A poignant story which will tear at your heart strings. Perfect for the fans of Elaine Everest and Daisy Styles.
Summer 1945. The nation rejoices as the Second World War comes to an end but Banbury Street matriarch, Eva Parker, foresees trouble ahead. Whilst her daughter, Mildred, awaits the return of her fiancé from overseas duty, doubts begin to seep into her mind about how little she knows of the man she has promised to marry. Or are her affections being drawn elsewhere?
Meanwhile, new neighbour, dancer CissieCresswell, hides a terrible secret. The end of the conflict will bring her no release from the horrific night that destroyed her life. Can she ever find her way back? Under Eva’s stalwart care, can the two young women unite to face the doubt and uncertainty of the future?
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EXTRACT FROM THE BOOK!!
Evangeline Parker passed the Duke of Cambridge on the corner and turned into Banbury Street. Ooph, it was good to get home! She’d been queuing for what seemed hours for the week’s rations of tea, sugar, tinned food and what have you at the grocer’s, and then again for the few days’ rations of meat at the butcher’s and whatever fruit and veg was available at the greengrocer’s. She didn’t have the luxury of one of those things she believed were called a refrigerator. Just a lead-lined box with a marble shelf and a metal-mesh door to keep the flies out. So, at the end of the week, she’d have to queue all over again for fresh supplies for the weekend.
For all that, what did she have? From the butcher’s, a pig’s trotter – that her husband, Stan, liked but she could never stand – one kidney and a couple of slices of ox liver. There hadn’t even been any bacon or sausages available, and Old Willie would never have lied to her about that. She’d lived in the little backstreet near south-west London’s Battersea Park for virtually all of her fifty-nine years and had been a faithful customer and, she hoped, friend for most of her life, feeding her own growing family on his meat and nobody else’s.
Thank goodness spuds and bread weren’t on ration, even if the latter was the horrible, grey-coloured National Loaf. She’d managed to get their due ration of tea, sugar, butter and margarine OK, but the few ounces of cheese had come as a bright orange colour rather than the normal mousetrap, so she hoped it was going to be edible. Add to that a selection of vegetables – carrots, turnips and spring greens but sadly no onions – and their ration of tinned fruit, peas and spam, and somehow she’d have to feed her family on that for the next few days.
Not that there were so many mouths to feed these days, what with only two of their six off-spring living at home. The eldest two, Kit and Gert, were both married and had long flown the nest. With a lifelong passion for trains, Kit had left grammar school at sixteen to work on the railways. Now he was the sub stationmaster at a place called Edenbridge Town in Kent. For a rural station, it was incredibly important freightwise, and had been even more so during the war. As a railway worker, Kit had been exempt from conscription, for which Eva thanked the Good Lord. Railway lines had been obvious targets for German bombers, of course, but a couple of bombs exploding near the Edenbridge lines at the beginning of the raids had been the extent of any danger. So Kit and his wife, Hillie, daughter of Eva’s best friend – ah, how she still missed poor Nell, though she’d been dead ten years or more – and their two little ones had been safe throughout the war.
As she puffed up to her own front door, her arms weighed down with the precious shopping, Eva glanced along the street to the little terraced house, a few doors down, where Nell had lived and suffered at the hands of her brutal husband. She’d been well out of it, poor love, for over a decade, but Eva swore she could still see her sometimes, waving with a forced smile, putting on a brave face. All the dreadful things that had happened belonged to another time, a previous, sad story, but Eva would never forget them.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Delaying her childhood dream of writing historical novels until her family had grown up, Tania eventually completed a series of published stories based on her beloved Dartmoor. She is now setting her future sagas in London and the south east.