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Invalided out of the army at the end of the Second World War, Matthew Wallingham can't even look forward to his new future. As he lies in a hospital bed, he wonders what place there is in a new social order for a blind man - even if he is a decorated war hero. He has the sympathy of his family and his friends, but it seems that the only person who is able to help him in his depression is his nurse, Liz. Outside, Britain is adjusting to the realities of austerity; the price of peace is plain to see in the shortages of daily life and the shabby bomb-damaged cities. It is to this world that millions of ex-service people are returning to families, homes and unfamiliar jobs in civvy street. Matthew is one of them. When he arrives home, he realises that his family have their problems too. His father is ill, and his mother is obviously unhappy, while his younger brother, who has made a success of running the farm on the family's estate in the war years, is resentful that Matthew should think he can help him. The only person Matthew feels he can talk to is his grandmother, and apparently she is regarded as a holy terror by the rest of the family.
It soon dawns on Matthew that what few plans he has are not going to work, and he starts to look for a new career; and for Liz, for increasingly she seems to have become the focus of all his thoughts and his hopes for a future. But Liz herself has a shadow hanging over her that will bring a terrifying violence into the Wallingham family's life ...In a career that extended over more than forty-five years, Catherine Cookson, Britain's best-loved writer, described a world she experienced at first hand herself - the social changes, the pains as well as the pleasures of the brave new world of peace.
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.
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- ID: 9780593042922
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