Based in Stepney, this book is set on a rough and ready council estate, in the heart of London's East End. A story that starts in 1975 ends in 2005, it tells the trials and tribulations of the Hutton family. Maureen - the gutsy mum, separated from her alcoholic husband, she scrimps and saves for years to bring up her children and instil life's good values in them. She tries her utmost, but with only moderate success. Tommy, the eldest son, does ten years for murder. On his release he promises to go straight. The trouble is that the underworld beckons and he struggles to keep his promise. Susan, the daughter, unpopular and spiteful as a child, she finally makes her family proud when she gets pregnant and moves in with her boyfriend. But what has she forgotten to tell him? James, the youngest son. Does mummy's blue-eyed boy stay on the straight and narrow? Or does he get stuck into a life of crime, just like his elder brother? Ethel - gran and mother-in-law. A wise old owl, granny could sense disaster looming all along. What a tragedy that no one would listen to her. And finally, Maria, the girl next door and the love of James' life. Will they? Won't they?
Who knows - because Maria holds the biggest secret of them all. Or does she? 
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