Rita Hawkins fought all her life to escape from Crag Street, the grimy street of colliery houses where gossip reigned, tuberculosis killed, and mining families slaved to make ends meet. There she met George, the last surviving son of a poor mining family forced against his wishes to start work as a miner. Her life becomes inextricably tied up with his but love eludes them, though events in their lives constantly throw them together. George the high-minded idealist gets caught up with the miner’s union, while cold, hard cash drives Rita, the pragmatist, towards independence and success in business. Their relationship is complicated by the tragic Maggie, abused mother of seven children and Ella, the childless street gossip with her nose in everyone’s business.
Years later, when Crag Street is torn down and rebuilt in a museum, Rita receives an invitation from George to attend the Grand Opening. The visit forces her to face painful memories about George, Maggie and Ella and to revisit the tragic incidents of the last days she spent on Crag Street.
A vivid tale of love and loss, joy and tragedy, The Pitman’s Daughter spans five decades and portrays the colorful tapestry of life in a Durham colliery village. Filled with unforgettable characters it is also a story of ambition and identity that shows no matter how hard we try, we can’t escape our past since it shapes us into the person we become.
November 8, 2013  |  348 pages
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