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by author "Catherine Cookson" in All Categories
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The Mallen Streak
The Mallen Trilogy, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
Thomas Mallen of High Banks Hall had many sons, most of them bastards. But to all of them he passed on his mark - a distinctive flash of white hair running to the left temple, known as the Mallen Streak. It was said that those who bore the streak seldom reached old age and that nothing good ever came of a Mallen. In 1851, Thomas Mallen found himself a ruined man, forced amid scandal and disgrace to sell the hall. With him went his two young wards and their indomitable governess. Then the Radlet brothers of Wilbur Farm arrived, one of whom bore the unmistakable Mallen Streak.
Two older brothers had taught Nancy Ann how to look after herself well enough, and she could hold her own with the roughest of the village children. But soon she had to muster her courage and fortitude to the full when the far greater challenges of a controversial marriage thrust her into womanhood and into a whole new world of conflict and tragedy which had to be faced and overcome.
It seemed the clouds that had darkened so much of Maisie’s early life had finally cleared away. Freed at last from a disastrous marriage, she had also become a best-selling author with her very first book - all about Hamilton, the remarkable horse her imagination conjured for solace through the long years of an unhappy marriage. Hamilton proved to be a real guide, philosopher and friend over many years. Now she was to be married again, and Hamilton marked the occasion by taking a wife himself - a mare called Begonia.
When young Jinnie Howlett’s widowed father, a tinker man, died a pauper, she was already a reluctant inmate of a northern workhouse. But she thought herself fortunate - the alternative might have meant she ended up on the streets. When close to her 15th birthday and after years of toil and drudgery, she was at last offered a position as a maid-of-all-work.
Some women are destined to arouse in men either fierce hatred or insatiable desire. Such a woman was Katie Mulholland. At 15, a scullery maid in the house of the Rosires, she had been raped by the master. Now, many years later, she had enough money to maintain three carriages if she wanted to and she was on her way to see Bernard Rosier under very different circumstances.
Only after returning from his well-attended funeral did Fiona Bailey realise just how much she would miss Davey Love. Despite her initial doubts and prejudices about this rough-hewn Irishman, towards the end of his life she had discovered qualities about him she had previously overlooked. Above all, it was his inherent kindness that she had failed to discern when she and her husband had first met Davey and his wayward son, Sammy.
In this, the third novel of a trilogy, the atmosphere in the Bailey household was alive with anticipation. It was not only because Christmas was approaching or even that Bill Bailey was tackling the biggest project of his career. No, all the excitement was because in two weeks’ time, Fiona Bailey would give birth to a baby, the first arrival since Bill had married Fiona as a young widow, already mother of Mark, Katie and Willie, and with the adopted Mamie now part of the family circle.
Bill Bailey, the rugged Liverpudlian, was now a fully fledged Tyneside building contractor, as staunchly loyal to his squad of workmen as they were to him. He had also met and married Fiona, a young widow with her own lovable family, to which she and Bill shortly added with the adoption of the orphaned Mamie. Life was good, but the economic climate was growing distinctly cloudy, and it was vital that Bill land the contract of a major development scheme. Competition was fierce, and when his men came under attack, Bill was sure that someone was out to spoil their chances for the job.
Each generation of the Mallen family has been cursed with a dramatic white streak in their jet-black hair. Barbara does not have the visible streak to identify her as a Mallen, but she has spent her life trying to forget her parentage - and the horrific circumstances behind her birth. When her triplets - the Mallen litter - were born, she hoped that it would herald a new beginning. But it seems that one of her sons bears the Mallen streak - and that the Mallen curse will never die out....
Even as a child Barbara was beautiful, but as her beauty grew so did the affliction which shadowed it. She was becoming deaf. Yet living in an almost silent world protected her from what could be a worse affliction - to know the truth of her own origins. Barbara had another protector in Anna Brigmore, who knew that truth and was haunted by the thought it must one day be revealed to this girl she cherished like her own child. And among the surrounding hills and valleys of Northumberland, it was a long-relished scandal....
From the moment Bill Bailey arrived to take up residence at Fiona Nelson’s home in the Tyneside town of Fellburn, he made his presence felt in no uncertain terms. As a young widow left badly off, and with three children to bring up, Fiona had come to know all the problems of trying to make ends meet. So despite the inevitably disapproving comments of her own mother, reckoned locally to be an interfering woman, she advertised for a lodger to help pay for some of the bills....
Catherine Cookson's well-loved novels Hamilton and Goodbye Hamilton tell the story of Maisie, who invented an imaginary horse to keep her company through the long years of an unhappy marriage and before she became a best-selling author. In this engaging sequel, Hamilton has vanished from Maisie’s life, and in the days after the death of her second husband she takes comfort from the company of a cheerful, bright-eyed little cockney boy named Harold.
Catherine Cookson’s well-loved novels Hamilton and Goodbye Hamilton tell the story of Maisie, who invented an imaginary horse to keep her company through the long years of an unhappy marriage, and before she became a best-selling author. In this engaging sequel, Hamilton has vanished from Maisie’s life and two human companions take his place.
Maisie doesn't understand why her mother can’t love her, but she knows that her life is hard and deeply unhappy. When her stepfather George, the only person she trusts, leaves, Maisie has no protector until she begins to escape. She could never be quite sure when she first met up with Hamilton; most likely it was when she started talking to herself. But she didn’t call him that then; that came much later when she was 14 and Doctor Kane had to pay her a professional visit....
Set against the Northumbrian coast in the 1960s, the events of this love story take place over one day: a day during which everyone involved discovers that the consequences of an innocent meeting are far more significant than the event itself.
Mary Hetherington was a mother who dominated her family. And when David brought home Sarah from the "wrong end" of the 15 Streets, a girl who brought life and laughter into her dustless house, she soon took against her.
Known for the wit of her writing, Catherine Cookson was the UK's most widely read novelist during her lifetime. When her Estate discovered this never-before-published memoir in the attic of her home, it was an astonishing find. Before I Go is the definitive story of her life, in the author's own candid words.
When Connie buys a house on the moors, she has to negotiate with the abrupt Vincent O'Connor. She soon discovers that mystery is a way of life for Vincent, who has an increasing influence on her life. Then the shocking truth about the man with whom she shared many years of her life comes to light.
Gravedigger John Gascoigne lives in Downfell Hurst with his wife, Florrie, their three children and his mother, Gran. John is a deep thinker but extremely taciturn - a man of few words and many grunts. Which is why everyone is alarmed when he's hit on the head by a cricket ball, and it suddenly seems as if the words won't stop. What's more, he says he is talking to Saint Christopher - only no one else can see the saint, and they're beginning to worry John's not quite right in the head.