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Publisher's Summary

This major best-selling memoir of a poverty-stricken childhood in Liverpool is one of the most harrowing but uplifting books you will ever hear. When Helen Forrester's father went bankrupt in 1930, she and her six siblings were forced into utmost poverty and slum surroundings in Depression-ridden Liverpool. The running of the household and the care of the younger children all fell on 12-year-old Helen.

With very little food or help from her feckless parents, Helen led a life of unrelenting drudgery and hardship. Writing about her experiences later in life, Helen Forrester shed light on an almost forgotten part of life in Britain. Written with good humour and a lack of self-pity, Forrester's memoir of these grim days is as heart-warming as it is shocking.

©1974 Helen Forrester (P)2016 Audible Studios

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Leah
  • 05-12-2016

Resilient little girl!

What did you love best about Twopence to Cross the Mersey?

That baby Edward loved her so unconditionally when no one else could.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Twopence to Cross the Mersey?

When Helen came to the realization that there would be no more upper class living, and that her needs were to be met by herself, in the best way she knew how, as a child with no loving guidance, and with her siblings survival in her own hands-with minimal earnings in which to do it.

Any additional comments?

I shiver when I think of Helen being so cold, and I ache when I think of her hunger pangs. And my Mommy arms long to hold her and tell her that she matters, and that I know life was difficult but that the feeling of gratitude for all she accomplished and endured, comes to mind with the very thought of the misery of her childhood.Trying to figure out why there are 8 children on the cover. There were 7 siblings.

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  • Rick
  • 15-09-2018

Good story, grotesque accent

Incredibly distracting accent that wavered constantly with inflections in all the wrong places. Plus Helen Forrester grew up elsewhere and was teased about ‘speaking posh’ when she moved to Liverpool so doesn’t suit. Stopped listening after a few minutes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • ronald curran
  • 22-06-2018

terrible performance

Helen Forrester is a wonderful writer, Could a Liverpool actor not be found to narrate the books. I have tried to listen, but struggled to get passed 45 mins due to the false accent. What a shame, as it is the same narrator for the other books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-04-2018

Amazing book!!

I decided to listen to this book series as my wonderful Nan had loved them so much and had always talked about them. (She had grown up in similar circumstances to Helen so I think she could really relate to her and the stories). I have my Nan’s paperback copies of the whole series but unfortunately I don’t find much time to myself to actually sit and read as I am a busy mum. So, I decided to download the first book in the series and I’m so so glad I did!! It is such an emotional and heartbreaking story, and it really makes you think about the harsh adversities of life some people had to face. You really feel for poor Helen being exploited and leading a miserable existence. It’s such a gripping tale and does not disappoint! I couldn’t wait to hear more and now I can’t wait to listen to the next one in the series!! I highly recommend to anyone!

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  • Denise N
  • 09-04-2017

A good insight into the history of social deprivation.

I read this book twenty years ago when studying on a social care course. Second time around it still aroused all the same feelings of sadness, the disbelief of child poverty and how we now are very critical of our educational system and take it for granted.
I found the Liverpool accent of the narrator slightly irritating .

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  • Gill
  • 26-02-2017

a truly heartfelt story of deprivation & poverty.

well written and compelling; amazing how the children all survived. makes you want to go to the next book to see what happens next for Helen and her siblings.

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  • hazel
  • 01-02-2017

Dreadful Liverpool accent!

Read this book years ago and decided to listen to it, I couldn't get past the first chapter. The narrators accent was appaling . At least get a liverpuddlian to read it not someone who is trying and failing badly to sound like they come from there. Completely spoilt the book.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Supermum
  • 18-01-2017

Gritty story dodgy accents ..

I'm not sure the performance was right.. the scouse accent was weak and some of the other characters accents were terrible.. at one point sue pollard was voice actually in the story. Quite off putting story was good and gritty

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  • shine-on2
  • 20-11-2016

A fabulous story ...

I originally read the books many years ago .. loved it just as much hearing it!

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  • wendy
  • 13-10-2016

Narrator is the worst ever

Could not even get passed first 10 minutes as narrator mocking the worst Liverpool accent I have ever heard

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Cillalan
  • 17-09-2016

Takes you to a place you would never ope to visit

We all know this world existed, I have friends whose parents were raised there in these conditions but the reality is harsh. The author makes a very good attempt to bring this reality to life. Enjoy is almost the wrong word as the scenario of that existance is abhorrent.