Vivid, bawdy and bitter. Barker's talent for gently sifting through the hidden depths of the human psyche is awesome' - The Times Pat Barker's first novel shows the women of Union Street, young and old, meeting the harsh challeges of poverty and survival in a precarious world. There's Kelly, at eleven, neglected and independent, dealing with a squalid rape; Dinah, knocking on sixty and still on the game; Joanne, not yet twenty, not yet married, and already pregnant. Old Alice is welcoming her impending death whilst Muriel helplessly watches the decline of her stoical husband. And linking them all, watching over them all, mother to half the street, is fiery, indomitable Iris.
In the first novel of the Union Street Bakery series, Daisy McCrae learns how easily life can turn on a dime… Suddenly without a job or a boyfriend, Daisy now lives in the attic above her family’s store, the Union Street Bakery, while she learns the business. It doesn’t help that, as the only adopted daughter, her relationship with her sisters has never been easy. When an elderly customer dies, Daisy is surprised to inherit a journal from the 1850s, written by a slave girl named Susie. As she reads, Daisy learns more about her family—and her own heritage—than she ever dreamed. Haunted by dreams of the young Susie, who beckons Daisy to “find her,” she is compelled to explore the past more deeply. What she finds are the answers she has longed for her entire life.
Tells the stories of seven women and their families living in the financially distressed area of a northeastern industrial city in England; and, a psychopathic killer stalks prostitutes in England's industrial north
Union Street is rightly acknowledged as one of the finest thoroughfares in Britain and has seen significant change and development through the ages. This is the story of how it happened and of the triumphs and disasters along the way.