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Bessie, who is scarred by a childhood of poverty in the slums of Victorian Birmingham and left a young widow with four children.
Violet, one of Bessie's four children, who marries young to escape into the arms of a man whose life will be broken by war.
Linda, who grows up on a large housing estate in the 1950s with her older sister, Joyce, and her beloved younger sister, Carol. Intelligent and energetic, she craves education and something more than the life she sees around her. Torn from her longed for place at the grammar school, she gives up hoping for anything better. It takes a tragic love affair to make her question the limitations of her life and the secrets that haunt her family.
Spanning more than half of the last century, Family of Women is the story of one family - and of the joys, struggles, and changes in women's lives.