An unmissable and much-loved favourite, Birmingham Blitz by Annie Murray is the tale of everyday courage and determination in wartime Britain. August 1939. Genie Watkins, a Birmingham kid, would love to have a proper happy family like her Italian friend, Teresa. But Genie hasn't reckoned with the outbreak of war, her already rocky family being split up and the strangely liberating effect it all has on her mother . . . Under Birmingham skies darkened by blackout Genie shares her fears and hopes with Teresa, keeps her spirits up with her nan and glamorous auntie Lil, and tries to hold her family together. And amid it all, she discovers love . . .
A heartfelt Birmingham saga, Birmingham Rose is Annie Murray's debut novel and was a Sunday Times bestseller. Life is bleak for Rose Lucas, a spirited, intelligent girl, born into a large family in the slums of pre-war Birmingham. But her friendship with Diana, daughter of a vicar from middle-class Moseley, gives her hope. She learns to aspire to a different kind of existence, vowing never to become a child-bearing drudge like her mother. Life, however, never follows the way of dreams. After a childhood marked by tragedy, Rose eventually finds and loses the love for which she has striven so hard. From Italy, where she has travelled during the Second World War, she is forced to return to Birmingham and an unhappy marriage, her hopes and illusions shattered. But Rose will not be defeated and she, too, is determined to rise once again above the devastation of her life . . .
Birmingham, the cradle of the industrial revolution and the world's first manufacturing town, is an important focus for many family historians who will find that their trail leads through it. Rural migrants, Quakers, Jews, Irish, Italians, and more recently people from the Caribbean, South-Asia and China have all made Birmingham their home. This vibrant history is reflected in the city's rich collections of records, and Michael Sharpe's handbook is the ideal guide to them. ?He introduces readers to the wealth of information available, providing an essential guide for anyone researching the history of the city or the life of an individual ancestor. His work addresses novices and experienced researchers alike and offers a compendium of sources from legal and ecclesiastical archives, to the records of local government, employers, institutions, clubs, societies and schools. Accessible, informative and extensively referenced, it is the perfect companion for research in Britain's second city.
Brum Undaunted first appeared in 1995 under the imprint of Birmingham Library Services. This new expanded memorial edition published by Brewin Books contains, in addition to the original text, details of all those who lost their lives in the Birmingham Blitz, together with personal memoirs and photographs from some who survived. The book has been produced in conjunction with the Birmingham Air Raids Remembrance Association who have worked tirelessly for many years to commemorate the victims of the Blitz. Their efforts have now been crowned with success by the unveiling of a suitable memorial. Professor Carl Chinn, MBE, author of the book, has waived his rights to the usual royalties and the publishers, instead, will be making a donation to BARRA in respect of copies sold, the money raised being used towards the work of the Association.
A remarkable, stirring novel, Birmingham Friends perfectly captures the complicated intimacy of female relationships. Anna has always been exceptionally close to her mother, Kate and as a child, was captivated by the stories her mother would tell of her childhood in Birmingham with her best friend, Olivia. Olivia and Kate seemed to have a magical friendship. But when Kate dies, she leaves her daughter a final story, one that this time tells the whole truth of her life with Olivia Kemp. As Anna reads, she is shocked to discover how little she really knew about the mother she felt so close to. With Kate's words of caution ringing in her head, she goes in search of the one woman who can answer urgent questions about her mother's life, and about her own . . . *Birmingham Friends was originally published as Kate and Olivia*
Shortlisted for Historical Romantic Novel in the Romantic Novelists Association Books Awards. Birmingham, almost a decade after the end of the Great War, and the women of Lilac Street have had more than their fair share of troubles . . . Rose Southgate is trapped in a loveless marriage. Shy and isolated, she makes the best of life, until she meets a man who changes everything. Jen Green is struggling to make ends meet, with a sick husband and five children to support. Aggie, her eldest daughter, is twelve years old and longs for excitement. But prying into the adult world shows her more than she had bargained for. And Phyllis Taylor is a widow who has managed to put a dark and traumatic past behind her. But the return of her daughter Dolly threatens all that . . . These women find strength in friendship, as they discover that the best way to solve their problems is to face them together, in Annie Murray's compelling The Women of Lilac Street.
A tale of hardship and social injustice, Miss Purdy's Class by Annie Murray is a heartfelt saga with strong emotional relationships at its heart. In the New Year of 1936, Gwen Purdy, aged twenty-one, leaves her home to become a schoolteacher in a poor area of Birmingham. Her parents are horrified, but she has the support of her fiance, a recently ordained clergyman. Her early weeks in Birmingham are an eye-opener: at the school she faces a class of fifty-two children, some of whose homes are among Birmingham's very poorest. One of the teachers, the elderly Miss Drysdale, proves an inspiration, and Gwen begins to understand the appalling hardships endured by the children as she is drawn into their lives. Little Lucy Fernandez is a 'cripple' and an epileptic. Through her, Gwen meets Daniel Fernandez, the elder brother in a fatherless household. The family has roots in a Wales' small Spanish community, and Daniel is a young man as fierce and passionate in his emotions as in his social concerns. Gwen falls in love, and is quickly engaged in his battle to win rights for the working classes. As the Brigades are mobilized to fight the Spanish Civil War, Gwen has to face the fact that Daniel has secrets in his past which she would rather not face up to . . .