It’s October 1940. As the bombs rain down on the residents of Islington, eighteen-year-old Beth Shanks knows she must keep her chin up. With her dad away fighting, it’s up to Beth to help support the family, even though she and her mother don’t always see eye-to-eye. A trained pianist, Connie Shanks can’t understand why her daughter won’t learn to read music, and despairs of the popular songs Beth prefers to play by ear. Always fun-loving, Beth is known as ‘the firecracker’ at the munitions factory where she works alongside her boyfriend, Irish lad Thomas Sullivan.
But Thomas faces suspicion when rumours break that an Irish national has been spying for the Germans. When a heavy air raid forces Beth and her family into a public shelter, Beth lifts everyone’s spirits by belting out old favourites on an abandoned piano. Connie finally sees the joy her daughter’s music can bring, but she is unaware that it will one day save their lives…
‘A London blitz story that captures the wartime spirit down to the last wail of the air raid siren. History with a heart on its sleeve.’ Steve Craggs, Northern Echo
‘There is copious local detail of the area, the shops and bus and tram routes, which evoke nostalgic memories for those who knew pre-war London. The atmosphere of fear and defiance is convincing.... This book will appeal to readers who want to live or relive those terrible times.’ Marina Oliver, The Historical Novels Review