The Leaving of LiverpoolBook - 2007
'It's not the leaving of Liverpool that's grieving me, but my darling when I think of thee...'
It is a cold February night in 1925 when two teenage sisters - Mollie and Annemarie Kenny - escape from their home in a tiny Irish village. Their beloved mother has died and the girls have suffered shocking abuse at the hands of their doctor father. With sensitive, creative Annemarie so traumatised she can barely remember her name, Mollie decides they should make a new life for themselves and she takes her younger sister to Liverpool where they will board a ship to New York. There, she thinks, they will be safe.
But the smallest, cruellest twist of fate conspires to separate the girls just as the boat is about to sail, leaving Mollie stranded in Liverpool and Annemarie at the mercy of strangers in America.
The subsequent paths of their lives could not be more different. Annemarie discovers her future, her fortune and her raison d'être on Broadway, while Mollie, devastated by guilt and grief at the loss of her sister, eventually carves out a life of family, hearth and home in Liverpool, a city of warmth and humour that she grows to love.
As the 1920s make way for the Depression and the edgy 1930s, the spectre of another war looms. The Second World War will separate many more people from their loved ones, but, as Mollie sees in the cheerful, stoical camaraderie of blitzed Liverpool, it can also bring people together...