Tommy Hopkins' early years aren't very promising. Born at the end of the 19th century in a slum district of Manchester, he's blessed with a loving mam and dad, but they don't have two ha'pennies to rub together.
But Tommy is a survivor. At school he quickly makes lots of friends, and together they plot money-making schemes and play football. Then, it's time to leave the playground behind. Denied the chance of a career, Tommy instead finds employment at Manchester's Smithfield market and works his way up, finally becoming a porter.
He's becoming a man, and amongst the young women who catch his eye is Kate Lally, who may just be the love of his life.
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First of a moving saga of books about real lives.
- Elaine D. Perrin