By Lena Kennedy
In the turmoil and confusion of London's East End between the wars, young Nelly Kelly soon learns that life may never match her expectations. Forced to keep house for her charming, yet autocratic, father, Nelly toils in a sweatshop to keep her family clothed and fed.But though life is hard, Nelly still has friendship, dancing and her early dreams to cling to. Dreams which slowly crumble as marriage, the war and a lost baby are followed by the heartache of a lost love.Fortune may crush her proud spirit but when faced with a crisis which will test her courage to the limit, no tragedy can change Nelly Kelly's determination to be her own woman.
By Jojo Moyes
Now is the Hour
By Hilary Green
In an empty theatre at the end of the pier the cast of the Fairbourne Follies gathers round the radio to hear Neville Chamberlain declare war on Germany. Four firm friends are forced to part. Rose, the beautiful dancer, must return to her family in London and the blitz, leaving singer Richard to enlist in the army with their relationship still unresolved. Gay, asthmatic Merry, the musical director, is destined for the army too, while the object of his unrequited love, charismatic magician, Felix, chooses the RAF. Before long, Rose joins a group entertaining the troops in France. The Nazi war machine however is fast and merciless on the land and in the air and soon all of them find themselves in terrible danger. And as they are struck by the brutality of war they realise exactly who is most important to them and despite the odds, and in terrible circumstances, they determine to find each other again. With the threat of capture, injury and death ever present, the four of them will have to find reserves of courage, love and endurance that they did not know they possessed.
Never Say Goodbye
By Hilary Green
Diana 'Steve' Escott-Stevens knows what she is getting herself into. For 12 months she has fed and looked after agents preparing for a mission in France. She knows that only half of them will come back. But she is young, brave and moreover speaks fluent French. When she applies to become an agent for the Special Operations Executive she is readily accepted and sent off for training to prepare her for the field. The training is demanding; sabotage, codes, hand-to-hand combat, parachute jumps. But it is only too quickly that she finds herself in a Lysander flying to France, where any mistake could mean capture, torture or death, for her and others.
No Place for a Woman
By Meg Hutchinson
Laura Cadman had always assumed she would marry Edmund Shaw, the son of her father's partner, and keep the Shaw and Cadman name. But Edmund's violent refusal is just the beginning. When Jabez Shaw dies, Edmund takes advantage of Laura's father and cheats him out of the engineering works. Not content with that, he manufactures an accusation that lands Mr Cadman in Winson Green Prison. Penniless, her pride hurt and her heart broken, Laura vows to repay every pound that Edmund claims he is owed.Rafe Travers is often at hand when Laura is in trouble, but Edmund's cruel words blind her to Rafe's love. Only when he saves her from Edmund's final wickedness can she believe he loves her, and embrace happiness at last.
Not a Bird Will Sing
By Audrey Howard
Set on a 19th century farm in rural Lancashire near Liverpool, this heartwarming saga is the story of Poppy Appleton, a girl who grew up in ignorance and poverty but has been adopted by a prosperous farmer's wife. At Long Reach farm, Eliza Goodall teaches Poppy all the skills she would have passed on to her own daughter: the skills that would enable a young lady to become the mistress of a farm just like Long Reach. And when the time comes for Eliza's son Richard to choose a wife, it seems only natural that he should choose Poppy. But though she feels nothing but affection for Richard and all her new family, the only man for whom she has ever felt love is an Irish boy, Conn MacConnell. And when he returns unexpectedly, Poppy has to choose between loyalty and love.