Coin Street Chronicles is a tale of real-life drama set in the 1930s and 1940s on the South Bank - now a cultural showcase, but then a grimy, raucous underbelly of the city.
Among the books many colourful characters are big-hearted, garrulous, chain-smoking Aunt-mum; yarn-spinning, practical joker Grampa Benson; and Gwen Southgate's unsquelchable, much-married, and perhaps bigamous, mother.
The scene changes during World War II, when evacuation from London at the age of ten opens up wider horizons for Gwen Southgate and her two younger brothers.
The memoir ends as she, finally, escapes the culture of poverty-after a determined struggle spearheaded by her feisty mother. Don't miss Gwen, over specially from America to launch the book.
Related website: mysite.verizon.net/res11bvz6