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PARADISE PARADE (1992)

Living above her stepfather’s fish & chip shop in Birkenhead’s Paradise Parade, Emily Barr is glad to escape to the relative peace of her job as a secretary in Wythenshaw’s jewellery factory. And when she is promoted to work for young Mr Giles, the son of the owner, she is the envy of all her workmates. What a catch he would be!

Much to her own surprise, Emily’s shy ways do seem to appeal to Giles, and when he proposes, she willingly accepts, seeing the chance to turn her back on Paradise Parade, with its poverty and hardship. Although he is handsome and charming, Giles is also weak and dissolute. Unknown to Emily, he has been having an affair with her best friend, and he cannot resist Sylveen’s seductive charms even after the marriage, and the birth of his son. It is an indulgence which is to cost the couple dear.

For Sylveen is also the mistress of Giles’s father, Jeremy, and when he discovers what has been going on, he throws his son and daughter-in-law out of the family mansion, leaving them to fend for themselves. Once she realises how little she can rely on her husband, Emily has no choice but to return to Paradise Parade - the only place she knows where she and her baby son can have a roof over their heads.

Now Emily bitterly regrets her marriage, and the life of drudgery to which she is condemned. And she regrets even more abandoning her first love, Alex, for the illusion of wealth and security. For, ironically, it is Alex who seems to be taking Giles’s place as the heir to Wythenshaw’s.

But Emily’s friends are loyal and her own inner strength, and her determination to do the best for her son, stand her in good stead. Refusing to be beaten by the blows of fate, she wins through to enjoy riches of a more lasting kind.