This story about a Scottish family living in the Edinburgh suburb Leith is very well told. It's the kind of family-saga that is unputdownable. It covers the years from 1938 on through the 2nd World War and postwartime. It had been meagre years for the Campbell-family: first the parents separated, or rather the mother pushed a useless father out of the very modest home. Then wartime made it more difficult to survive and make ends meet. And after war it was only a tedious start to struggle onwards and upwards.
Rachel, the brave Mum, with all her strengths and limitations, fights do do the best or what she thinks best for her children, often unrewarded. Carrie and Sam, the twins, are to take responsibilities not only for their younger siblings Paul and Alice, but for the economical survival of the family, and are supposed to do without any advanced education, though they were so capable. Despite the daily hardships they remained children, had a childhood with all the joys, excitements and disappointments. And there was Hannah, the eldest, who always seemed to be a bit turned away from family matters, but had her share too in their welfare. Granny Rosie was the children's comfort and her home a refuge. She was a Granny of the kind, every child should have one.
Finally the family members all made their way - one way or another. This all is quite humorously written, and amply used Scots makes the story authentic.
And for people who know Leith, the local colour will be an extra delight.