A tale of family, community and strength of spirit.
This is an utterly charming story about twelve families and their tightly knit street in 1950s Maryhill. Following the end of the war, the close rebuilds its ties and the strong sense of community and friendly neighbourhood bonds are soon back in place. There is young love for Rhea and Robert; a surprising new start for James; a change of direction for George; and all overseen by the matriarch of the street - Granny Thomson. And of course, all buoyed up by a big helping of Scottish humour and strength of spirit. Yet it is all not perfect in their world: the families have to deal with poverty, religious bigotry, racism, heartbreak, lies, violence and death.
But the powerful friendships cannot ultimately be broken. In Robert Douglas's first novel, he recreates a time and place particular to Glasgow but to which everyone will relate.
An outstanding novel with a cast of characters so beautifully drawn that turning the last page feels like flitting out of 18 Dalbeattie Street - Daily Record
Pure dead brilliant, so it is... a rare old read for folk that were round and about in the Forties and Fifties - Edinburgh Evening News
Douglas's prose is simple and charming... this novel will appeal to fans of Douglas's previous trips down memory lane - Scottish Review of Books
Echoes the bygone charm and ingrained hardship of growing up at a time when rationing and families living in single end tenements were commonplace, yet laughter never seemed in short supply - Evening Times
It's a braw read! - Hexham Courant
The literary equivalent of a hot water bottle - Historical Novels Review
Robert Douglas retired, aged fifty-five, in 1994. He intended to paint, write short stories and lie about the house watching old films. A one-off article he wrote about six weeks spent with a condemned man in Bristol prison led to him being told 'You should write.'
His first book - the bestselling NIGHT SONG OF THE LAST TRAM - is centred around his Glasgow childhood and became the first book in the popular trilogy detailing his life as a miner, dock worker, doss-house resident, soldier, prison screw - and survivor.
He hasn't painted for years.