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Rita Bradshaw was born in Northamptonshire, where she still lives today. At the age of sixteen she met her husband - whom she considers her soulmate - and they have two daughters and a son and four young grandchildren. In any spare moments she loves walking her dogs, reading, eating out and visiting the cinema and theatre, as well as being involved in her local church and animal welfare.
An only child, fifteen-year-old Angeline Stewart is heartbroken when her beloved parents are killed in a coaching accident and she is given into the care of her uncle. Naive and innocent, Angeline is easy prey for the handsome and ruthless Oswald Golding who is looking for a rich heiress to solve the money troubles his gambling and womanizing has caused. On her wedding night, Angeline enters a nightmare from which there is no awakening. Oswald proves to be more sadistic and violent than she could ever have imagined. On learning she is expecting a child, Angeline makes plans to run away and take her chances fending for herself and her baby. But then tragedy takes over ...
On her deathbed, Lucy Fallow's mother makes her twelve-year-old daughter promise to look after her four younger siblings and keep house for her father and two older brothers. When the Fallow menfolk lose their jobs they take work wherever they can. But it's not long before they are working on the wrong side of the law and under the watchful eye of Tom McKenzie. Meanwhile, through the hardship Lucy begins to form a relationship with Jacob McKenzie, the boy next door, and one evening they dance cheek to cheek in the moonlight and know that one day they will marry. However, as their love grows so does the resentment from Jacob's older brother Tom. He has had his eye on Lucy for years and has never understood why she doesn't fall for him like all the other girls her age. Now he knows why -- his brother already has her heart. What follows is a chain of heart-breaking events where Jacob and Lucy are torn from each other's arms. Will they ever dance in the Moonlight again ...?
Rita Bradshaw's latest dramatic storytelling is a heartbreaking saga of true love against all odds.
With the magic of Catherine Cookson, Rita Bradshaw once again enthrals us with her stunning new novel of love and survival. It's 1926 and the Depression is claiming its victims every day. Hannah and her mother Miriam, who have lived with Hannah's uncle and aunt since her father died, have never really been close. As Hannah develops into a beautiful girl, so Miriam's jealousy and resentment of her grows. At least Hannah can escape to spend time at her friend Naomi's, whose kind mother gives Hannah the affection she so lacks at home. And Hannah is not indifferent to Naomi's handsome, charming brother Joe. But when she is forced to flee her house and the unwanted attention of her uncle, it is the grave, taciturn Jake, Naomi's other brother, who shines through as Hannah's protector...
Hope's just a child when she's orphaned, and as she grows up her dream is always to have a family of her own. And so when she meets and falls in love with Daniel Fallow, son of a successful businessman, she's quick to accept his proposal of his marriage. His family, though, are against the match, and so the young couple marry in secret. Grudging acceptance follows, and as the Depression worsens Daniel is persuaded to join the family business, unaware of his father's dodgy dealings. Tragedy is just around the corner, and worse is to come when war is declared in 1939: as Daniel leaves to fight and her children are evacuated, Hope wonders if she will ever have all her family around her again...
It's 1925 and when Renee McDarmount marries Walter Sutton, Carrie McDarmount is delighted, for the two families have always been close - the children are all similar in age and their fathers work together in the local pit. But an incident on the eve of the wedding leaves Carrie pregnant and desperately ashamed of the secret she now carries. When Harry Sutton, who has always loved Carrie, discovers her plight, he volunteers to marry her and bring up the baby as his own. But their secret will inevitably come out in the end and there is much heartache ahead before Carrie can finally be happy and content with the man she loves.
The storm that's raging when fisherman's daughter Daisy Appleby is born in a village just north of Sunderland could be taken as a warning of a turbulent life ahead. It's during another storm fifteen years later that her father and brothers are lost and Daisy rescues William, heir of a wealthy Southwick family, with whom she falls in love. Soon, as her reward for saving him, Daisy is working for William's irascible aunt, while local lad Alf continues to court her. Warned off by Daisy's grandmother, William denies his own feelings and so it will be many years later, after much hardship and turmoil, that Daisy finds the happiness she deserves, amidst the drama of the Great War.
The approach of the twentieth century means little to Josie Burns and her family; living in Sunderland's slum area, they battle dirt, cold and hunger on a daily basis. Josie's brothers and sisters are terrified of their violent alcoholic father, but Josie is not like the rest, for she has something that will enable her to rise out of the slums: a beautiful singing voice, with which even as a child she earns enough pennies to keep her father happy. When she discovers that her father is trying to put her younger sister, Gertie, on the game, Josie and Gertie flee the family home, taking refuge with a friend. By educating herself and taking singing lessons, Josie starts on the journey to success and security - but can she also find love?
Growing up on a small, struggling farm on the outskirts of Sunderland in the early 1900s, Polly Farrow has a tough life, but she has gifts money can't buy - a joyful disposition and a loving heart. And her heart belongs to her beloved cousin, Michael. Polly knows that one day they'll be man and wife. But a terrible secret is to change everything: Michael is her half-brother, the fruit of an incestuous relationship between her father and his own sister - Michael's mother. The lovers are rent apart and Polly is left to bear the responsibility of the farm alone - for her father kills himself, unable to live with his shame. Life is now a battle for survival, and Polly wonders if she will ever find happiness. But the answer to her prayers is closer than she thinks...
Connie Bell, newly orphaned, is just twelve when she's taken on at the laundry in Sunderland's grim workhouse. Although she's little more than a child the events of her past have forged a driving determination to rise above her beginnings. But when she applies for a job as a nurse Connie's turned down: her mother was forced by poverty to work the streets and the Bell name is tainted. Bitterly hurt but undaunted, Connie's soon assistant housekeeper at the Grand Hotel and saving hard for her own business. When her path crosses Dan Stewart's, though, everything Connie's ever dreamed of is threatened. There's a dark and terrible history between the Bells and the Stewarts, and Dan's mother Edith will do anything to keep Dan and Connie apart.
When everyone's deserted her, can she find the strength to go on? Reach for Tomorrow is a heart-warming saga of a young woman's indomitable spirit and determination to survive no matter what, from much-loved author Rita Bradshaw. Perfect for fans of Annie Murray and Rosie Goodwin. 'What an emotional rollercoaster ride of a book! It grabs your attention from page one and does not let go until the end' - Sunderland Echo Rosie Ferry is hardly more than a child when her father and brothers are lost in a pit disaster. She has to grow up fast when her mother falls apart, leaving Rosie in charge of her two sisters. It's Rosie who finds them lodgings, Rosie who tramps the streets looking for work. Without her friends Davey and Flora, Rosie doesn't know how she'd cope. Then Davey - the boy Rosie always thought she'd marry - abruptly leaves Sunderland, and to make matters worse her mother turns to drink. It's almost more than she can bear, but Rosie is tougher than she looks, and she's determined to keep the family together. What readers are saying about Reach for Tomorrow: 'I felt as though I was transported in time. I found the book very emotive in places and extremely easy to read' 'Another lovely story from this very talented writer. The characters are vivid and believable, the storyline keeps you guessing' 'Hard to put down and at times will make you cry and in the next minute heart-burstingly happy'