All her short life, 11-year-old Rose Webster has encountered closed doors. Growing up in the slums of London with her siblings, trying to avoid their violent, drunken father, she develops an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and becomes convinced that she and her loved ones deserve better. All Rose has is a quick mind and the will to survive. Can she open that door and seize the chance to make something of herself?
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When the Second World War breaks out, Annie Webster and her family find themselves, along with everyone else, thrust into a world of uncertainty, danger, and despair. Her brothers join up, her sweetheart, Paul, becomes a fighter pilot, and Annie, desperate to help, finds herself in the WAAF, where her intelligence and warmth single her out for a role more daring than she has ever known. The country has never needed its young people more, but will Annie and her loved ones survive its darkest hour?
In 1960, Kate Freeman, daughter of the inimitable Rose Webster, goes to London to follow her dream of becoming a photographer. But Kate has a long journey to take before she can realise her ambition. The era that was dubbed "a time of peace" proves to be anything but, as Kate's family and friends cope with tragedy, upheaval, and the tears and laughter of family life. The comfort of loved ones and the support of friends goes a long way.