This book, and film (which I highly recommend Sean Bean- dribbled all the way through.) This book is the first of catherine cookson's I've read and wow what a page turner. It is so thought provoking and your insides ache to think what it must have been like to be these characters. It has heart ache and yet something so spell binding, you want to hate some of the characters but you just can't because you really want to know their every move. It has to be said i was so sad to finish this book. The story is unforgetable, and yes tale and old as time. Town mouse and country mouse. but yet the way it's written and the twists and turns make it serious and relevant to the world we live in today. I think for readers who are looking for a book to question their thoughts of others, and simply love a story which has every emotion felt.