Sue Wilsher, author of When My Ship Comes In, makes an emotional return to 1950s Essex
Tilbury, 1950s. The Empire is a boarding house run by Vi, Doris's mother - the Empire Girls of the title. When Doris becomes pregnant out of marriage, she is kicked out of the house and forced to fend for herself. Desperate to look after her daughter, she takes any job going. She falls in with the Windrush immigrants and finds herself helping one to a new life in Britain.
Sue Wilsher grew up in South Essex near a shoe factory and the Thames estuary. The shoe company housed its workers, including Sue's grandparents and mother. Sue based her debut novel, When My Ship Comes In, on the history of the area. She now lives in Kent with her husband and two children.