Catherine Cookson was at her towering best in this immensely powerful novel which spanned more than three decades, from the 1880s through World War I and beyond, as it told the story of a young man’s fateful decision and the enduring influence it had on future generations.
Ward Gibson’s heart and mind were in turmoil as he rode home from Newcastle, across the Tyne, to the prosperous Durham farm he had just inherited from his father. He was already his own assured man, though still only in his twenties. But what about marriage? He knew what was expected of him by the village folk, and especially by the Mason family, whose daughter Daisy he had known all his life. But now in a single week, his world had been turned upside down by a dancer, an ethereal being who seemed to float across the stage of the Empire Music Hall, where she was appearing under the professional name of The Maltese Angel. Night after night he had been to see her, and each time only served to confirm his conviction that this was no passing infatuation but the birth of a devotion that would endure as long as life itself.
Ward’s persistence allowed him to meet Stephanie McQueen, or Fanny, as she was known. The attraction was mutual, and after a courtship of only a few weeks they married. But already a scorpion had emerged. To the local community, Ward had betrayed their expectations and cruelly deserted poor Daisy. There followed a series of reprisals on his family, one of them tragic enough for Ward to enact a terrible revenge on the perpetrators. The legacy of these events was a bitter one, at times erupting into terrible violence, that would twist and turn the course of many lives through Ward’s own and succeeding generations.
The narrative is rich in characterisation and brilliantly reflects a turbulent historical era’s effects on the aspirations, fears and follies of individuals.
About Catherine Cookson
See more books from this Author
Published March 24, 2011
by Peach Publishing.
History, Literature & Fiction, Romance.