The O'Neils, who have lost brothers and sons into the bowels of London's East End, keep watch over their one remaining young male, a boy named Seamus. Hardworking and good-hearted, they cling together and help each other, and a whole community. Meanwhile, Rosh Allen mourns the loss of Phil, her dearly-beloved husband. Aided and impeded by her mother, Anna, she struggles to raise three fatherless children. With the help of a kind-hearted neighbour, her wounds begin to heal, and she begins to take the first faltering steps into 'normality'. Tess and Don Compton are on the verge of separation. An apparently greedy and selfish woman, Tess wants a semi-detached house, and all her own way. But what really lies behind her desire to live on the posh side of the street. Behind the three families, two men are at work. One will do serious damage; the other will reunite a clan that goes all the way back to Ireland and to ancestors thrown ashore from the ships of the Spanish Armada.
Ruth Hamilton is the bestselling author of twenty-five novels, including Mulligan's Yard, Dorothy's War, The Judge's Daughter, The Reading Room, Mersey View and That Liverpool Girl. She has become one of the north-west of England's most popular writers. She was born in Bolton, which is the setting for many of her novels, and has spent most of her life in Lancashire. She now lives in Liverpool.