The book actually started with a possibility of being an entertaining, if lightweight, story but soon turned into possibly the most banal,far fetched and ridiculous tome full of the most stereotypical depictions of all the various social groups in the story, compounded by the most unbelievable charecters i.e. "VC hero hiding in an old railway carriage and called "Old Jack Tar" and storylines such as all old Jacks ex soldier mates who all of course owe their lifes to him,including the main villian's own Father, all being in convinent positions of authority in relation to the early life of the central charecter.
After the non stop eternal misery misery and misfortune experienced by the mother (although someone or something always happens to overcome it) and the actions of the women beating, drunked, murdering, absolute bounder who put her in the family way years ago the only thing missing from this plot is him tieing her to the railway tracks only for her to be rescued by Lassie.
As the book progesses the plot increasingly continues to thin and the banality continues to thicken at the same rate until its mind boggling and final unbeliveable chapters.
This is set to be just the first book in a series about this continuing family saga, as far as I'm concerned it was one too many.