It is the early 1920s and Kate Hannigan is happily married to Dr Rodney Prince, who has willingly accepted her illegitimate daughter, Annie, as the eldest child of their household. Everything seems to be going well for the Prince family, but soon spiteful rumours about Kate's earlier life seem to haunt both her and Annie - an insidious threat that revives memories of the poverty and narrowness of life in the Fifteen Streets district that they have so recently left behind.Annie will be faced with some of the problems that earlier beset her mother: religious prejudice and a choice between two different ways of life - the comfortable middle-class existence offered by Brian Stannard and the uncertain prospects of Terence McBane, a brilliant mathematician from the underprivileged world Annie and her mother have just escaped. In the sequel to "Kate Hannigan", Cookson's first published novel, Kate's daughter Annie must find the strength and maturity to overcome the troubles that threaten to engulf her.
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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