"Escaping one's past is at the heart of this endearing historical romance from Bavin (The Deserter's Daughter), set in a small English town after World War II. An unexpected visit from a district nurse inadvertently exposes the ugly secret Nell Hibbert's husband has been hiding through most of their marriage: a second wife, who's just had his baby. Angered by her husband's betrayal, pregnant Nell runs away from Annerby with her beloved young son, Alf, in tow. Two years later, "widowed" Nell and Alf have a new life in Chorlton, Manchester, aided by friends such as window cleaner Jim Franks, but a random act of kindness on Nell's part subsequently exposes her past and threatens her family's future. Bavin's character-driven narrative, peppered with colloquial dialogue, rings with authenticity. Although Jim's secret profession as a lawyer is somewhat fortuitous and the plotting is predictable, the sweet attraction between him and Nell give the story heart, while Bavin's finely sculpted cast of secondary characters, most of whom are struggling with postwar poverty, give the story true substance. The focus on historical and emotional authenticity will leave readers heartily satisfied."--Publishers Weekly
‘The focus on historical and emotional authenticity will leave readers heartily satisfied’ Publishers Weekly
After losing everything she holds dear in the Great War, Nell believes that marrying Stan Hibbert will help to recapture the loving family feeling she has lost. Five years on, she is just another penny-pinching, back-street housewife. When she discovers Stan is leading a double-life, she runs away to make a fresh start elsewhere.
Nell forges a new life for herself and her children in Manchester, working in a garment factory as a talented machinist. Her neighbours and colleagues believe she is a respectable widow – even her children think their father is dead – but when the past comes back to haunt her, Nell is faced with a court trial and will have to answer for her actions.
‘A real page-turner that will tug at your heartstrings’ Anna Jacobs