The most talented new voice since Dilly Court - an absorbing, thrilling and romantic historical saga with characters you'll fall in love with Ellen O'Casey, an Irish Catholic immigrant, is struggling to support her ailing mother, her teenage daughter and herself.
Washing other people's laundry in the day, and singing in bawdy pubs at night, Ellen is determined to make a better life for her family by saving enough for the passage to New York where the rest of her extended family have already emigrated.
But Danny Donovan, a local gangster and the landlord of the pubs where Ellen sings, intends to make her his mistress.
A widow in her late 20s, Ellen has refused to let another man in her life, least of all the brutish Danny, whose advances she doggedly resists.
But when Ellen catches the eye of the new doctor in town, Robert Munroe, an intense rivalry is formed between the doctor and Danny.
For not only are Robert's feelings for Ellen reciprocated, but the ambitious doctor also intends to investigate the appalling living conditions of the local community and Danny's own hand in it. But as Ellen and Robert become closer and aim to bring an end to Danny's reign of terror, their own chance at happiness seems suddenly to be at stake...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 384 pages, 1 map
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
- Publication Date: 27/12/2008
- Category: Sagas
- ISBN: 9780752883724
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Review by gogglemiss
Good story, well defined characters, and the writer vividly portrayed what life was like in the diseased part of London in the early nineteenth century. I sometimes felt as if I needed a strong stomach reading about the different types of illnesses and causes of deaths hitting the populace, when crusading Doctor Munroe struggles to help those in need, and nasty villain Danny Donovan controls the towns coffers.