Spalding bookshop’s choice read

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Bookmark of Spalding has selected Backstreet Child, by Harry Bowling, as its book of the week.

Salmon Lane is a quiet Bermondsey backstreet lined with modest brick houses and paved with cobbles. For Carrie Tanner it’s home. She’s worked hard to build her own business and earned the grudging respect of business rivals – even the Galloways.

Personal feuds, though, are overshadowed by the outbreak of the Second World War, which brings the terrors of the Blitz. The close-knit community is forced to draw on all their reserves of courage and humour to survive the difficulties of poverty, rationing and nightly air raids.

And even as the men are called up, go missing in action or are killed, and homes are bombed, their extraordinary Cockney spirit shines through...

Harry Bowling was born in 1931 in a back street off the Tower Bridge Road. Only when his children asked questions about the war did he realise how many stories he had to tell. He became known as ‘the King of Cockney sagas’, and wrote 18 bestselling novels. Sadly Harry died in 1999 and the Harry Bowling Prize was set up in his memory.