The book jumps forward in time.
It is the 1960s, so Kitty is twenty-nine. She is working for a charity who looks after women and babies in difficult circumstances. The founder of this charity is Hilda Foxton, who is a former nurse. Kitty met Hilda on the train as she was returning to Liverpool after giving birth. She started feeling sick, and as the conductor called for a doctor, Hilda appeared. Kitty was sick because of the afterbirth, so Hilda helped her.
Kitty agreed to work for Hilda even though the salary was meagre. She feels she is doing a good job. At first she returned to her house with her father, and Danny and Marge and their family, who had moved there. When Marge had her third child, Kitty decided to move to Hilda’s house where they treated women and children. Kitty leads a happy life, and we know that she has only seen Eve a few times since she has tried to keep away. Aileen has not kept the contact either. Yet, the few times Kitty has seen Eve, she has felt hurt and hasn’t like the way her sister was raising her: too strict and keeping her from children her age, and even her family.
At one family celebration Kitty witnesses Aileen slap Eve just because the little girl has laughed. Then Claire tells Kitty that Aileen is is so strung up because she is having an affair with someone called Steve. Her husband Michael knows and is going through hell. It is a few weeks later that something unexpected happens. Claire calls Kitty. Aileen has eloped with Steve as she is having his baby. Claire surprises Kitty, telling her that she knows she is Eve’s real mother. Claire was never fooled. She mentions that she suspected her sister was pregnant, and when she returned looking the worse for wear at the same time Aileen came back with her adopted baby, she knew the truth.
Claire and Kitty go to their sister’s flat. Eve is asleep, looked after by a babysitter. The two sisters send the babysitter home as they wait for Michael. He appears drunk after midnight, and the two sisters help him into bed. It is very late so Kitty and Claire stay there that night. When they wake up, there is a letter from Michael addressed to Kitty. He says he is going away, and as Eve’s real mother she will look after her better than anyone.He leaves her the house and the car. So from that moment on Kitty finds herself looking after her girl. She doesn’t plan to tell Eve she is her real mother as she has to deal with so much as it is. Eve is happy with Kitty as she is not like Aileen at all, and thanks to Kitty, Eve sees more of their family.
Then 1963 comes, and the last words of Kitty at the end of the chapter is that three things happen that will mark her life: her dad dies, she loses her job, and Eve learns she is her real mother. I am really curious to see how these events unfold. I am mostly interested to see how Eve learns the truth and how she takes it.
I am loving every single minute of this book. I love Maureen Lee’s books about families and their relationships. This one is really engrossing.