The upheavals of the Second World War reverberated in the peace that followed, and many found a return to the old life more difficult than they had anticipated. Like Sam Richardson, who was determined to break free of the constraints of his background and leave Cumbria for the promised land of Australia. His wife, Ellen realises how close to the brink their marriage had come. Between them their young son Joe strives to fulfil the conflicting expectations of childhood and adolescence and confronts his own demons. Crafted with potent understatement and acute insight into the twists and turns of the heart, this is a formidable successor to Melvyn Bragg's widely praised and award-winning novel, THE SOLDIER'S RETURN.
Melvyn Bragg's first novel, For Want of a Nail, was published in 1965 and since then his novels have included The Hired Man, Without a City Wall, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, Credo, The Maid of Buttermere and The Soldier's Return, which was published to huge critical acclaim in 1999 and won the WHSmith Literary Award. He has also written several works of non-fiction including Speak for England, Rich, a biography of Richard Burton and On Giants' Shoulders, a history of science based on his BBC radio series. He was born in 1939 and educated at Wigton's Nelson Tomlinson Shool and at Oxford where he read history. He is controller of Arts at LWT and President of the National Campaign for the Arts, and in 1998 he was made a life peer. He lives in London and Cumbria.