It is 1911, and the Harris family live in Crewe, a large railway manufacturing city in Cheshire, England. Three family members work for the London and North West Railway Company (LNWR), and live in a company house.
strikes when two family members, Bill (the father), and James (the brother), are killed in an LNWR industrial accident. Soon after, Isobel (the mother), dies through shock and illness. For a short while, the remaining family must separate due to an eviction
notice: Alice and baby George to the workhouse; John (as a railway navvy), to parts of England; and Jane to board, near her work.
Eventually they reunite, then learn of a scheme for assisted passage to Australia. Could this venture offer a better
life? Their application accepted, they travel as emigrants to Melbourne, Victoria, along with Jane's new husband, Jimmy.
Once in Australia, the family splits - John to work for the Melbourne rail service, the others
to live with and work for the Sherwin's, using their skills as market gardeners. They settle into an agricultural life, helping to run an ever-growing orchard at Red Hill on the Mornington Peninsula. John's promotion to Station Master, sees him living close
by, in Tyabb.
Meanwhile Mary, who befriended Alice whilst in the Nantwich Institution (workhouse), is placed into service at Bebbington Hall, near Crewe. Her dream is to join Alice in Australia, and via an intriguing twist of events, she
accompanies her very pregnant mistress Lady Penelope, to Melbourne. She leaves behind her friend, Joseph, who intends to emigrate too, once his accounting studies are completed. Mary and Alice unite after three years apart, and there is hope and excitement
for everyone, as they settle into a life of promise and adventure in the land of their dreams.
The author draws her characters, their hopes and dreams; their livelihoods; their places of birth and death, from her ancestry, gleaned from two years
of genealogy research and collation. This is the first book of a duology.
It is available on Kindle and to order as a paperback through Amazon.