When fifteen-year-old Cissie Brodie loses her parents to cholera, she is forced out of the family cottage and left to raise her nine siblings alone. Although desperately poor, the strong-willed Cissie determines to build a new home for the Brodies. It is only a rough stone shelter, but to Cissie and her family it is enough to keep them from the workhouse. They have friends, but charity cannot always spare them the harsh reality of their struggle and the bitterness of those who wish them harm. But can love, when it arrives, teach Cissie not to fear the world beyond the dwelling place? Set in the 1830's, "The Dwelling Place" is the powerful tale of a tenacious family's battle to overcome the odds.
Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, whom she believed to be her older sister. She began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master. Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award for the best regional novel of 1968 - her readership quickly spread throughout the world, and her many best-selling novels established her as one of the most popular of contemporary women novelists. After receiving an OBE in 1985, Catherine Cookson was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1993. She was appointed an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford, in 1997. For many years she lived near Newcastle upon Tyne. She died shortly before her ninety-second birthday, in June 1998.