Catherine Cookson was born in Tyne Dock, the illegitimate daughter of a poverty-stricken woman, Kate, whom she believed to be her older sister. She began work in service but eventually moved south to Hastings, where she met and married Tom Cookson, a local grammar-school master. Although she was originally acclaimed as a regional writer - her novel The Round Tower won the Winifred Holtby Award for the best regional novel of 1968 - her readership quickly spread throughout the world, and her many best-selling novels established her as one of the most popular of contemporary women novelists. After receiving an OBE in 1985, Catherine Cookson was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1993. She was appointed an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford, in 1997. For many years she lived near Newcastle upon Tyne. She died shortly before her ninety-second birthday, in June 1998.
A dark family drama that begins in 1968 and spans 15 years, The House of Women is the most recent British import from the late Catherine Cookson (The Bondage of Love; A Ruthless Need; etc.). Emma is the stern, feisty 74-year-old matriarch of Bramble House; also living there are her hypochondriac daughter, Victoria; her granddaughter, Lizzie, Lizzie's monstrous husband, Len, and their teenaged daughter, Peggy, who is impregnated by Andrew, a local boy, whom she marries. As the years pass, allegiances shift, illicit romances flare up and characters are moved to acts of violence and worse. It's an absorbing spectacle for those who don't mind a bit of melodrama. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
"'The characters have the grit of real life'" * The Sunday Times
"'The author's grip on the novel never flags...her crown rests assured'" * The Sunday Times *