Once Upon a Time in England by Helen Walsh

Once Upon a Time in England

Helen Walsh

Set in 1970's Warrington, this is a beautifully written, intense, absorbing story. As well as bringing to the fore many social issues of the time, it also delves into the complexities of family dynamics. The characters' journeys are wholly believable and I rode alongside them, even though the trip comes to a gut-wrenching finale.

Extract

It was dark now as Robbie drove through the sodium-studded streets of his boyhood. He was gripped by a blistering nostalgia, rootless but overpowering. He lingered outside the terraced red-brick of his birth, dimly recalling the noises, the smells. He started choking, hit the accelerator and pushed away, past the wind-chafed wastelands, past the watchful tower blocks where he'd smoked his first fag, past the meagre corpse of an old Capri where Orford's eager lasses had lain down under the cover of the night.

Parallels
  • The Hiding Place by Trezza Azzopardi
  • Brick Lane by Monica Ali
  • Secrets and Lies by Mike Leigh
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Violence
Explicit sexual content