When Emily Ford's kindly employers decide to escape the Zeppelin raids that bedevil Hackney in 1916, the pretty housemaid is delighted to return to her parents for an unexpected break.
But the holiday proves anything but peaceful. If finding her mother Nellie in hospital after a savage beating from her husband wasn't enough, Emily's plight deepens when she yields to the advances of Tommy, a young soldier, and becomes pregnant with his child.
Not for nothing is Victoria station nicknamed the 'palace of tears'. As trainloads of men leave for the Western Front, and Emily says goodbye to Tommy, she is left contemplating the life of a single mother. Yet amidst the devastation, happiness still lies within her grasp...
A classic saga of World War One, Palace of Tears is a perfect read for fans of Carol Rivers, Sally Warboyes, and Annie Murray.
Anna King was born in the East End of London and grew up in Hackney. She wrote ten novels, most of which are set in the East End during the Victorian era. She died in 2003.