Four girls try to escape the oppressive legacy of their father.
The people of Lancashire called him Billy London, although that wasn't his real name. But he came from London's East End and settled in the north, a mean, dark, secretive man who was interested only in lining his pockets at the expense of those around him - most especially his wife and daughters.
Ellen, his wife, bore with him for years, until she found her children threatened. Then she was prepared to fight like a tigress to protect the four girls, give them a chance of a new and better life, a chance to escape from the evil and oppressive legacy of Billy London.
There was Abigail, clever, ambitious, and with an outer shell of steel that life had taught her was necessary if she was to survive. Tishy, overwhelmingly lovely, who lived in a world all her own. Marie, brisk, capable, and nearly strong enough to defy her father on her own. And Theresa, more wounded, more vulnerable, more damaged by Billy than any of them.
As the sirens of 1939 heralded the advent of war, so Billy London's girls began their own battle for new, triumphant, and fulfilling lives.
“Very much the successor to Catherine Cookson. Her books are plot driven, they just rip along; laughs, weeps, love, they've got the lot, and they're quality writing as well”
Sarah Broadhurst on Radio 4