Tomboy Grace Tooley meets Rupert Bradley when her eldest brother's sudden death forces her to take on burdens beyond her years. From then on, Grace gives her heart to her brother's wealthy friend, but he sees her as a mere girl and marries a woman from his own station in life. They meet again when the Great War has changed them both. Grace has suffered loss and pain and emerged as a strong, passionate woman. Rupert, nearly broken by the horrors he has endured, has been humiliated by the bride who once seemed so right for him, and he rejects Grace's love and any hope of future happiness. But Grace is determined to rediscover the spirit of the only boy she ever loved in the man who is ready to die.
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(175mm x 111mm x 34mm)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Audrey Howard sets many of her novels in the great seaport of Liverpool where she was born. A prolific and hugely popular author, her fourth novel, The Juniper Bush, was awarded the Romantic Novel Of The Year prize and she is among the top 20 most popular library authors. This story is set in Liverpool at the beginning of the 20th century. Tomboyish Grace Tooley is the only girl in a lively family of six brothers. When she meets the handsome, kind and well-to-do Rupert Bradley she falls in love with him almost immediately, but he is out of her league socially and anyway regards her as little more than a child. Then her elder brother dies under tragic circumstances. The family is devastated and her mother is broken. Grace takes up the responsibilities her parents have shed and with sheer courage holds the family together. When she next meets Rupert, the Great War has changed them both. Loss and pain have transformed Grace from a girl to a woman of passion and strength, while Rupert has endured horrors that have almost broken him and been humiliated by his wealthy bride. He rejects Grace's love, but she is determined to save him and help him to be happy again. Once again, with the surest of touch, Howard has created a diverse cast of characters. Grace is particularly compelling. Strong and passionate, yet vulnerable, she's a character the reader can't help but root for. This is Howard at her accomplished best with a particularly well-drawn period setting that transports us into a totally believable world. A gripping and satisfyingly long novel that will keep the reader hooked from the first to the last page. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Audrey Howard
Audrey Howard was born in Liverpool in 1929. Before she began to write she had a variety of jobs, among them hairdresser, model, shop assistant, cleaner and civil servant. In 1981, while living in Australia, she wrote the first of her bestselling novels. She lives in St Anne's on Sea, her childhood home.