Made in Myrtle Street (Prequel)

Made in Myrtle Street (Prequel)

B A Lightfoot

B A Lightfoot

Dear Dad,Floppy is gone and I’ll never see him again, ever. We had him for Christmas and I didn’t know because Mam said we were having something that was a bit like chicken.’Pippin’s distressed letter to her father, describing her Christmas dinner in 1916, reflected the difficulties of the families that were left behind when their men went off to war. She was 9 years old and they had just eaten her pet rabbit. The news, however, brought comfort to Edward Craigie who, along with his two lifelong pals, quick-witted, rugby loving Liam and the clumsy but compassionate Big Charlie, had just survived a horrific eight months in Gallipoli.In Made in Myrtle Street, Pippin’s letters interpret the situation at home through the eyes of a young though maturing child but in an often hilarious way. Edward’s replies are those of a caring father who finds it increasingly difficult to hide from his daughter the realities of the war.Made in Myrtle Street follows the three friends as they endure, with humour and determination, the challenges of Egypt, Turkey and France. But the pain of separation from their families grows more acute as the war drags on and those at home adapt to life without their men.The persecution of the three friends by an alcoholic Major, and the discovery that he had traumatised two of their families before the war, provokes a distracting, and ultimately distressing, quest for retribution.Made in Myrtle Street is a compelling, humorous, often touching insight into WW1 from the point of view of an ordinary soldier and his family.
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Rags, Bones and Donkey Stones (Sequel)

Rags, Bones and Donkey Stones (Sequel)

B A Lightfoot

B A Lightfoot

Returning home from France in April 1919, scarred both mentally and physically, Liam Murphy looked forward to rebuilding his life. But so much had now changed. His wife, Bridget, was doing the household repairs; his son was sitting in his Dad’s chair; jobs that the men had left when they enlisted were now taken by women; and Liam’s trade as a carter was rapidly being taken over by the motorised trucks.In this sequel to ‘Made in Myrtle Street,’ Liam finds himself frustrated and despairing, his family hungry. He acquires a rag-and-bone round and is astonished when he feels in the inside pocket of a suit given to him by the formidable, recently widowed, Nellie Grimshaw. He discovers a small, high quality painting of a young couple. The woman, with expensive jewellery and clothes, is lustrously beautiful whilst the man at her side is - him. Liam, with no recall of either the woman or the painting, struggles for an explanation and is haunted by its implication of his infidelity.Pip, the daughter of his long-time pal, and her best friend, Amy, take up the challenge of finding an explanation and slowly unpick the surprising, and sometimes uncomfortable, revelations about the intriguing woman and her connection with Liam.Switching from donkey stones to selling vegetables from the allotments of his friends, Liam’s business expands but he suffers threats and intimidation from the aggressively unpleasant Clarence Meredith, a wholesale fruit and vegetable merchant. The eventual solution almost spirals out of Liam’s control.‘Rags, Bones and Donkey Stones’ is a novel peopled with rich characters that gives a humorous yet poignant insight into the struggle to rebuild Britain after the devastating losses of World War 1. 
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