From the Publisher
'Catherine Cookson's novels are about hardship, the intractability of life and of individuals, the struggle first to survive and next to make sense of one's survival. Humour, toughness, resolution and generosity are Cookson virtues, in a world which she often depicts as cold and violent. Her novels are weighted and driven by her own early experiences of illegitimacy and poverty. This is what gives them power. In the specialised world of women's popular fiction, Cookson has created her own territory' - Helen Dunmore, The Times
About the Author
Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, whom she believed to be her older sister. She began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married a local grammar-school master. Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - in 1968 her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award - her readership quickly spread throughout the world and her many bestselling novels have established her as the best-loved of contemporary writers. After receiving an OBE in 1985, Catherine Cookson was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1993. She was appointed an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford, in 1997. For many years she and her husband Tom lived near Newcastle upon Tyne. She died shortly before her ninetysecond birthday, in June 1998.