The Fifteen Streets by Catherine Cookson
A Novel

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Synopsis

Catherine Cookson was one of the world's most beloved writers. Her books have sold millions of copies, and her characters and their stories have captured the imaginations of readers around the globe. Now, available for the first time in this country, comes one of Cookson's earliest and most stirring historical romances: The Fifteen Streets.

John O'Brien lives in a world where surviving is a continual struggle. He works long hours at the docks to help support his parents' large family. Many other families in the Fifteen Streets have already given up and descended into a dismal state of grinding poverty, but the O'Briens continue to strive for a world they are only rarely allowed to glimpse.

Then John O'Brien meets Mary Llewellyn, a beautiful young teacher who belongs to that other world. What begins as a casual conversation over tea quickly blossoms into a rare love that should have been perfect. Fate steps in, however, when John is accused of fathering the child of a local girl, and Mary's parents forbid her to see him. The couple begins to realize that the gulf of the Fifteen Streets between them is a chasm they could never bridge-or might they still find a way?

In these pages Catherine Cookson displays the irresistible plotting, scene-setting, and characterization that have made her a recognized master of historical and romance fiction. Fans of her novels, with their larger themes of romantic love and class conflict, will be delighted to find that even at the beginning of her illustrious career, Cookson had the power to captivate audiences. Filled with passion and compelling drama, The Fifteen Streets is a rare treat for lovers of romantic fiction.
 

About Catherine Cookson

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Catherine Cookson, 1906 - 1998 British writer Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, Co. Durham. She was born illegitimate and into poverty with a mother who was, at times, an alcoholic and violent. From the age of thirteen, Catherine suffered from hereditary hemorrhage telangiectasia. She also believed, for many years, that she was abandoned as a baby and that her mother was actually her older sister. Catherine wrote her first short story, "The Wild Irish Girl," at the age of eleven and sent it to the South Shields Gazette, which sent it back in three days. She left school at the age of thirteen to work as a maid for the rich and powerful. It was then that she saw the great class barrier inside their society. From working in a laundry, she saved enough money to open an apartment hotel in Hastings. Schoolmaster, Tom Cookson, was one of her tenants and became her husband in 1940. She suffered several miscarriages and became depressed so she began writing to help her recovery. Catherine has written over ninety novels and, under the pseudonym of Catherine Marchant, she wrote three different series of books, which included the Bill Bailey, the Mary Ann, and the Mallen series. Her first book, "Kate Hannigan" (1950), tells the partly autobiographical story of a working-class girl becoming pregnant by an upper-middle class man. The baby is raised by Kate's parents and the child believes them to be her real parents and that Kate is her sister. Many of her novels are set in 19th century England and tell of poverty in such settings as mines, shipyards and farms. Her characters usually cross the class barrier by means of education. Catherine received the Freedom of the Borough of South Shields and the Royal Society of Literature's award for the Best Regional Novel of the year. The Variety Club of Great Britain named her Writer of the Year and she was voted Personality of the North-East. She received an honorary degree from the University of Newcastle and was made Dame in 1933. Just shortly before her ninety-second birthday, on June 11, 1998, Catherine died in her home near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. "Kate Hannigan's Girl" (1999), was published posthumously and continues the story of her first novel.
 
Published April 12, 2011 by Simon & Schuster. 256 pages
Genres: History, Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Fifteen Streets

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First US publication of a 1952 novel by the late Dame Catherine--and a good one: Cain and Abel on the Tyneside docks.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Fifteen Streets: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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British readers have been familiar with this early novel by Cookson for five decades, but this reissue will please American fans who crave the late author's sudsy historical novels. John O'

Dec 02 2002 | Read Full Review of The Fifteen Streets: A Novel

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