to one of St Helens' largest glass works, her whole life is turned upside down. Torn from her poverty-stricken family and forbidden to see her childhood sweetheart, Roddy Baxter, she is forced by her tyrannical grandfather to become a lady. Then Roddy disappears and soon, it seems inevitable that Abby will have to marry her grandfather's chosen successor, Noah Goodwin, and bear his children. Trapped in a marriage where she is little more than a possession, Abby is determined that no matter what else might change, nothing will stand in the way of her steadfast passion for Roddy. But is she prepared to give up everything she has now for a love from the past?
Vibrant and headstrong, Ally Pearce loves working on the Edith, her family's narrowboat, proving she's the equal of any man on the Leeds to Liverpool canal. Betsy, delicate, calculating and sensuously beautiful, wants only to become a 'lady' - and will use the most unladylike means to become one. When Dr Tom Hartley enters the sisters' lives after a tragic accident both are attracted to him - but for very different reasons...
Briony Marsden has led a hard life, forced to do the work of a grown man while enduring her drunkard father's taunts and blows. But when he goes too far one day, her fate becomes even worse as she makes her way alone in a heartless world. Not quite alone. She has a friend - Lizzie Jenkins - who will do anything to help Briony re-open Moorend Mill. And Chad Cameron, the richest man in the district, has always admired Briony's spirit and determination. When her fortunes are at their lowest, he falls in love with the elfin waif and decides to make her his wife. But the only way he can win her is by trickery - by betraying her naive trust in the man who came to her rescue when all seemed lost. Can their marriage survive when she discovers his deception?
Tomboy Grace Tooley meets Rupert Bradley when her eldest brother's sudden death forces her to take on burdens beyond her years. From then on, Grace gives her heart to her brother's wealthy friend, but he sees her as a mere girl and marries a woman from his own station in life. They meet again when the Great War has changed them both. Grace has suffered loss and pain and emerged as a strong, passionate woman. Rupert, nearly broken by the horrors he has endured, has been humiliated by the bride who once seemed so right for him, and he rejects Grace's love and any hope of future happiness. But Grace is determined to rediscover the spirit of the only boy she ever loved in the man who is ready to die.
Tempestuous Briar Macauley's single-minded stubbornness to prove to the world that she is the equal to any man leads her into so many disastrous circumstances that her parents despair of ever making a lady of her. Encouraged by her equally disreputable friends, the only man who can stand up to her untamed spirit is Will Lucas of Browhead Farm whose temper matches her own. With the appearance of Hal Saunders, Briar realises there is more to the lifestyle her parents want for her than she first imagined. Exchanging her wild ways for a husband and child she would die for, Briar becomes the model of a perfect wife. But when tragedy strikes Briar must use all of her courage and determination just to endure.
Clare Hanrahan has nothing left to lose the day she stumbles into Lew Earnshaw's arms. Her family is gone and her own life hangs by a thread after a desperate season seeking work. By the time Lew and his kindly neighbours have nursed Clare back to health, he is hopelessly in love with the frail Irish girl. But though she will always care for Lew, another man comes between them. Martin Heywood could not be more different from the gentle, idealistic weaver. The rich young farmer is proud, arrogant and devastatingly handsome. He sweeps Clare off her feet, inspires her to better herself, steals her love away. What he cannot do is marry a mere servant girl. Even if it breaks both their hearts . . .
Beautiful, wilful and untameable, Kitty Hayes has only ever loved one man. From the moment she met him, she believed with all her heart that her adopted brother Freddy would one day be her husband. When he chooses to marry her pretty, feminine, despised sister instead, it breaks more than her heart. Torn between fury and sorrow, Kitty makes her own brilliant match. She doesn't love Ben Maddox - she scarcely notices him, even though he is fascinated by his headstrong bride. It is only when her selfishness leads to an unforgivable accident that she realizes what she has lost. And by then, it may be too late.
Nancy Brody is different from the rest of the folk in Angel Meadow, the appalling slum where her drunken mother Kitty was a prostitute . . . Only nine years old, Nancy decides to save her sisters Mary and Rose from the workhouse. She gets work for them all at the Monarch Cotton Manufacturing Mill - and then sets out to better herself and her sisters. Saving every penny, working every waking hour, Nancy succeeds, becoming a manufacturer herself. But happiness seems as elusive for Nancy as it was when she was a mistreated child. Though he once said he loved her, Mick O'Rourke has become Nancy's worst enemy, and seems destined to take a terrible revenge on her and her sisters. And Josh Hayes, the man who truly loves Nancy, seems destined to be parted from her.
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