Elm Tree Road

In 1910 Nell (21) and her two sisters run away from their brutal and domineering father. Nell is pregnant to the man she loves, but her father doesn’t want his daughters to marry at all. He wants them to look after him in his old age. She’s terrified her father will beat Cliff mercilessly if he finds out, as he once did a fellow who was courting her half-sister Mattie (29).

Cliff agrees reluctantly to leave his secure job as a railway upholsterer. He grudgingly allows her younger sister Renie (16) to come with them, but not Mattie, who might try to boss him around.

After they leave, the sisters separate and Cliff finds a way for them to hide their tracks. He takes them up to Lancashire, where he finds a job as an upholsterer. But this is a disappointment and come-down after working for the railways. So is the fact that Nell has a baby daughter and then doesn’t get pregnant again.

A year after they settle in Lancashire, Renie gets a job as chambermaid in a big hotel in London and won’t tell them where exactly she’s going, because she doesn’t want anyone fetching her back. Cliff is furious that with Renie gone and no longer paying rent, they’ve lost a way of saving money. He grows more and more grumpy, even shouting at his little daughter, till Nell is desperate.

When tragedy strikes, Nell must build a new life for herself and her search leads her into danger. Will she find happiness again?

You can buy a copy of this book at your local bookshop or on line at various places, including:

The publisher, hardback and ebook

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