The novel is quite varied with stories and characters.
Steve used to work in the mines, but then the pit where he worked closed down.
Kathleen is a Justice of the Peace in Huddersfield, and that is how she and Steve meet. She is a doctor, but she also acts as a Judge of the Peace. A justice of the peace (JP) is a judicial officer, of a lower court, elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. No formal qualifications are required but magistrates need intelligence, common sense, integrity and the capacity to act fairly. Membership is widely spread throughout the local area and drawn from all walks of life. All magistrates are carefully trained before sitting and continue to receive training throughout their service. Magistrates are unpaid volunteers but they may receive allowances to cover travelling expenses and subsistence.
Ernie was sent to Cyrenaica when he was drafted during the Second World War. Cyrenaica is the eastern coastal region of Libya.
He mentions the Battle of El Alamein. The Second Battle of El Alamein (23 October–11 November 1942) was a decisive battle of the Second World War that took place near the Egyptian railway halt of El Alamein. With the Allies victorious, it marked the watershed of the Western Desert Campaign.
Ernie meets Anna in Cairo. Though never formally a British colony, Egypt was essentially under British control thereafter, even after the formal recognition of Egyptian independence in 1922, with British troops remaining around the Suez Canal zone. Full Egyptian self-rule was not realised until the Egyptian Revolution of 1952.
Then she moves to Belfast with her husband. ç
Judy Moon’s parents were obsessed with films. When she was a child, Judy got a photograph from Alan Ladd, and when she met her future husband, she thought he looked like her beloved Alan Ladd. Alan Walbridge Ladd (September 3, 1913 – January 29, 1964) was an American actor and film and television producer. Ladd found success in film the 1940s and early 1950s, particularly in Westerns.
Judy meets Harry at the Cavern. The Cavern Club is a nightclub at 10 Mathew Street, in Liverpool. The original Cavern Club opened on Wednesday, 16 January 1957 as a jazz club, later becoming a centre of the rock and roll scene in Liverpool in the 1960s. The Beatles played in the club in their early years.
Judy’s parents were subscribers of a magazine about films, the Picturegoer. Picturegoer was a fan magazine published in the United Kingdom between January 1921 and 23 April 1960. Its primary focus was contemporary films and the performers who appeared in them.