The first novel from the international bestselling master of romance Catherine Cookson introduces her most charismatic heroine in this timeless tribute to romantic love during England’s Edwardian era.
The moment he lays eyes on Kate, Dr. Rodney Prince is enchanted. Despite her poverty, it’s clear that she exudes warmth and intelligence. His own wife, living in the oblivion of velvet cushions and lavish dinner parties, seems crude by comparison. Though they meet only briefly, Kate leaves an indelible mark upon his mind.
Rodney knows that Kate’s spirit has suffered at the hands of men. Her father, an embittered dock worker, directed his violent rages toward Kate and her mother. At eighteen, Kate fell victim to a smooth-talking seducer and became the unwed mother of a child. Such circumstances only deepen Rodney’s desire to rescue Kate and overturn the codes of a society that serve to keep them apart. As he unintentionally wins over the heart of Kate’s fatherless daughter, he and Kate begin to acknowledge that the gap between rich and poor might not be so great after all.
Catherine Cookson lived in Northumberland, England, the setting of many of her international bestsellers. Born in Tyne Dock, she was the illegitimate daughter of an impoverished woman, Kate, whom she was raised to believe was her older sister. She began to work in the civil service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married a local grammar school master. Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer, in 1968 her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award, her readership quickly spread worldwide, and her many bestselling novels established her as one of the most popular contemporary authors. After receiving an OBE in 1985, Catherine Cookson was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1993. She died shortly before her ninety-second birthday, in June 1998, having completed 104 works.