The Broadhursts were a mining family and, to outsiders, they appeared to be happy, loyal and united. But it was Jinny - wife, mother, sister - who held them together. Her pride and her strength prevented their fears and hates from overwhelming them. There was Jack, her younger son, trapped into marrying a shrew; and Lottie, her sister, who was not quite...normal. And there was Larry, the bright one, the handsome one, who was obsessed with the memory of the girl who had jilted him. She was married now, they said, and happily too. But now he was suffused with anger, together with pain and a reborn longing. He vowed she would not make a laughing-stock of him again. But could he do what his pride told him he must...?
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 Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master. Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award for the best regional novel of 1968 - her readership quickly spread throughout the world, and her many best-selling novels established her as one of the most popular of contemporary women novelists. 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 lived near Newcastle upon Tyne. She died shortly before her ninety-second birthday, in June 1998.