This was my first novel, and you can imagine how thrilled I was when it won the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writer’s Award in 2002, and the Society of Authors’ Sagittarius Prize in 2003.
Despite an early life marked by tragedy and hardship, Beth Sherwin dreams of staying on at school and even going to university – a heady ambition for a Potteries girl in 1956. Then a brutal encounter leaves her pregnant at seventeen.
Unwilling to break her widowed mother’s heart, Beth bears her secret alone and gives up her baby daughter for adoption.
It seems her desperate gamble has succeeded. She finishes school, takes on a challenging job and meets Michael, charming eldest son of the wealthy Rushton family. But when he asks her to marry him, Beth faces a dilemma.
Does she dare tell Michael her secret, and risk losing him for ever? And even if he stands by her, can she bear the certainty that the brutal monster who fathered her child will be at her wedding?