Life in Cockney London was tough in the post-war years.
The government’s broken promises had led to a chronic housing shortage, rampant crime and families living in squalor. But one thing prevailed: the unbeatable spirit of the East End, a tight-knit community who pulled through the dark times with humour and heart.
Drawing on both family history and her own memories of growing up in the 1950s and ’60s, as well as her working life as a district nurse and local police officer, Jean Fullerton vividly depicts this fascinating part of London – from tin baths, to jellied eels, to tigers in a Wapping warehouse.
As a fan of Jean Fullerton’s fictional novels, I couldn’t wait to read this one!
Jean was brought up in the east end of London in the 1950’s and 60’s and – as you would expect – tells her story well. From her schooldays through to her career choices, this is a ‘warts’n’all’ memoir.
The first thing that struck me was that life in the east end wasn’t that different from life elsewhere; I’m Scottish and communities here, especially in socially deprived areas, stuck together and supported each other. For the main part, I learned that life in London was much freer than life in a Scottish village. I’m guessing that I’m a few years younger that Jean and remember a few things differently. I was fourteen – in the seventies – when the school leaving age changed from fifteen to sixteen; I clearly recall some of my classmates being really put out at having to stay on for that extra year. There is no doubt that she had plenty of stuff to deal with growing up, and this is an enlightening read. For me, four stars.
My thanks to the publisher for my ARC of this novel and to EDPR for my spot on this tour; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.
- Format: ebook, paperback, audiobook
- Size: 299 pages
- Publisher: Corvus
- Publication Date: 04 August 2022
- Book Links:
Born and bred in East London Jean is a District Nurse by trade and has worked as a NHS manager and as a senior lecture in Health and Nursing Studies. She left her day job to become a full-time writer in 2015 and has never looked back.
In 2006 she won the Harry Bowling Prize and now has seventeen sagas published over three series with both Orion and Atlantic all of which are set in East London.
She is an experienced public speaker with hundreds of WI and women’s club talks under her belt, plus for the past fifteen years she has sailed all over the world as an enrichment speaker and writing workshop leader on cruise ships.
- Website: http://jeanfullerton.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanFullerton_
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jean-Fullerton-202631736433230/?ref=bookmarks
- Instagram: @jean_fullerton