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Anne Baker  Sunday Times Best

Sunday Times Best Selling AuthorS

KEEP THE HOME FIRES BURNING (2004)

It’s 1915 when young Cathy Tanner marries Rolf Gottfried, and she couldn’t be happier. Brought up in an orphanage, Cathy has always dreamt of becoming part of a real family. Now, with Rolf by her side and his parents welcoming her into their Merseyside home, the future seems bright.

But there’s no escaping the war. Though his father’s German and conscription is still just a distant threat, Rolf knows his duty is to fight for England. A white feather in the post simply confirms his decision to enlist, to the dismay of his wife and mother, Mildred. When Rolf leaves for France, both women secretly fear that they will never see him again. While Mildred can’t blame Cathy for Rolf’s decision to go, she does resent the girl who she feels has taken her own place in her son’s affections, and tension between them builds.

The discovery that she’s expecting a baby is a joyful one for Cathy. But the arrival of the baby coincides with the worst of news. Though she’s a born survivor, Cathy faces tough times - and a dangerous rivalry with Mildred for her daughter’s love - as the war continues to wreak havoc. Is Cathy fated never to know the comfort and contentment that have always eluded her - or will there soon be a spark of hope on the horizon?