After his father's death in 1926, five-year-old Joe Jebeau and his tyrannical mother, Ellen, move to his uncle Arthur's estate in northern England. As the years pass, Ellen becomes the mistress of the house, a position she plans to retain by any means necessary. By the onset of WW II, her greedy scheming has landed her son a title and an estate, but at the cost of the lives of the people he loves most. To escape his mother's madness, Joe joins the war effort, hiding behind the uniform of a common corporal and trying to bury his pain. When he believes himself betrayed by the woman he has loved since childhood, he sinks even deeper into despair. It takes plain but wise Maggie LeMan and her outspoken, down-to-earth aunt to break through the barrier Joe has constructed and teach him how to see the truth.
Joseph Jabeau was fatherless by the age of five; he grew up to defend himself and his country against the evilness and madness of Hitler by fighting in World War II. He returned home to face his selfish, overbearing mother and to battle against her ruthlessness and the many hidden secrets of the past.
I really did enjoy this book even though I have found that some of Catherine Cookson's books that I've read in the past do become somewhat repetitive in their themes. I would say that as I began reading Catherine Cookson as a young adult (maybe college age or so), I really thought of her as one of my favorite authors. As I've grown older and continued reading Catherine Cookson throughout the years, she's become a little boring in her writing. However, I truly did enjoy this book and give it an A!