Ruby and Grace grew up in the slums of Middle Court, the poorest place in Hull. Addicted to opium, Ruby's ma tried hard to be a good mother, but without much success, while Grace's parents looked after Ruby and their own family. But secrets from the past threaten to make their lives more difficult.
Valerie Wood was born in Yorkshire and now lives near Hull. She has studied the region in which she lives for many years, being particularly interested in the crumbling cliffs and the lost villages of the Holderness coast. It was this interest that inspired her first novel, The Hungry Tide, the first winner of the Catherine Cookson Prize for Fiction which was set up in 1992 to celebrate the achievement of Dame Catherine Cookson. Valerie Wood's other novels are Annie, Children of the Tide, The Romany Girl, Emily and Going Home.