Once upon a Time in England

Overview

"A young man with shock-red hair tears through the snowbound streets of Warrington's toughest housing estate. He is Robbie Fitzgerald, and he is running for his life - and that of his young family. In his heart, Robbie knows the odds are stacked against them. In this unbending northern town, he has married the beautiful brown nurse who once stitched up his wounds. Susheela is his Tamil princess, but in the real world the Fitzgeralds have to face up to prejudice, poverty and naked hatred from their neighbours. Now Robbie has seen a way out, and
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Overview

"A young man with shock-red hair tears through the snowbound streets of Warrington's toughest housing estate. He is Robbie Fitzgerald, and he is running for his life - and that of his young family. In his heart, Robbie knows the odds are stacked against them. In this unbending northern town, he has married the beautiful brown nurse who once stitched up his wounds. Susheela is his Tamil princess, but in the real world the Fitzgeralds have to face up to prejudice, poverty and naked hatred from their neighbours. Now Robbie has seen a way out, and he's sprinting to his date with destiny ..." "This night starts a chain of events that will reverberate throughout this family - Robbie, Susheela, their son Vincent and unborn daughter, Ellie." Across two decades of struggle, aspiration, achievement, misunderstandings, near-misses and shattered dreams, Helen Walsh plunges us into their lives and loves. And in the Fitzgeralds, she has created a family who will stay in your heart, long after the final page.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Robbie Fitzgerald, factory worker by day and bar singer by night, meets Susheela, a Malaysian nurse, when he arrives at her hospital requiring attention after a bar brawl. Their subsequent romance, marriage, and parenthood take place against the backdrop of racist Seventies England with skinheads on the prowl taking their vicious brutality out on anyone whose complexion offends them. Seeking safer surroundings after surviving an act of violence, Susheela, now Sheila, convinces Robbie to move the family into a suburban housing estate, forcing Robbie to abandon his singing dreams in order to keep the family in middle-class accessories. Resentments build on all sides as Sheila shuts Robbie out, Robbie turns to other women and alcohol to ease the pain, and the kids suffer from subtler but no less cruel acts of racist bullying. Covering some of the well-traveled ground of recent Brit lit hits like Monica Ali's Brick Lane and Andrea Levy's Small Island, this heart-stirring family saga offers a view into the lives and struggles of new immigrants and their children. Recommended.
—Barbara Love

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847671790
  • Publisher: Canongate Books
  • Publication date: 9/20/2008
  • Pages: 366
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

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