Blackpool, 1959. The Singleton family is on holiday. For seven-year-old Beth, just out of hospital, this means struggling to fill in her "I-Spy by the Seaside" book and avoiding her mother Ruth's eagle-eyed supervision. Her sixteen-year-old sister Helen, meanwhile, has befriended a waitress whose fun-loving ways hint at a life beyond Ruth's strict rules. But times are changing. As foreman of the local cotton mill, Ruth's husband Jack is caught between unions and owners whose cost-cutting measures threaten an entire way of life. And his job isn't the only thing at risk. When a letter arrives from Crete, a secret re-emerges from the rubble of Jack's wartime past that could destroy his marriage. Over the holiday week, all four Singletons must struggle to find their place in a shifting world of promenade amusements, illicit sex and stilted afternoon teas, in this touching and extraordinarily evocative novel.
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