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Authors: Rosie Harris

Love Changes Everything

BOOK: Love Changes Everything
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Table of Contents
This eBook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law. Any unauthorised distribution or use of this text may be a direct infringement of the author's and publisher's rights and those responsible may be liable in law accordingly.
Version 1.0
Epub ISBN 9781409035756
  
Published by Arrow Books 2009
2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1
Copyright © Rosie Harris 2009
Rosie Harris has asserted her right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work
This novel is a work of fiction. Names and characters are the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher's prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser
First published in Great Britain in 2009 by Arrow Books
Random House, 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 2SA
Addresses for companies within The Random House Group Limited can be found at:
www.randomhouse.co.uk/offices.htm
The Random House Group Limited Reg. No. 954009
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from thfe British Library
ISBN 9780099527367
The Random House Group Limited supports The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the leading international forest certification organisation. All our titles that are printed on Greenpeace approved FSC certified paper carry the FSC logo. Our paper procurement policy can be found at
www.rbooks.co.uk/environment
Typeset in Palatino by Palimpsest Book Production Limited
Grangemouth, Stirlingshire
Printed and bound in Great Britain by CPI Cox & Wyman Ltd, Reading RG1 8EX
About the Author
Rosie Harris was born in Cardiff and grew up there and in the West Country. After her marriage she resided for some years on Merseyside before moving to Buckinghamshire where she still lives. She has three grown-up children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, and writes full time.
Love Changes Everything
is her nineteenth novel for Arrow.
Also by Rosie Harris
Turn of the Tide
Troubled Waters
Patsy of Paradise Place
One Step Forward
Looking for Love
Pins & Needles
Winnie of the Waterfront
At Sixes & Sevens
The Cobbler's Kids
Sunshine and Showers
Megan of Merseyside
The Power of Dreams
A Mother's Love
Sing for Your Supper
Waiting for Love
Love Against All Odds
A Dream of Love
A Love Like Ours
For my sons
Roger Mackenzie Harris and Keith Mackenzie Harris
who do so much for me and are always there when I need them.
Acknowledgements
Many thanks to my excellent editor Georgina Hawtrey-Woore and all the team at Random House and to my agent Caroline Sheldon for all their wonderful support.
LOVE CHANGES
EVERYTHING
Rosie Harris
Chapter One
Liverpool, 1920
‘I keep telling you that I don't want to work in a factory.' Fourteen-year-old Trixie Jackson stuck out her chin defiantly as she faced her irate father. Tall and slim with straight brown hair framing her oval face and expressive dark eyes, she took after Sam Jackson in looks.
‘Think yourself bloody lucky that you have a job to go to, you stupid Judy,' Sam Jackson snapped, glowering at his eldest daughter. ‘It's taken me weeks of grovelling to fix this up for you with the foreman so don't you damn well let me down. You'll go there, my girl, and what's more, you'll like it; now is that understood!'
‘You're not listening, Dad, I don't want to work there, or in any other factory if it comes to that; not unless it's in the office. I've worked hard at school and I'm good at sums and I got top marks for neatness and I want—'
‘What you want and what you end up getting in this life are two different things and the sooner you realise that the better. I never wanted you or your stupid halfwit of a sister, or to be living in a squalid dump like this place, but that's what I've ended up with.'
‘And whose fault is it that Cilla is like she is?' Trixie accused him, looking across the room to where her younger sister was sitting on the floor hugging a doll.
As her father's open hand caught her in a stinging blow across the side of her face Trixie staggered back, crashing against the corner of the wooden table and clutching at one of the rickety wooden chairs to save herself from falling. Her dark eyes narrowed with loathing as she wiped a trickle of blood from the corner of her mouth. ‘I hate you! One of these days I'll call the cops when you hit me or Mum and I'll report you,' she choked shakily, pushing her shoulder-length hair away from her face.
‘Factory gate, seven o'clock sharp tomorrow morning,' he commanded, ignoring her threat, ‘and think yourself lucky that you've got a job to go to. With all the blokes that have come back from the war unable to find jobs there're plenty of willing workers in Liverpool ready to jump into your shoes, remember.'
Turning away he pulled his greasy tweed cap out of the pocket of his brown jacket and rammed it squarely on his thick crop of dark hair. ‘When your mother gets back from her charring tell her I've gone for a bevvy,' he ordered as he made for the door.
Trixie didn't answer till after it had slammed behind him. Then her lips curled in a sneer. ‘Miserable sod,' she hissed. ‘Hope you drop down dead.'
It was an idle threat and she knew it. Her father was only forty and in the prime of life. He was a tall, handsome-looking man with broad shoulders, sharp dark eyes, strong features and thick dark brown hair. He was fighting fit in every respect and a picture of robust health since he always made sure he received the largest portion of whatever his wife Maggie managed to put on the table each day.
If anyone was likely to drop down dead it was far more likely to be her mother, Trixie thought sadly.
Maggie Jackson was overworked, undernourished and as skinny as a wild rabbit. She'd once been fresh-faced and pretty but now there were dark shadows under her grey eyes and her once gleaming hair was now lank and stringy.
She was so browbeaten that she cringed if anyone raised their voice, as if she were expecting a blow to follow. Often, though, blows came without a word being spoken, especially when Sam Jackson had imbibed more beer than was good for him.
Maggie always claimed that being on the receiving end of one of his vicious drunken blows when she'd been six months' pregnant had been the underlying cause of poor little Cilla's state of health. The resultant premature birth had left Maggie very weak and the baby fighting for her life. They'd both survived, but although she was now five years old and should have been ready to start school, Cilla was still more like a two-year-old both physically and mentally. She spent most of the day in her high-sided cot or tied into her high chair till Trixie came home from school.
Sam Jackson had been shocked when he'd first seen Cilla. He seemed to instinctively hate the child. He claimed that Cilla's arrival had brought nothing but misfortune on his head. Up till then he'd had very few serious problems in his life. He'd grown up in Anfield and when he'd left school he'd gone to work at the local abattoir. At first he'd been sweeping up, scrubbing down, spreading clean sawdust and a hundred and one other menial tasks. He'd stuck at it, though, enjoying the company of the older men who worked there and convinced that one day in the near future he'd become as experienced a slaughter man as most of them were.
For the moment, though, he'd been content with his life as it was. He had money in his pocket after he'd paid his mum and dad for his keep, and he was able to enjoy himself. He was popular, he had plenty of friends; girls queued up to go out with him. He liked a drink and was always ready to gamble a few bob on the dogs or horses and he was considered by one and all to be good company.
Things had changed slightly, but only for the better, when he'd met Maggie Wilson, a curvaceous girl with auburn hair who was a few years younger than him. She'd fallen for him at their first meeting and thought him the most handsome, wonderful person in the world. When she became his steady girlfriend, he was the envy of all his mates because she was by far the prettiest girl around.
Maggie had been well brought up, though, and kept him at arm's length, which made him all the more eager and he couldn't wait to get married. His boss told him he could have the one-up, one-down cottage attached to the abattoir if he was prepared to act as caretaker. It was the perfect love nest; he'd no rent to pay so he was able to go on enjoying himself, even though he had a wife to support.
They'd married on a bright sunny day in June 1905; Maggie had looked a dream of loveliness in her white dress and flowing veil. The future had seemed so bright; till one thing after another started to alter.
The first change had come a few months later when Maggie's parents had decided to emigrate to Australia to join Maggie's brother Stephen who was already living over there and had a young family. They tried to persuade Sam and Maggie to go with them but Sam was settled and enjoying his life in Liverpool too much to agree to doing anything like that. He made the excuse that since Maggie was expecting their first baby he didn't think it was the right time for such an upheaval.
Trixie was born a month later and after that Maggie's life was centred around looking after the baby. Sam craved company and began to spend more and more of his spare time at the pub with his cronies. Both he and Maggie accepted that this was normal now that they were married and, in their own way, each of them was more or less content with the way things were turning out.
BOOK: Love Changes Everything
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