The Burnsides’ move from Glasgow’s tenement slums to the sunny new suburbs of Flannery Park brings hope to all members of the family. But heartbreak awaits among the tidy gardens and green lawns and soon seventeen-year-old Alison is forced to take on responsibility for her out-of-work father and brothers and put her own ambitions aside. Love as well as loss threatens Alison’s future, however, and leads her into a relationship with teacher Jim Abbott, an affair which her brothers, even the brooding Henry, are powerless to understand, let alone prevent. Throughout the Depression years of the early 30s, the Burnsides – united by a shared heritage yet divided by their dreams – square up to the challenge of poverty and fight to hold the family together, whatever the cost.
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