Set in the teeming slums of 19th-century Liverpool, Audrey Howard's enthralling new novel is a story of an innocent girl's journey from riches to rags - and to a new life beyond.
When Lily Elliott's father dies she loses everything - not just a beloved protector and his wonderful ship the Lily-Jane, but also the way of life she has always known.
As her mother sinks into a dream-world and the money which had always seemed sufficient turns out to have been mostly debts, Lily watches, bewildered, as destitution comes ever closer for the Elliott women and their loyal housekeeper.
Then two rescuers appear. One is the most unlikely saviour: Liam O'Connor, a poor seaman who selflessly befriends the unhappy little girl. The other is Joshua Crowther, the wealthy owner of Oakwood Place, a grand country mansion where the desperate women finally find refuge.
Audrey Howard was born in Liverpool in 1929. Before she began to write she had a variety of jobs, among them hairdresser, model, shop assistant, cleaner and civil servant. In 1981, while living in Australia, she wrote the first of her bestselling novels. Here fourth novel, The Juniper Bush, won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 1988.She lives in St Anne's on Sea, her childhood home.