The titles in this booklist are just a selection of the titles available for loan from the RNIB National Library Talking Book Service.
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House of Hope. 1993. Read by Patricia Jones, 12 hours 51 minutes. TB 9936.
Arriving in Italy from Sicily in 1861, Vittorio Speranza sets up as a fine art dealer. After an early success, his hope of a dynastic succession is dashed by a family feud. His son Niccolo changed his name to Nicholas Hope and opens a Sale Room in London. However, the family link endures, surviving the depression and Hitler, and the Anglo-Italian houses of Speranza and Hope are united into a flourishing and dynamic entity. TB 9936.
The silk mill. 1988. Read by Gretel Davis, 13 hours 23 minutes. TB 7105.
Luke Fuller moves his family north when he inherits an old run-down textile mill from his uncle. His wife, Avril, is still grieving from the death of her mother and hates her new home, even finding it sinister. Unable to discuss her fears with her husband or her children, she begins to lose her hold on reality. Ginny, their vulnerable 17-year-old, is forced to grow up too quickly and Luke seems unaware of the changes in his wife and daughter. Disaster looms... TB 7105.
Andrews, Lynda M
A mother's love. 2005. Read by Eunice Roberts, 11 hours 55 minutes. TB 14223.
Eve and Eddie Dobson have been running the George pub in Liverpool for over twenty years. It's not been a bad life, with three nearly grown daughters fed and clothed out of the takings. The Depression is now taking hold and money is in short supply. It's galling for Eve that the barmaid they can barely afford spends the day making eyes at Eddie rather than pulling her weight behind the bar. Then Eddie's flirtation with the hired help takes an unexpected turn. Suddenly all the decisions are Eve's to make. And there are other surprises in store, which will leave none of Eve's family untouched. TB 14223.
Andrews, V C
Flowers in the attic. 1980. Read by Nina Holloway, 15 hours 3 minutes. TB 5493.
Dollengager family series; book 1. The four children had led such perfect lives until their father died. Their beautiful mother was left with no money and they had to move out of their lovely home in the dead of night and into their grandparents' airless, lifeless attic. "Cared for" by a vengeful grandmother, intent on cleansing the sins from these "devil children", the days stretched into years of fearful captivity. TB 5493.
Andrews, V C
Ruby. 1994. Read by Jami Castell, 14 hours 58 minutes. TB 10278.
Landry family series; book 1. "Ruby" is a spellbinding tale set in the Louisiana bayou, where an innocent young girl discovers the dark legacy of her family's tainted past, and the forbidden passions of yesterday that are hers to pay for, time and time again. Ruby is about to uncover the shattering truths kept secret by Grandmere for years: the reason why Ruby must abandon the handsome and wealthy Paul Tate, the shocking scheme of blackmail and revenge that forced Grandmere to banish Grandpere Jack to his life of drunken depravity and, in a faded photograph, Ruby first glimpses the image of her handsome, wealthy father. TB 10278.
Cutler series; book 1. In her fine new Virginia school, Dawn Longchamp feels happy and safe. She and her older brother Jimmy finally have a chance for a decent, respectable life, and Dawn's secret, precious hope to study singing can come true. Philip Cutler, the most handsome boy in school, sets Dawn's heart on fire and she imagines romance. Then Dawn's mother dies suddenly and her entire world crumbles. After a terrible new shock, she is thrust into a different family and an evil web of unspoken sins. Her sweet innocence lost, humiliated and scorned, Dawn is desperate to find Jimmy and strip away the wicked lies that will change all their lives forever. TB 13875.
Shooting stars series; book 1. For Cinnamon, dreaming of imaginary worlds and characters is her only escape from her mother's breakdowns, her grandmother's overbearing control, her family's turmoil. But Cinnamon is discovering something special about herself, a gift from deep within that sets her apart: a talent for the theatre that would finally give her a chance to truly escape. TB 12849.
Casteel family series; book 1. The Casteels are a poor family living in a cabin up in the hills of West Virginia. Heaven, the eldest, is taken at the age of 12 up to see her real mother's grave, an adored and delicate woman who dies soon after giving birth. Heaven's father remarries swiftly but his violent ways drive away his second wife, leaving Heaven to run home and family. One day he returns home from work with a novel solution: he will sell his children to the childless rich. Contains passages of a sexual nature. TB 6508.
The Crowthers of Bankdam. 1940. Read by Stephen Jack, 24 hours 15 minutes. TB 232.
The Crowther chronicles; book 1. The story of a great Yorkshire wool- trade family from 1854 to the first World War and Russian Revolution. TB 232.
Away from it all. 2003. Read by Diana Bishop, 8 hours 7 minutes. TB 13135.
Alice has a scrupulously organised, comfortable life in West London with Noel - her second husband whose main ambition in life is to sharpen his golf handicap in time for retirement. But Alice's once-famous bohemian mother Jocelyn, residing in shabby splendour in a crumbling house on a clifftop in Cornwall, becomes ill and Alice, with her daughter and stepson, goes to look after her. What she finds there appals her – her glorious childhood home falling into decay, her brother and his wife taking more notice of the illegal substances being grown in the vegetable garden than in the domestic arrangements, and their twin sons running wild and living according to the tenets of the SAS Survival Handbook trapping rabbits and catapulting seagulls). Contains strong language. TB 13135.
The wine widow. 1986. Read by Patricia Hughes, 11 hours 37 minutes. TB 6891. Tramont saga; book 1. When her husband dies - the beautiful Nicole de Tramont is left with two young children and a vineyard. But she builds it up into a vast champagne empire and then has to watch as it is shattered by war. TB 6891.
Eight years ago, when Hannah was a struggling single mum, Nick Steadman seemed perfect. Kind, strong, reliable - and perfect step-dad material. OK, so their relationship's never been based on passion, but it has plenty of respect, friendship and trust. But after so long together they're beginning to realise that friendship isn't enough. The solution? An amicable divorce. Which would be just fine if it wasn't so hard to explain to nine-year-old Lottie. And if Hannah didn't find herself a teeny bit annoyed at Nick's ability to move on so quickly. Not that she isn't happy for him and his new lover. They may be divorced but they can still be friends, can't they? TB 14538.
Bates, H E
The darling buds of May. 1958. Read by Stephen Jack, 4 hours 44 minutes. TB 753.
The Larkins series; book 1. The sultriness of a summer's afternoon; the sharp tang of autumn; the frosted reeds at winter time; the sweetness of the wildflowers in spring - all the glories of the English year are captured in this selection from the work of H. E. Bates. A lighthearted tale about Pop and Ma Larkins and their six children; they eat well, drink well, and, as Pop says, 'everything's perfick'. TB 753.
A woman's age. 1979. Read by Marlene Sidaway, 21 hours 34 minutes. TB 8659.
A family saga which spans four generations from the birth of Violet Hesketh in 1905 to the seventies. The author's most widely acclaimed novel. TB 8659.
Nights of rain and stars. 2005. Read by Penelope Freeman, 9 hours 4 minutes. TB 14218.
Four strangers, with nothing in common but a need to escape, meet in a Greek taverna high above the small village of Aghia Anna. Fiona is a young nurse, trying to make her family understand her need to follow her own path. Thomas desperately misses his young son and fears that his ex-wife will come between them. Elsa abruptly left her career as a television presenter, but someone from her past refuses to let her go. While David is determined to make a stand against his overbearing father. With these four is Andreas, the taverna owner, who badly misses the son who left home nine years ago and has never returned. With the help of Vonni, a middle-aged Irish woman who lives in the village, they find solutions though not necessarily the ones they anticipated... TB 14218.
The chestnut tree. 2002. Read by Judy Bennett, 10 hours 35 minutes. TB 14819.
Bexham series; book 1. 1939, and the residents of Bexham are preparing for war. Beautiful Judy Melton, social butterfly Meggie Gore-Stewart, Mathilda Eastcott, and Rusty Todd, tomboy daughter of the local boatyard owner, are all determined to be active while their men are away fighting. But knitting socks and dodging bombs are not what they have in mind. Meeting under the chestnut tree on the green, the women look over the landscape they have helped to alter. They too have changed, and yet, as the men return, they are expected to play "mother", "daughter", "grandmother" once again. TB 14819.
This side of heaven. 1997. Read by Carolyn Bonnyman, 10 hours 38 minutes. TB 13858.
When she was sixteen, Sheila Beattie knew exactly what the future would be. She would marry her darling Eric, a fisherman like her father, and they would raise their family and dream their simple dreams in the village in which they'd been born. Her life lay before her, happy, safe and secure. But she was sixteen - and about to discover that there is nothing certain in this world but change...no happiness that is guaranteed...no one and nothing to be trusted but the voice of your own heart. Contains strong language. TB 13858.
The Farrans of Fellmonger Street. 1995. Read by Anne White, 21 hours 5 minutes. TB 11297.
When widowed Ida Farran runs off with a bus inspector in 1949, she leaves her five children to fend for themselves. Preoccupied with the day-to-day task of earning enough money to keep the family together, eighteen-year-old Rose battles bravely on, thankful for the mysterious benefactor who pays the rent on their flat in Imperial Buildings on Fellmonger Street, a little backwater off the Tower Bridge Road. Contains strong language. TB 11297.
Bradford, Barbara Taylor
A woman of substance. 1980. Read by Maggie Jones, 36 hours 37 minutes. TB 5255.
The Emma Harte saga; book 1. A dynastic North-country novel of money and power, passion and revenge, spanning three generations. TB 5255.
The broken gate. 2004. Read by Diana Bishop, 16 hours 10 minutes. TB13881.
The Cresswell inheritance series; book 1. It is winter, 1901. The ancient facade of Cresswell Manor surveys a vast and rich estate - but the land has fallen into decay. A broken gate hangs open - always about to be mended - while the workers' cottages are in dire need of repair. Mortimer Cresswell is an old man now, about to breathe his last, and at his deathbed the members of his family hover, waiting to scrap over his fortune. Only Hannah, Mortimer's daughter, can see that the family has become consumed by private ambition, jealousy and greed. When Stanislas von Ehrlich, a self-made man of fortune, moves into the neighbourhood, the natural order of things changes. Stanislas – ruthless in his desire to succeed - has his eye on Mortimer's land, but the Cresswells refuse to sell, sparking a massive feud. Where tempers flare, passion may follow. TB13881.
Teresa tries to make peace between her mother and uncle, but little guesses the difference this will make to all their lives in the Sussex cottage. TB 1701.
A perfect divorce. 2004. Read by Rachel Atkins, 10 hours 13 minutes. TB 14240.
Jenny and Mark have been together since they were at school. Now they are getting a divorce. Only Jenny and Mark are determined that their carefully planned separation will lead to the world's first truly amicable divorce. They'll divide up their possessions without any argument; each eager to show that he/she was the most reasonable party. They'll still socialize with all their friends. They'd even go out occasionally, just as good friends do. But Jenny and Mark's friends and family are not so happy and find their loyalties divided. People say that divorce can be painless if there are no children involved. But at least children grow up, get over it and get on with their own lives. Some friends never do. TB 14240.
Misfortune's daughters: a novel. 2004. Read by Lorlei King, 11 hours 47 minutes. TB 14130.
This is a family saga of bitter rivalry and insatiable ambition. Venetia and Atlanta Stephanopolis are the privileged daughters of international shipping tycoon Nicholas and Hollywood actress Laura. The story traces the highs and lows as each sister struggles to make their mark in the exotic jet-set locations of Manhattan, Paris, London and beyond. Dramatic, cross-generational and erotically charged, Joan's cast of heroines and villains are drawn from her own illustrious career. Contains passages of a sexual nature. TB 14130.
The Harrogate secret. 1989. Read by Anne Jameson, 14 hours 34 minutes. TB 7706.
Set in the twin sea ports of North and South Shields, this novel charts the career of Freddie Musgrave, employed as a runner between traders on the quayside. Catherine Cookson also portrays well the strength of his family which includes dockers and miners, and Nancy whose hearing and sharp wit more than compensate for her lost sight. Another family, the Gallaghers dominate this close knit society, overshadowing Freddie and his successful friend Miss Hewitt alike. TB 7706.
The Mary Ann omnibus. 1981. Read by Anne White, 22 hours 2 minutes. TB 4330.
Mary Ann Shaughnessy series; books 1-3. In the first of the eight Mary Ann novels, we meet the child Mary Ann and her ne'er-do-well father, the "Grandman" of the title. This is followed by "The Lord and Mary Ann" and "The Devil and Mary Ann", in which Mary Ann continues her unshakeable faith in her father. TB 4330.
The woman who left. 2002. Read by Becky Hindley, 8 hours 55 minutes. TB 13106.
The Hunter family series; book 1. Ben's whole world changes when his father dies and his brother returns convinced he stands to inherit a small fortune. When Jacob realises Ben will inherit everything, he is beside himself in rage and commits a terrible deed that threatens to destroy everything Ben and his wife hold dear. Contains passages of a sexual nature. TB 13106.
Emma Grady series; book 1. Thadius Grady has made a grave mistake and the consequences are unthinkable. In blind faith he has put himself and his daughter Emma at the mercy of his conniving brother-in-law, the womanising Caleb Crowther, for he has entrusted his entire fortune and the daughter he adores to him. With his dying breath, Thadius pleads to see his daughter one more time, but Caleb's heart is made of stone. Yet Caleb lives in fear of the past, how did Emma's mother mysteriously die? And what made Thadius and Caleb hate the river people so intensely? Contains passages of a sexual nature. TB 12073.
Her father's sins. 1987. Read by Maggie Ollerenshaw, 10 hours 15 minutes. TB 11578.
Queenie's story; book 1. Queenie seemed born to suffer. Her Mam died giving birth to her, her drunken father ignored her, and only beloved Auntie Biddy provided an anchor for the little girl. Growing up in post-war Blackburn, life could be tough, when Biddy had to take in washing to make ends meet - at a time when the washing machine began to gain popularity. After Auntie Biddy's death there was only Queenie to care for the home, but growing up tall and strikingly beautiful, love might have released her from their burden of her drink-sodden father. But the sins of the fathers would not easily be forgotten... TB 11578.
The glory game. 1986. Read by Maxine Howe, 15 hours 24 minutes. TB 6226.
Thriving in the glamorous world of international polo, Luz Kincais-Thomas has everything; two beautiful children, status, wealth, beauty and love - until her husband leaves her for a younger woman. She clings to her two teenaged children, only to find herself alienating her son, and competing with her daughter for the love of an enigmatic Argentinian polo player. TB 6226.
De Rosa, Domenica
The eternal city. Read by Aileen Gonsalves, 7 hours. TB 14568.
As the youngest de Angells daughter, Gaby has always had to vie for attention with brainy, holier-than-thou Anna, and bohemian, beautiful Maria. Yet in her heart she cherished the hope that she was her father Enzo's favourite. On the day Gaby's first baby, Kitty, is born, Enzo suddenly dies. Gaby's sisters devise a plan to bid their father farewell in his native Rome. But their interpretations of his wishes differ as much as their wildly conflicting advice on the fraught early days of motherhood. And in the heat and bustle of Rome itself, Gaby encounters once again the man everyone thought she would marry. Suddenly all Gaby's certainties are shaken. TB 14568.
Delderfield, R F
The dreaming suburb. 1958. Read by Stephen Jack, 18 hours 30 minutes. TB 108.
The Avenue story; book 1. The story of the lives of 5 families in a suburban avenue between 1919 and 1940, reflecting the lives of London people through two eventful decades. TB 108.
Delderfield, R F
God is an Englishman. 1971. Read by Christopher Scott, 31 hours 14 minutes. TB 13992.
Swann saga; book 1. This novel sweeps the reader from the battlefields of India to the Industrial Revolution of Victorian England, where dynamic forces were creating an entirely new breed of man - the entrepreneur. Possessed of a burning desire to make his mark on the world, Adam Swann was such a man. His struggles to succeed and the story of his conquest of Henrietta, the spirited daughter of a rich manufacturer, form the central theme of this novel. TB 13992.
The peppered moth. 2001. Read by Norma West, 13 hours 15 minutes. TB 12541.
A portrait of four generations of one family, this story explores themes of inheritance, DNA, the individual's place in history and fate. It spans from Bessie Bawtry, a small child living in a Yorkshire mining town in 1905, to her granddaughter, listening to a lecture on genetic inheritance. TB 12541.
I'll bring you buttercups. 1993. Read by John Davitt, 27 hours 2 minutes. TB 10199.
Sutton family series; book 1. Set against the background of the First World War, this is the story of sewing maid, Alice Hawthorn and her love for Tom Derryhouse, a handsome young gamekeeper. It is also the story of Julia Sutton, daughter of Alice's employer and her love for Dr Andrew MacMalcolm. The horrors and tragedies of the war take their toll and the survivors return as different people, none more so than Alice, who returns as a Sutton. TB 10199.
Leaving her tiny flat in London Lizzy Walter is making the familiar journey back home to spend Christmas with her chaotic but big-hearted family. In an ever-changing world, Keeper House is the one constant. But behind the mistletoe and mince pies, family secrets and rivalries lurk. And when David, the man who broke her heart, makes an unexpected reappearance, it ranks as a Christmas she would rather forget. TB 14748.
Mourning doves. 1996. Read by Joan Walker, 10 hours 38 minutes. TB 10910.
This novel focuses on three women and their experiences of loss and change just after the First World War. Although all three experience fear, uncertainty and despair as they forge a new life, they also find that there are unexpected opportunities waiting for them. TB 10910.
The goodbye summer. 2005. Read by Laurence Bouvard, 14 hours 11 minutes. TB 14515.
If you're Caddie Winger - 32 years old, still living with her grandmother and giving piano lessons to neighbourhood children - one summer can make the whole world look different. When her grandmother breaks her leg and insists on going into a convalescent home, Caddie finds herself being pulled out of her comfy, self-made nest. Living alone for the first time since college, she looks at the world with new eyes and begins to take charge of her future. As she makes a new best friend, takes risks she never dreamed she could, and navigates the depths and shallows of true love and devastating heartbreak, Caddie learns how to trust other people, and, ultimately, how to trust herself. TB 14515.
To the victor the spoils. 1988. Read by Nina Holloway, 5 hours 11 minutes. TB 7262.
The Archers series; book 1. Daniel Archer escapes the mud of Flanders to take over the tenancy of Brookfield Farm on the death of his father in 1916. It is his younger brother, Ben, who is most devastated by the horrors of the Great War and on his return to Ambridge, he is unable to settle down to work on the farm. To make matters worse, both brothers are interested in the same girl, Doris Forrest, daughter of the local gamekeeper... TB 7262.
The Forsyte saga. 2001. Read by Crawford Logan, 34 hours 32 minutes. TB 14192.
The Forsyte saga. Volume 1. The Forsyte Saga traces the changing fortunes of the wealthy Forsyte dynasty through fifty years of material triumph and emotional disaster. This first volume begins as the nineteenth century is drawing to a close, and the upper middle classes, with their property and propriety, are becoming a dying section of society. The Forsytes are blind to this fact, clinging to their conventions and 'brilliant respectability'. As dignified Soames Forsyte struggles to uphold the old moral code in the face of the social revolution resulting from the Great War, his wife Irene's extraordinary beauty causes even more disruption. The bitter feud between them will come to split the Forsyte family for two generations. TB 14192.
The ambassador's women. 1985. Read by Carol Marsh, 30 hours 57 minutes. TB 5972.
The story of two families whose united strength enables them to survive war and family scandals, personal tragedies and political disasters-and to solve the dark mystery that threatens all the ambassador's women.' TB 5972.
The bird in the tree. 1958. Read by Beth Chalmers, 9 hours 20 minutes. TB 14339.
The Eliots of Damerosehay series; book 1. The first in the trilogy about the Eliots of Damerosehay. The tranquil, happy existence of this close-knit family seems suddenly threatened when David and Nadine fall in love with one another. TB 14339.
The copper kingdom. 1984. Read by Charlotte Strevens, 12 hours 14 minutes. TB 10313.
Sweynes eye series; book 1. The Llewelyns lived in Copperman's Row, a backstreet whose women fought a constant battle against the copper dust from the smelting works. Mali's mam died leaving just the two of them, Mali and her father, sacked from the works for taking time off to nurse his wife. She would never hate anyone as much as she hated Sterling Richardson, young master of the Welsh copper town, but Sterling had his own problems, not least the memory of the greeneyed girl who had spat hatred at him on the day her mother died. TB 10313.
Ross Poldark. 1945. Read by Stephen Jack, 13 hours 45 minutes. TB 2849.
Poldark series; book 1. The first Poldark novel opens in Cornwall towards the close of the 18th century; Ross returns from America to find his father dead and the estate derelict. His act in rescuing a half-starved urchin-girl from a brawl was to alter the whole pattern of his life. TB 2849.
Wideacre. 1987. Read by Carol Marsh, 27 hours 44 minutes. TB 6759.
Wideacre series; book 1. The ancestral home of the Lacey family lies in the heart of the English countryside, the rolling Sussex Downs. No one could love it more than Beatrice, the passionate and beautiful daughter of the house: her need for Wideacre is an obsession and she will contemplate anything - even incest and murder - to possess it. Contains passages of a sexual nature. TB 6759.
The bell house. 2006. Read by Marlene Sidaway, 14 hours 28 minutes. TB 14603.
Despite her strict 1950s Catholic upbringing, Madeleine Horrocks doesn't understand why religion seems to force people apart, but her friend Amy believes that mixing with other religions results in eternal damnation. When Maddy becomes friendly with George, a Jewish boy who lives nearby, Amy fears the worst, but joins in with the other teenagers who meet at the Bell House, an ancient burial place. When a body is found they all become threatened by tragedy and danger. TB 14603.
Love is strong. Fate is stronger. Bryn Mancini was born under a lucky star. As he celebrates his silver wedding, he rejoices in his good fortune. But something dreadful is drifting downstream to his door. Apollonia Durrance is a misfit, the emotionally neglected youngest child of an entirely selfish marriage. Api thinks marrying for money might bring her the security she craves, but on her wedding day she meets again the only man who has haunted her dreams. From the moment of this second meeting, two tragic destinies are set. TB 14605.
The flowers of the field. 1980. Read by Carol Marsh, 32 hours 8 minutes. TB 4885.
A family saga of the Great War and its effects on the lives of three women: intellectual Thea, beautiful Dulcie and the proud and ambitious maid Primmy. TB 4885.
April grove series; book 1. From the outbreak of World War II to the evacuation of Dunkirk, this book follows the fortunes of the people who live in a working class street in Portsmouth. The joys, sorrows and friendships of April Grove are played out against the backdrop of a seaport arming for war. TB 11619.
Wild oats. 2004. Read by Marie McCarthy, 13 hours 41 minutes. TB 14065.
From the moment she arrives back to find a half-naked man in the kitchen, nothing about returning to the Shropshire village of Upper Faviell is quite what Jamie Wilding expected. For much has changed at Bucklebury Farm in the months she's been travelling the world since the death of her mother. Her best friend's wife has gone completely off the rails, her father is behaving like a love-sick teenager - and he's about to sell off the farm. What's worse, the shark threatening to take away Jamie's family home is the man who made off with her heart twelve years ago. To defend her legacy and have a chance to discover the true love she craves, Jamie will have to confront a long-running family feud, her father, and her own past. And she'll have to answer the question: is home always where the heart is? Contains strong language. TB 14065.
Londoners Kate and Simon are balancing the raising of two young children whilst holding down stressful jobs. As things start to fall apart, they decide to uproot to the Suffolk coast. Kate battles to make a new life for the family under her mother-in-law's roof, while they search in vain for the perfect home. When she stumbles upon the house of her dreams, it's tantalisingly out of reach. TB 14894.
Osborn family trilogy; book 1. Lacy Hemingway and Rose O'Malley could not have had more different origins - Lacy's was full of privilege, as befitted the daughter of Liverpool's richest shipping magnate, while Rose's was as difficult as only the life of a poor Irish immigrant could be. Their friendship was as powerful as it was unlikely. From the early days of childhood, they faced a sometimes hostile world together. It was their united strength that helped them build a business empire that was a model to the world of men they challenged. Contains passages of a sexual nature. TB 12200.
Howard, Elizabeth Jane
The light years. 1991. Read by Carol Marsh, 18 hours 7 minutes. TB 9285.
Cazalet chronicles; book 1. For two unforgettable summers in the heart of the Sussex countryside, safe from the advancing clouds of war, these were still days of childish games, lavish family meals and picnics on the beach. Three generations of the Cazalet family, and the fascinating tangle of their affairs. TB 9285.
Penmarric. 1971. Read by Stephen Jack, 29 hours 30 minutes. TB 2254.
The story of three generations of a tempestuous Cornish family, from Victorian times to the end of World War II, and of the struggle for the inheritance, the old house Penmarric. TB 2254.
The Hotel New Hampshire. 1981. Read by Laurel Lefkow, 17 hours 54 minutes. TB 8899.
The Berry family, complete with dancing bear, move to the Hotel New Hampshire, a converted girls' school. John Irving's humour and sense for unique characters make his rendition of family life gritty and compelling. He describes a colourful family history, which develops as the children grow up and begin to explore life and each other. Unsuitable for family reading. TB 8899.
Days of grace. 1983. Read by Judy Franklin, 18 hours 19 minutes. TB 6544.
When her brother Guy is killed, Olivia Heron takes up his inheritance, the family estate of Clarrow Fell in Yorkshire. She persuades her nomadic family to travel to the grim granduer of the Yorkshire moors and mill towns- a story teeming with characters in a world that moves from Paris, Yorkshire and London to the horrors of the concentration camps in South Africa during the Boer War, the humiliation endured by the Suffragettes and the future in 1914. TB 6544.
Stay in your own back yard. 1996. Read by Eunice Roberts, 14 hours 14 minutes. TB 13997.
Molly Bennett & Nellie McDonough series; book 1. In her terraced house in Liverpool, Molly Burnett struggles to bring up four children on her husband's meagre wage. But her home is filled with love and she always helps out friends in need. Molly is delighted when her daughter Jill lands an office job, but it introduces her to a world beyond their close-knit community. TB 13997.
A better world than this. 1987. Read by Maggie Jones, 15 hours 2 minutes. TB 8204.
Daisy Penny series; book 1. It is the depressed 1930's in a Lancashire cotton town. Daisy Bell lives with her mother behind a busy "potato pie" shop. One cold winter's day she is serving in the shop when in walks a man who looks the very image of Clark Gable. She has embarked on a long weary road - a love affair so filled in equal measure with joy and pain that it is sometimes hard to see where the one ends and the other begins. TB 8204.
Gemini girls. 1983. Read by Stephen Thorne, 8 hours 20 minutes. TB 7555.
Libby and Carrie were more than sisters. Mirror images, they were different sides of the same heart, impossible to separate or divide - until they both fell in love with Tom. They lived in a small Lancashire town on the eve of the General Strike, a town where the gap between rich and poor was about to erupt into a bloody field of battle. TB 7555.
Good behaviour. 1981. Read by Elizabeth Proud, 9 hours 8 minutes. TB 4277.
The story of a thoroughbred but impoverished Anglo-Irish family, covering half a century and told from the viewpoint of the daughter of the house. The full significance of the events she describes are not so obvious to her as to the reader, but one tribal custom is firmly stamped on her mind: everything can be dealt with by good manners. TB 4277.
Just between us. Read by Brett O'Brien, 20 hours 16 minutes. TB 14451.
The fabulous Miller girls of Kinvarra are generally reckoned to have it all. Stella, stunning and intelligent, has successfully combined work and motherhood. The only thing missing from her life is the right man, and she may have just found him. Tara, sharp and cool, is at the top of her TV career and recently married to the love of her life. Holly, shy but beautiful is living a bohemian city life, with artistic friends and a stunning apartment. Their mother, Rose, calm and elegant, is about to celebrate her fortieth wedding anniversary. But nothing in the lives of these four women is as it seems. As plans are made for the party of the decade, secret heartaches begin to emerge. Are any of them strong enough to deal with the truth of their golden lives?
Contains strong language. TB 14451.
Lizzie. 1982. Read by Carol Marsh, 11 hours 30 minutes. TB 5723.
Warm-hearted but cruelly scarred by life, Lizzie seems to live only for her burly, wayward husband Bobby. From her rough-and-tumble childhood in an East End slum, through the war years and the precarious prosperity of the '50s and '60s her story is that of a survivor. TB 5723.
The poisonwood Bible. 2000. Read by Liza Ross, 19 hours 57 minutes. TB 13754.
This is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them all they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it, from garden seeds to Scripture, is calamitously transformed on African soil. Contains strong language. TB 13754.
La Roche, Mazo de
The building of Jalna. 1945. Read by Hayward Morse, 10 hours 50 minutes. TB 13296.
Whiteoaks of Jalna saga; book 1. Adeline, an impulsive bride with an Irish temper, and her husband, Captain Whiteoak, select Lake Ontario as the site of their home. The building of the house, the swimming and skating parties, and the jealousies and humour of the family are described. TB 13296.
Laceys of Liverpool. 2001. Read by Penelope Freeman, 14 hours 23 minutes. TB 14429.
Alice Lacey couldn't be more different from her sister-in-law, Cora. Both of them give birth to sons on the same night. Cora swaps the baby for Alice's beautiful son. The relationships of the family sets the scene of Liverpool in the last sixty years. Contains passages of a sexual nature. TB 14429.
Written on glass. Read by Diana Bishop, 17 hours 34 minutes. TB 12582.
The story of two families torn by love, secrets and betrayal in the aftermath of the Second World War. As the years go by, the family secrets come out, and it seems that the ties that bind can change relationships forever. Contains strong language. TB 12582.
Minster family series; book 1. A cleverly interwoven tale of two families, the noble Ministers of Crown House and the Royal House of Windsor. Opening with the birth of Queen Elizabeth II and concluding in her childhood, the major events of history are seen through the eyes of the Royal Family in this fascinating interlacing of the dramas and problems of both families. TB 7691.
The flower girl. 2005. Read by Patricia Gallimore, 14 hours 44 minutes. TB 14323.
Since her father's death, Emma has been the main bread-winner of her family, making a living selling paper flowers to the theatre crowds in the West End. But she dreams of escaping the poverty of the East End. When she meets former magician turned street musician Theodore Barrington, he gives Emma just enough encouragement for her to entertain the notion of becoming his assistant for a new act. But when Emma's mother learns of their secret rehearsals, she is scandalised at the very thought of her daughter going on the stage and Emma is forced into making a difficult choice. TB 14323.
The wax fruit trilogy; books 1-3. This book brings together Guy McCrone's three classic novels, which chronicles the life and times of the Moorhouse family as they rise from the obscurity of an Ayrshire farm to a position of great prosperity in Victorian Glasgow. TB 14089.
The thorn birds. 1977. Read by Andrew Timothy, 23 hours 59 minutes. TB 4115.
The saga of the Cleary family covering the years from 1915, when Paddy, a poor New Zealand farm labourer moves his wife and their seven children to a vast Australian sheep station, to the time after the Second World War when Justine, only survivor of the third generation decides to leave the station and settle in Europe. Unsuitable for family reading. TB 4115.
Liars and saints. 2004. Read by Regina Reagan, 9 hours 29 minutes. TB 13751.
Yvette Santerre had met the photographer on the beach as her children played. He had offered to take their picture for her husband, away at war. When he arrives at her house with his camera, the last thing she had expected was that he would try to kiss her. But his kiss will haunt her family for generations. Set in California, the narrative follows four generations of the Santerre family from World War II to the present, as they navigate a succession of life-changing events. Contains strong language. TB 13751.
Close to home. 1979. Read by Garard Green, 8 hours 15 minutes. TB 3508.
Two families living side by side in a London suburb become gradually more and more involved with one another. TB 3508.
Between two worlds. 1983. Read by Carol Marsh, 12 hours 47 minutes. TB 5671.
Alison Plantaine series; book 1. Alison Plantaine belongs to an acting family and has known only the back-stage world of provincial theatres and the highly-charged emotions of the Plantaine Players. Then she discovers with a shock that another strain runs through her blood, a heritage as colourful and all-embracing as the stage... TB 5671.
Almonds and raisins. 1979. Read by Di Langford, 12 hours 22 minutes. TB 7002. Sandberg family series; book 1. In the cold world of Manchester in 1905, the Sandberg family find the good things of life scarce, and the hardships bitter as the chill northern wind. Sarah, the mother, is a born survivor stranded in a strange land by the vicious tides of persecution. David, the eldest son, grows up torn between the clear-cut lines of duty and his own driving ambition. Through the Great War and the Depression, the Sandbergs reach out for the bitter and sweet of life, the almonds and the raisins. TB 7002.
Rosa Lucas, born in the slums of Birmingham, is a spirited girl who determines that her own life will be different. Following a childhood marked by tragedy, she joins the ATS during World War II and travels to southern Italy where she falls in love with Italian doctor Paolo Falcone. TB 13295.
This is a story of six people: Grace Teape, her orphaned niece, Lily, and young lover, sculptor Johnny Cochrane; Grace's brother, photographer Oliver Cary, his journalist wife Melissa and blind son, Sebastian. TB 14340.
The Granville sisters. 2006. Read by Sheila Mitchell, 9 hours 25 minutes. TB 14654.
Granville family series; book 1. Mr and Mrs Henry Granville are preparing to launch their daughters, Rosie and Juliet, on to the London social scene with an extravagant coming-out ball. The depression of the 1930s is a thing of the past and only Henry takes the threat of Hitler and impending war seriously. His wife, Liza, puts all her resources into finding eligible husbands for her daughters, with disastrous consequences. The sisters' deep jealousy of one another leads to fights, especially when Juliet becomes embroiled in a series of scandals that are set to ruin both their reputations. Then, when it seems nothing worse can happen, war is declared and Britain finds itself in a state of emergency. TB 14654.
Charity. 2004. Read by Julia Franklin, 21 hours 58 minutes. TB 14441.
When you're sixteen, pregnant and alone, sixties London is anything but swinging. Charity Stratton's bleak childhood is changed for ever when both her parents are killed in a fire. Separated by the authorities from her brothers and sister, Charity is sent out to work as a skivvy in a boys' boarding school. Her loneliness and misery are eased when she falls deeply in love with the dashing but fickle sixth-former Hugh Mainwaring, but when she discovers she is pregnant with Hugh's baby she soon realises just how alone she really is. Determined to be reunited with her siblings and to make something of herself, Charity runs away to London and begins to forge a new life for herself. Contains passages of a sexual nature. TB 14441.
Tansy. 1999. Read by Marie McCarthy, 5 hours 15 minutes. TB 12887.
Malone trilogy; book 1. Living in a village near Dublin, Tansy's family find her yearning for freedom hard to understand. Raleigh Devereaux, the English youth to whom Tansy first offers her heart, treats her as a plaything: Michael O'Faolain, for whom she has affection but no love, never comprehends her need to be true to herself. Not until disaster strikes the land do events conspire to bring Tansy face to face with reality, and with the complexities of her own nature. TB 12887.
Wish I may. 2004. Read by Gabrielle Kruger, 8 hours. TB 14076.
Kate Linden is a 35-year-old single mother, who dreams of a rosy future with a dream man who will love her and her son, Sam. While she's waiting for the arrival of that unknown saviour, she finds herself as entangled as ever with her handsome, domineering cousin Julian, the son of her mother's twin sister. As she returns to Julian's childhood home in Norfolk for a family weekend, Kate is drawn back into the mysteries that haunt her. What was the truth of the relationship between her mother and Julian's father? Who was responsible for her mother's death in a car crash? And will the patterns of that dark past repeat themselves, or can she escape them, and create some happiness of her own? TB 14076.
The shell seekers. 1988. Read by Elizabeth de Silva, 26 hours 21 minutes. TB 7282.
Irritated and exhausted by the business of hospital, Penelope Keeling discharges herself and is highly content to return to her home. Living now has become a bonus, a gift with every day that lies ahead, an experience to be savoured Time does not last forever; Penelope feels young again, as if starting out life all over again - a family story. TB 7282.
Evergreen. 1980. Read by Virginia Hammer, 24 hours 9 minutes. TB 8095.
The Werner family saga; book 1. Fleeing her impoverished Central European Jewish background, Anna emigrates to the USA. Encompassing the turmoil of the two world wars, this novel relates with warmth and compassion the vibrant saga of Anna's long and eventful life, her suffering and struggles, and her final achievement of tranquility. TB 8095.
The Andersons are a military family with honours and traditions stretching back two hundred years. When the second Iraq war breaks out, it is twenty-four-year-old Susie Anderson who upholds family tradition, postpones her wedding to a fellow officer, and joins her regiment on the hot sands of Kuwait. Her brother Francis, meanwhile, continues to pursue his cabaret career as Madame Fanny Fantoni, drag chanteuse and fishnet-stockinged vamp. But when war interrupts family life, it sets off a painful tangle of relationships which is resolved by the least angel of them all. Contains strong language. TB 14093.
Gower Street. 1973. Read by Carol Marsh, 15 hours 21 minutes. TB 4735.
The Performers series; book 1. Jesse Constam prefers the warm, earthy company in the Seven Dials district of London to his luxurious yet emotionally- barren household in Gower Street and adopts a street urchin, Abel, who had failed to pick his pocket. Abel often returns to the infamous district to satisfy his two passions: Lilith a high-spirited child of the gutter like himself, and his contacts with the notorious surgeons who carry out their gruesome practise on "resurrected" bodies. TB 4735.
Jubilee. 1987. Read by Anne White, 17 hours 40 minutes. TB 9004.
Poppy chronicles; book 1. One rainy night Mildred Amberly takes a cab from affluent Leinster Terrace into the East End of London, to a world of drama, excitement and teeming life and a Jewish boxer living from one fight to the next. Out of the inevitable conflict comes Poppy, whose first memories are of Victoria's Jubilee and who will live through two World Wars and witness a century of change. TB 9004.
Madeleine, beneath her obedient and dutiful exterior is volatile, strong-willed and rebellious. When Leon Bonneau, younger son of a French wool baron, comes to stay at Mount Royd he is, against his own inclinations, startled into noticing the dignity and beauty of the young house-maid. TB 7861.
At the age of 12 Ruth Appleby stood by her mother's grave on a bleak Yorkshire moor. Life as the daughter of a Victorian millhand had never been easy, but now she would be both mother and housekeeper to the little family left behind. As her troubles grew, so did her determination to venture into a new world of independence and adventure. When the chance came Ruth seized it: America, even on the brink of civil war, was to offer a challenge and love. TB 7673.
The beloved people. 1992. Read by Joan Walker, 7 hours 14 minutes. TB 9758.
Beloved people series; book 1. The first of a trilogy about the North-east, and the lives of people linked by chance and fate in the 20s and 30s between the wars; the wealthy Brentons, the aristocratic Dunanes, the socialist Maguires, the Jewish Lansky family, and Esther Gulliver, whose life touches them all, as she grows to womanhood and true love. TB 9758.
All the day long. 1959. Read by Stephen Jack, 25 hours. TB 1353.
Set mainly in a Cornish vicarage, this is the story of the lives of a family in a fast-changing world. TB 1353.
Granny Dan. 2000. Read by Patrice Donnell and Lewis Arlt, 5 hours 17 minutes. TB 12445.
When Granny Dan died, all that remained was a box of memories wrapped in brown paper, tied with string. Inside is her legacy, her secret past, waiting to be discovered by the granddaughter who loved her but never really knew her. TB 12445.
The house on Hope Street. 2000. Read by Dian Perry, 7 hours 12 minutes. TB 12414.
Life was good for Liz and Jack Sutherland. In 18 years of marriage, they had built a family, a successful law practice, and a happy home on Hope Street. Then, in an instant, it all fell apart. For Jack a five minute errand ends in tragedy, and suddenly Liz is alone with an unbearable loss. TB 12414.
Stevenson, D E
Katharine Wentworth. 1964. Read by Gretel Davis, 10 hours 30 minutes. TB 444. Katharine Wentworth series; book 1. Katharine struggles for independence as she brings up her twins and her stepson, but an unexpected meeting changes the course of her life. TB 444.
Ayrton family series; book 1. The story of a family and the influence on them of the old Scottish house in which they live. TB 1506.
Stevenson, D E
Sarah Morris remembers. 1967. Read by Carol Marsh, 13 hours. TB 726.
Sarah Morris series; book 1. The story of a family forced to face the turmoil of a world war. TB 726.
The spoiled earth: a novel. 1974. Read by Stanley Pritchard, 16 hours 15 minutes. TB 2538.
Stalker family series; book 1. In 1875 a pit disaster in a Lanarkshire mine kills 118 men of the village in Blacklaw. The Stalker family, although badly affected, struggles on to make a new life. TB 2538.
House of birds. 1992. Read by Elizabeth Proud, 12 hours 26 minutes. TB 11049.
The old gatehouse near the Norfolk village of Thornmere has long been abandoned when Carla inherits it. In her search to uncover its history, she learns the secrets of four generations of Foster women, all tall, all beautiful and all born out of wedlock. Lottie, violated in the first bloom of her womanhood, who abandons the gatehouse in 1913 and escapes to London to a new life. Charlotte, resentful and bitter until she discovers love with an American airman. Charley, who falls for an artist obsessed by her image and Carla, the happy-go-lucky girl who rediscovers the gatehouse, and the story of her family. TB 11049.
The white dove. 1986. Read by Nina Holloway, 30 hours 10 minutes. TB 6475.
Born into an aristocratic family, beautiful Amy Lovell leads a whirlwind life of extravagant parties and debutante balls. But Amy, curious about the world beyond the narrow confines of her class, is ill-suited to a life of indulgence. Eagerly embracing a nursing career, she is drawn into the radical politics of the day. As the spectre of war looms, Amy’s bittersweet love for the proud miner Nick Penry - a love which defies the differences between them - leads them to the conflict in Spain. Unsuitable for family reading. TB 6475.
The broken bough. 2002. Read by Liz Hollis, 6 hours 38 minutes. TB 13934.
Hallam family series; book 1. In the early 1900s pretty Cathy Read is widowed when her husband, Bill, is killed in an accident and soon life is a struggle. She has three young children to feed and clothe: Verity, Addie and Peg, so when Cathy's eldest sister offers to adopt Verity, she reluctantly agrees. Despite a new marriage to an old friend of Bill's, Cathy's hardships only increase with the addition of two more children and, eventually, the outbreak of war in 1914. During the war, Verity becomes a nursing sister, Addie a teacher, and Peg considers embarking on a career as a journalist. By the time of the Armistice, each member of the family finds her life radically changed by a world with strange new values. TB 13934.
Lucia Sartori is the beautiful daughter of a fine Italian immigrant family living in Greenwich Village, New York, in 1950. Fuelled by the post-war boom, in which ambitious girls are encouraged to follow their dreams, Lucia becomes an apprentice for a clothing designer at a chic department store on Fifth Avenue. Though she is sought after as a potential wife by the best Italian families, Lucia is determined to have a career. When a handsome stranger catches her eye, it is love at first sight for both of them. In order to win Lucia's hand, he must first win over her traditional family and make the proper offer of marriage. Their love affair takes an unexpected turn as secrets are revealed, Lucia's family honour is tested, and her own reputation becomes the centre of a sizzling scandal. TB 13645.
No angel. Read by Liz Holliss, 27 hours 15 minutes. TB 12680.
Lytton dynasty series; book 1. The first volume of this family saga introduces the reader to the Lytton family, who own a publishing house in the years before World War II. Oliver and his wife, Lady Celia, have three children, Giles, Elspeth and Kit, and this story is about their secrets, lies, ruthlessness and ambition. TB 12680.
The fountain overflows. Read by Pauline Munro, 15 hours 3 minutes. TB 5044.
Aubrey family series; book 1. The time is the early 1900s; the place London. Piers Aubrey, disgraced son of an Irish landowning family, is a man of noble ideas and champion of "causes", but fairly improvident and largely absent as a husband. His wife, Clare, is an artist and devoted to the future of her children, as musicians, to the point of fanaticism. The marriage and its ending are seen through the eyes of a daughter. TB 5044.
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