Edie Kelsey and Lil Horton have been friends and neighbours for over 20 years. Living in the close-knit community of fishermen’s wives in Grimsby, Edie, a mother of five, and Lil, a widow whose only child was born after her father’s tragic death at sea in 1919, have supported each other throughout life’s ups and downs. Frank, Edie’s second son, and Irene, Lil’s daughter, fall in love and are married at a young age. Despite initial reservations on Edie’s part, this brings the two women even closer together, and the birth of a mutual grandchild adds to their happiness, despite the shadow of war threatening everyone’s lives.
With the outbreak of World War II, life changes irrevocably. Edie’s three older children are all involved with the war and Irene, her new baby and Edie’s youngest son, Reggie, are evacuated. Tragedy and hardship follow and then a scandal which tests their friendship to the limits.
A family saga from this popular author gives no great surprises, but is eminently readable. Margaret Dickinson comes from Lincolnshire and has obviously done her local research, so that the reader is given a clear picture of the area during the war years. The characters are well drawn and the story is easy to follow. Older readers, particularly, may enjoy the nostalgic feel and the descriptions of wartime life. The storyline is predictable, but the tale is well written and makes for a pleasant and undemanding read.