Genre: Historical Fiction
Liverpool, 1955. With her abusive husband drinking all her wages, Alice faces a daily struggle to provide for her family. Her eldest daughter Cathy has always longed to be a nurse, but when the family’s poverty means she’s forced to leave school and get a job – without the qualifications she needs – it looks like her dreams are over.
But Cathy isn’t willing to give up without a fight, and with the support of old friend – and new love – Gianni, she manages to secure a place as a cadet nurse, learning as she works.
Cathy knows that without her around, her mam must stand up to her violent husband alone – and that with less money coming in, Alice will be in danger of losing everything. What’s more, since nursing students must be unmarried, and Gianni is desperate to settle down, it’s not just her mam who hopes that Cathy will come home…
Can Cathy find a way to have it all, or will becoming a nurse mean leaving her family – and love – behind her?
My verdict: A nice little series reminiscent of Call The Midwife – a lovely balance of drama and lighthearted moments, Howes writes with perfect amount of vividness, sensitivity and an accurate account of gender roles throughout the fifties and sixties. A lovely series about coming over adversity and good versus evil. Fans of Kitty Neale and Nadine Dorris will love this.