Set in a Yorkshire mining village during the war years, this novel is the story of Ted, determined to go down the pit after a defeated father who has not worked since the General Strike, and Denis whose family retains its tenuous connections with the more genteel background from which Denis’s mother came. There is Jessie, whose fragile chance of escape from The Square, with its cracked windows and newspaper curtains, is threatened by her responsibility for her brothers and sisters.; and Jean whose provocative manner belies and understanding beyond her years.
It is a story about life as lived below the surface, and about the chains that bind to a painful but emotionally charged childhood. It acknowledges the destructiveness of deprivation, but also the spirit to survive. It is also a glance back at the roots of some of the tensions that have formed our world of today; why some of us are as we are, and where some of the current conflicts in society may have originated. It is a story of today, as well as yesterday.