A beautiful and moving tale of perseverance in the face of adversity
By Lena Kennedy
A haunting and compelling family saga spanning four decades and four generations, MAGGIE is the life story of a resilient Cockney woman.
Fall in love with Lena Kennedy's remarkable first novel... Spanning four decades and four generations, this compelling family saga reveals the extraordinary life story of a resilient Cockney woman, MAGGIE.
Raised in Stepney, the heart of London's East End, Maggie Riley is the only child of an Irish widower. When she becomes pregnant at the age of fifteen she is delighted, for it means she has captured her beloved Jim Burns.
But life is a constant struggle - to bring up her four sons, to cope with a part-time husband, to 'better herself'. And that struggle is set against critical events of the era: the Depression, the Blackshirt marches, the devastation of World War II and its aftermath.
With the skill of a natural storyteller, Lena Kennedy makes us share Maggie's life: we experience Maggie's hardships as she confronts poverty; we feel her grief when she sends her children off during the evacuation; we sympathise with her loneliness through the long years of the war; we share the impressions of her first trip abroad to South Africa and Australia. We rejoice in her triumphs and feel the sorrow of her tragedies.
Lena Kennedy lived all her life in the East End of London and wrote with great energy about the people and times she knew there. She was 67 before her first novel, MAGGIE, was accepted for publication. Since then her bestselling novels have shown her to be among the finest and best loved of contemporary novelists. She died in August 1986.
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- Publication date:
04 Jul 2013
- Page count:
So real it feels as if someone you love is telling her own story — Sun
A story-telling tour de force. Sentimental, romantic and very saleable, this will appeal to every reader who adored The Thorn Birds — Publishers Weekly
A remarkable story and a remarkable book — Daily Express