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A Ha’penny Will Do-bookcover

By: Alison Huntingford

A Ha’penny Will Do

Pages: 368 Ratings:
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Love, dreams and destitution.

Three members of one family are linked by their struggle to survive poverty and war at the turn of the century.


Kate, a homesick, lonely Irish immigrant, dreams of being a writer. After difficult times in Liverpool, she comes to London looking for a better life. Hoping to escape from a life of domestic service into marriage and motherhood, she meets charming rogue, William Duffield. Despite her worries about his uncertain temperament, she becomes involved with him. Will it be an escape or a prison?

Fred is a restless elder son, devoted to his mother yet locked in a tempestuous relationship with his father. War intervenes and he secretly signs up to serve abroad. Is his bad reputation deserved? What will become of him?

Joe, too young to sign up for WW1, is left to endure the hardships of war on the home front and deal with his own guilt at not being able to serve. He starts an innocent friendship with his sister-in-law which sustains him through hard times. Will he survive the bombs, the riots, the rationing and find true love in the end?

These are their intertwined and interlocking stories told through the medium of diaries, letters and personal recollections, based on the author’s family history covering the period of 1879–1920. The truth is never plain and rarely simple.

The author is currently a teacher of English language and has a degree in Humanities with Literature. She enjoys reading 19th-century fiction, in particular Charles Dickens and Thomas Hardy.

Having grown up in Devon, Alison Huntingford has always had a strong affinity to the county, despite being born elsewhere. One of her favourite pastimes is genealogy and she was therefore delighted to find an ancestor who came from Exeter in Devon. His story inspired her recent novel, The Glass Bulldog.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their pets, listening to music, going to the cinema and gardening.

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