|About the Book|
The novel follows the Fielden family from 1900 to 1914. Mother, Father and seven children live in Accrington, Lancashire. The mother, Clara, meets another man, George, at the beginning of the novel. The pair begin an affair but Claras friendMoreThe novel follows the Fielden family from 1900 to 1914. Mother, Father and seven children live in Accrington, Lancashire. The mother, Clara, meets another man, George, at the beginning of the novel. The pair begin an affair but Claras friend persuades her to end it. After the end of the affair, Clara discovers she is pregnant. Its not clear at the beginning whose child this will be but, after the birth of Jenny, there is a strong resemblance to George. A couple of years later, Clara meets George in the street and the affair begins again. In 1905, the Fielden family awake one morning to find that Clara has left, taking Jenny with her. She has gone to Philadelphia with George and Jenny where the small family settle. Its difficult at first. George needs a job. Clara has to adapt to a new lifestyle with only one chld and a new husband, different money, different people, different everything. Jenny, from being the youngest child of eight is now an only child. She really misses her other family but soon new friends, new school, singing and dancing lessons start to fill her time. She also becomes attached to her new Pa. Back in Accrington, May, age 15 and the oldest girl, gives up work at the mill and takes over the domestic responsibilities. The family are all affected in various ways by their mother going. Over time, five more members of the family move over to America for different reasons: not all connect with their mother at first. Marie is the last to go. Age 16, she travels over to America, on her own, exactly a week after the declaration of war against Germany.