A heartwrenching tale about the strength of love and the brutality of war
In May 1929 two babies are born on the same day on opposite sides of the world. In Tanners Alley in Bermondsey, Ruby Neal gives birth to a son, Paul. On the edge of a paddy field in Eastern China, a young woman dies giving premature birth to a girl. A travelling trader takes pity and takes the tiny child to the Anglican mission to be cared for. He becomes the child's guardian and names her Mei Li Ching. By the time Paul and Mei Li reach their twenty-first birthdays, they could not have had more different lives. And it is only as a consequence of war that they ever meet. Instantly attracted to each other, they are soon to discover the problems their cultural differences - and family prejudices - will bring.
Harry was born in 1931 in a back street off the Tower Bridge Road. Only when his own children began to ask questions about the war, did Harry realise how many stories he had to tell. He became known as 'the King of Cockney sagas', and he wrote eighteen bestselling novels of London life. After Harry died in 1999, the Harry Bowling Prize was set up in his memory.