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First of all this book should not be confused with Mother's Ruin: The Extraordinary True Story of How Alcohol Destroys a Family by Nicola Barry!
This novel, by Kitty Neale, is set in Battersea, London between 1966 and 1967 although there is a brief prologue set in 1961.
The author grew up in Battersea so her first-hand knowledge of the area brings with it a sense of realism. Indeed she states that in fact many of the place and street names mentioned in the book are real but others, along with the characters, are fictitious.
At 376 pages the book provides a substantial read but with 50 chapters, none of which are very long, it is easy to read as there are many natural breaks where you can pick it up and put it down. That's if you can bear to put it down ..... I found myself totally engrossed and quite a few jobs around the house didn't get done as I kept promising myself 'just one more chapter'!
If you like family dramas in my opinion book this book is definitely one for you to look out for.
Without giving too much away the story centres around Sally Jones, her husband Arthur and their daughter Angela - or Angel as she is more often called - and their extended family and neighbours and shows how family loyalty can be stretched to the limit. It illustrates only too well how small misunderstandings and a breakdown in communication can see minor problems escalate into major issues until they could easily reach the point of no return and the relationship between Sally and Arthur is an example of this.
They begin to question whether their problems can ever be resolved. Do we stay and fight for what we instinctively know we want - or do we walk away and risk making the biggest mistake of our life?? Only they can decide!
These are questions faced by Sally and her family and, as I said, I found myself totally engrossed, and wanting to read 'just a bit more' to see if the story unfolded in the way I wanted it to.
It left me wanting more and I shall certainly be looking in my local library for other books by this very entertaining writer.
I fully agree with the quote from 'Closer' magazine on the cover of the book .... "full of drama and heartache".