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Description - The Penny Wedding by Jessica Stirling

The Burnsides' move from Glasgow's tenement slums to the sunny new suburbs of Flannery Park brings hope to all members of the family. But heartbreak awaits among the tidy gardens and green lawns and soon seventeen-year-old Alison is forced to take on responsibility for her out-of-work father and brothers and put her own ambitions aside. Love as well as loss threatens Alison's future, however, and leads her into a relationship with teacher Jim Abbott, an affair which her brothers, even the brooding Henry, are powerless to understand, let alone prevent. Throughout the Depression years of the early 30s, the Burnsides - united by a shared heritage yet divided by their dreams - square up to the challenge of poverty and fight to hold the family together, whatever the cost.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780340618219
ISBN-10: 0340618213
Format: Paperback
(179mm x 111mm x 34mm)
Pages: 512
Imprint: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Publish Date: 2-Mar-1995
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - The Penny Wedding by Jessica Stirling

US Kirkus Review » In a change of pace from her rugged 18th-century dramas dealing with love, murder and scandal (Shadows on the Shore, 1994, etc.), Stifling returns to more peaceful domestic doings - this time in a tale of love and marriage within a Glasgow family circa 1930. When Maeve Burnside - wife of workingman Alex, mother of four grown sons and studious Alison (16) - suddenly dies, children and husband grieve deeply. But hard times and layoffs are in the wind, and all soon rally for crises. Must Alison give up her dreams of a career, leave school, and care for Dad and the boys? Tough old Grandmother Gilfiilan lectures her on Duty, but Alison and father Alex stand their ground. (Much later Grandmother's iron will turn out to be golden). Jim Abbott, one-armed war veteran and local schoolteacher, will guide Alison on to academic glory while smothering his love and desire for her. Meantime, eldest Burnside son Henry, writing for a radical journal (with tongue in cheek), loves a married, German beauty, Trudi, and procures not only her freedom but a job for himself on a major newspaper. Jack, the trumpet player, blasts along in jazz bands, and prim Berrie discovers - and evades censure for - his closet proclivities. (Not much is heard about Davy, but he's sure to be "jake.") Then there's Alex, now an out-of-work loller and consumer of Trudi's cuisine, until Trudi and widowed Ruby, a neighbor and barmaid, conspire to drop the marital net. It all ends with a bangup wedding and - surprisingly, considering the initially mellow tone - a judicious, diminished-seventh coda to the mutual love of Alison and teacher Jim. For Anglophiles whose affections reach to the River Clyde: another likable family tale with Stirling's trademark amusing asides - a special treat here is her portrait of a celebrated "Celtic Bard" soused to the ears and a-croon in Gaelic. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Jessica Stirling

Born in Glasgow, Jessica Stirling is the author of many heartwarming novels, most of which have Scottish backgrounds. She has enjoyed a highly successful career since The Spoiled Earth was published in 1974.