The tagline on the cover reads “guaranteed to break your heart” and in many respects this is true.
Year: 1973 Tina Craig has a full-time job as a secretary in an established Manchester firm; her best friend Linda is her workmate. The money Tina earns is barely enough to pay the rent and feed both she and her husband who is currently unemployed, spends his time in pubs, and takes what little money they have to bet on the ponies. When he loses, or when he’s drunk, he becomes irate and unleashes his anger physically on Tina. To keep away from her abusive husband Tina also volunteers at a charity shop on Saturdays.
During one of her Saturday afternoons at the charity shop, Tina comes upon an old sealed envelope in the pocket of a man’s suit jacket. It appears to never have been posted. She opens it and reads the heartfelt message of Billy Stirling written in 1939 to a girl names Chrissie. Tina is so moved that she keeps the letter, vowing to find the woman to whom it was addressed and give it to her.
What follows are the parallel stories of Chrissie and Billy (1939) and Tina and Rick (1973). Set decades apart, there are similarities to the life obstacles both women must face. A heart-wrenching rollercoaster ride of emotions from the high bloom of first love to the bottomless despair-filled pit where both women muster their courage to overcome their worst trials to the innate humanity inherent in strangers, this is a five-star story that will keep the reader turning pages until the very end.
Note: American readers may find the British terminology a bit confusing at first but it is easily assimilated.
Rating: 5 stars