'A sparkling bit of storytelling.' Evening Standard
From the Author
I wanted to show how local people were affected by events in the wider world, in particular how the old social structures changed and how women suddenly and unexpectedly found themselves facing new challenges and opportunities. But my overriding aim was to make the books engaging and fun to read and for that I needed lively, compelling characters.
One of the key characters in Lavender Road is Jen Carter who came to me after an interview with the wonderful actress and singer, Mary Morland, already well in her eighties, who had blazed a trail on the London variety stage all through the war and for many years afterwards too. I wanted Jen's fantasy of becoming an actress, as a means of escaping from the family she despises, to make a nice contrast with the desperate efforts of her careworn mother to keep food on the family table. In the end Joyce, Jen's mother, actually became one of my favourite characters, I so much enjoyed creating her tentative relationship with the 'rich' Mrs Rutherford in the large house overlooking the common, and best of all is when she finally gives the ghastly Stanley (her violent, feckless husband) his come-uppance - but you have to wait for Some Sunny Day for that ...