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County Durham, 1830s When fifteen-year-old Cissie Brodie loses her parents to cholera, she is forced out of the family cottage and left to raise her nine brothers and sisters by herself. Although desperately poor, strong-willed Cissie determines to build a new home for them all, their own little shelter to keep them from the workhouse. They have friends, but charity cant always spare them the harsh reality of their struggle and when Cissie attracts the unwanted attentions of a local landowner, her world seems close to collapse. Can love, when it arrives, teach her t to fear the world beyond the dwelling place? Catherine Cookson was the original and bestselling saga writer, selling over 100 million copies of her vels. If you like Dilly Court, Katie Flynn or Donna Douglas, you'll love Catherine Cookson.
Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, whom she believed to be her older sister. She began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master. Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award for the best regional novel of 1968 - her readership quickly spread throughout the world, and her many bestselling novels established her as one of the most popular of contemporary women novelists. After receiving an OBE in 1985, Catherine Cookson was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1993. She was appointed an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford, in 1997. For many years she lived near Newcastle upon Tyne. She died shortly before her ninety-second birthday, in June 1998.