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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.