This book transports you immediately straight back to the 1960s.
It’s set in 1963, the year that The Beatles first top the charts, the year that Martin Luther King had a dream, and the year that Truman Bird unceremoniously drags his family from their Brighton home and abandons them in a leaky caravan in the middle of the Ashdown Forest. And then disappears.
Christie Bird married Truman too young. She’d had a great job in Hanningtons (and the description of that creaking, charmingly old-fashioned department store is wonderful) and didn’t want to leave work. But, back then, that’s what was expected.
Three children later in quick succession and married to the chancer and charmer Truman, she is bewildered as to how on earth she ended up here. In a draughty, cramped caravan in the middle of nowhere.
Truman is a liar and a cheat. But so far he’s always managed to get away with it. His dodgy deals and his gangster friends remind us that there was a very good reason that Brighton has always attracted the low life.
But life has a way of helping people along with their dreams and love is never far away. You’ll be cheering the wonderful characters along as hope and optimism win the day.
Mark Haysom will be appearing at Bookish Supper Society on September 10. Tickets are available from www.tabl.com or Brighton Dome ticket office: 01273 709709.