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Cookson, Catherine: Tide of Life, The

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Sep McGilby always said that Emily Kennedy had a happy face. And at sixteen, Emily had a lot to be glad about. She loved her job as maid-of-all-work to the McGilbys, and the only cloud on her horizon was her anxiety about her delicate younger sister, Lucy.

But when the invalid Mrs McGilby dies, and Sep killed in an accident soon after, Emily and Lucy are forced to leave South Shields to look for work, which they find at Croft Dene House.

The household of Croft Dene House, where Lawrence Birch ruled as master, was a strange one, and as Emily became more deeply involved with the family’s affairs, she grew rapidly to a young woman, needing all her strength of will and character to get her through. And whatever else happened, she clung grimly to a scrap of philosophy that carried her through the bitter struggles of her new life.