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by author "Dilly Court" in All Categories
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The Christmas Wedding
The Village Secrets, Book 1
Length: 10 hrs and 42 mins
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
Holding the letter in trembling hands, Daisy’s future crumbled before her – the words engraved on her heart forever. The village of Little Creek, the long winter of 1867. The first flakes of snow are falling when Daisy Marshall, secretly engaged to her master's son, finds herself jilted at the altar. Heartbroken, Daisy flees to the small village of Little Creek, nestled on the coast of Essex. There she is warmly welcomed – but the village is poverty-stricken, suffering under a cruel lord of the manor. And when cholera hits, the villagers are truly in dire straits.
Paradise Row, London. December 1865. Snow is falling fast, and Sally Suggs is working tirelessly to bring in enough money to keep bread on the table. Her father, a skilled rag-and-bone man, has fallen ill, and now Sally has taken up his trade. But this is a man’s world and competition is fierce, and Sally’s rival, Finn Kelly, always seems to be one step ahead.
It’s spring in Little Creek, and wedding bells are ringing. After their hasty marriage the Christmas before, Daisy Marshall is overjoyed to be finally marrying dashing Jay Fox properly, in front of the whole village. But then, on the evening of their wedding, amid the festivities, Jay disappears. Daisy doesn’t know if Jay is dead or alive, if she’s his wife or his widow. And what’s more, without her husband, she has no means of supporting herself or her household.
When Carrie Manning’s father dies, her mother, Esther, is heartbroken. Essie leaves London to convalesce with her good friend Lady Alice, and it is down to Carrie to look after her family and take charge of the shipping company that her father has left behind. But the company is in dire straits, forcing Carrie seek work as a companion to Maria Colville. When Carrie and Maria try to track down Maria’s mother, they have no idea of the secrets that they will discover. Secrets that link the Colvilles, the Mannings and figures from the past who return to England.
Abandoned by their parents and left to fight for themselves, headstrong Rosalind Carey has no choice but to take charge of her younger brothers and sister in Devonshire’s grand Rockwood Castle. But their once much-loved home is crumbling like the family that lives within it. Living hand to mouth and desperate to provide for the estate that depends on them, the Carey family are one debt away from ruin. Until the day comes when the dashing Piers Blanchard appears on their doorstep from Cornwall, claiming he is Rosalind’s distant cousin and that Rockwood Castle is his.
East-End London, 1858. In London's twisting streets, it's hard to tell friend from foe. And for Katherine Martin, arriving back in London after years away, the city is crueller than she remembers. Her eyes opened to the plight of London's poor, Kate is determined to do what she can to help, even if it means defying her parents. In secret, she opens a soup kitchen. But there is a world of criminals within London's poorest alleys. Catching the notice of Harry Trader and his gang, Kate is out of her depth. Until she begins to discover that her true enemies might not be who she thought.
London, 1854: 20-year-old Essie Chapman lives with her father in poverty-stricken Limehouse, working on the river as a boatman. Her life seems set before her, never to leave this part of London and forever at her father's beck and call. Then, one night, she must transport a mysterious man from a foreign ship to the banks of the Thames, a man who ends up renting a room in Essie's house, identifying himself only as 'Raven'.
Standing on London’s Victoria docks with the wind biting through her shawl, Rose Munday realises she’s been abandoned by her sweetheart. She had risked everything to get to London, but, stumbling through the pea-soup fog, she has nowhere to go and no one to turn to. Scared and alone, Rose steps straight into danger, only to be rescued by two women with even less to their names - a woman of the night and her young sidekick, Sparrow.
For most of her life, Judy Begg has been a loyal servant at Creek Manor and to Jack Fox, its future lord. But just as their childhood friendship blossoms into a secret engagement he abandons her to join his brother overseas. And with Creek Manor up for sale, Judy and her family lose everything. Devastated, Judy is nonetheless determined to make the best of her life. Resolving to forget about Jack, she battles to keep her family from poverty’s door and her mother from the hands of her violent husband.
London, 1875. Taking one last look around her little room in Covent Garden, Nettie Carroll couldn’t believe she wouldn’t even be able to say good-bye to her friends. Her father had trusted the wrong man, and now they would have to go on the run. Once again.
The wonderfully nostalgic, vivid and compelling new novel from the Sunday Times top-five best-selling author of A Loving Family. From the age of eight, 16-year-old Charity Crosse has been living rough with her grandfather and begging on the streets. When her grandfather passes away, Charity is helped by a kindly doctor who introduces her to bookseller Jethro Dawkins. Jethro takes Charity in to help in his bookshop and keep house in their one room behind the shop.
Phoebe Giamatti lives with her boisterous Italian family in the heart of London's East End. Phoebe's father was killed in gang warfare and she and her family share a deep hatred for the Paxman brothers - whose lawless ways strike terror into the whole community. Despite her English mother's feckless ways, Phoebe is fiercely protective of Annie. Then just as the family are about to go to Italy for the winter, Phoebe discovers Annie is in trouble - and the Paxmans are involved.
On a bitter winter's day, an unnamed girl lies dangerously ill in hospital. When two coarse, rough-speaking individuals come to claim her, she can remember nothing of the events that brought her to her present state, not even her name. According to the men, she is their young sister, Lucy. As her health improves and her memory gradually returns, she realises she's been kidnapped. But she has no means of escaping the hideous confines of the filthy basement room in which they have imprisoned her in.
Lottie Lane is all alone in the world. As a chambermaid at one of London's busiest inns, condemned to a life of drudgery and at the mercy of a vicious landlady, Lottie is too worn out to even dream of a better life. Until one night an injured soldier is brought to The Swan. Lottie nurses him back from the dead, and suddenly everything changes.
Since the untimely death of her husband, young mother Effie Grey has been forced to live on a narrowboat owned by her tyrannical father-in-law Jacob. In spite of her own despair, she is determined to protect her brother Tom and her baby son Georgie from Jacob's bullying ways - for she is all they have in the world. But when Jacob hires villainous Salter and his vile wife Sal to run the barge, Effie's life becomes even more unbearable, and Tom is sent packing without a penny to his name.
She longed to be reunited with her family. The compelling new novel from the Sunday Times top ten bestselling author of The Workhouse Girl. Eleven-year-old Stella Barry is forced into service when her family find themselves living hand-to-mouth.Leaving her mother and younger brother and sister behind, Stella goes to a big country house outside London. When she returns home one Sunday, she discovers they have disappeared.
Eighteen-year-old Irene Angel lives with her parents in a tiny room above the shop where her crippled mother ekes out a living selling pickles and sauces, whilst her charming but feckless father Billy gambles away what little money they do manage to earn. And it is all Irene can do to keep the family together. Billy's addiction soon leads him into trouble. Despite having been brought up by her father to fear and distrust the police, Irene finds herself forced to collaborate with them to save her father from ruin.
When Hetty Huggins made a promise to her dying mother that she would look after her younger sister and brothers, little did she know how difficult this would be. But despite the threat of being turned out onto the streets by the unscrupulous tallyman and the never-ending struggle just to exist, Hetty is determined her family will never starve or want for a roof over their heads. Longing for something better out of life than the daily grind of making matchboxes for a pittance, she dreams of setting up her own business.
Clara held on to the precious button, glimmering like a jewel in the dark alleyways of London's notorious Seven Dials. She needed to save her family...but who was going to save her? There was a time when the Carter sisters' father was their hero. Now he's a drunk who's gambled away everything they had and put them all in peril. It's on Clara's shoulders to save the four sisters from destitution. Clutching her precious button box, the only thing of value they have left, Clara dreams of starting a shop that could put a roof over their heads and keep them safe....
The new novel from Sunday Times best seller Dilly Court. She turned the picture of the Christmas card over with her frozen hands. The scene showed a family at Yuletide as they gathered around the magnificent tree. Standing stiff with cold on the icy cobbles, Alice could only dream.... With the snow falling steadily, Alice and her ailing mother have found themselves on the cold streets of London with only debts to their name - forced to rely on the begrudging charity of cruel Aunt Jane.